Reality Check: The Reboot Solution

Every so often, one of my gadgets starts acting up. If you have gadgets: TV, computer, tablet, phone, etc. you know the drill. All is well; then suddenly for no apparent reason, all is not well. Annoying, isn’t it?
But everything has a reason, right? We like to believe that if we probe deeply enough, if we really, really try, we’ll understand why things happen. We just don’t have enough information yet.
That may be true. But in the meantime, I (and countless others) know that often, an effective response is to reboot! Restart. Turn it off. Turn it on again. See what happens.
Astoundingly, restart often fixes things. There we were with a gadget that didn’t function. We restarted and voila! We’re back in business as if nothing was ever wrong.
Why? Of course, there are reasons. Reasons exist. Yet, isn’t it interesting that we’re able to achieve a result without fully understanding the underlying causes of the problem? We didn’t delve into our gadget’s past; we didn’t explore its settings or its recent interactions. We just restarted.
It’s not only gadgets that act up. There are times when all is not well elsewhere. Perhaps our outlook is broken, our work isn’t working well, or a relationship stops responding. Could the idea of a reboot help?
For example, consider a broken outlook. Maybe we’ve had disappointments, become jaded, cynical. Our automatic response even to positive developments has become, “That sounds good now but just wait; it’ll turn out bad. It always does.” What would a reboot look like? Making a deliberate decision to look at new situations with optimism, or at least neutrality.
How about a work restart? If your work environment is awful, then a drastic restart would be to quit and start afresh elsewhere. But wait! A “softer” reboot could be to make the choice to view your workplace as if it’s the first day of your job. Think back. You were probably excited, earning money, anticipating learning and advancing. Could a restarted attitude help you look at your workplace with fresh eyes?
Finally, what about rebooting a relationship? One simple example could be to choose to let a perceived insult go. Restart as if it never occurred.
You might consider a regular morning restart. Upon waking up, decide that today truly is a new day with new possibilities. Or you may prefer an evening restart; look back on the day and get ready with a fresh perspective.
A restart won’t always fix the problem. Even if it does, some would suggest that a restart doesn’t actually solve anything. The underlying root cause was never found and eliminated. The problem could happen again (spoiler alert, it probably will.)
It’s a valid point. However, my gadgets are once again working fine while the person who chose not to restart is still probing and researching, with no guarantee they will ever find the ultimate cause and a proper solution.
So it goes with people, as well. Some perceive the need to analyze past events, past wrongs, and somehow make them right before they can progress. Perhaps that’s true for them. But I am reminded of this statement in “Choice Theory” by Dr. Glasser, “One trip through the misery is more than enough for most people.”
One solution won’t fix all problems. While there are always tradeoffs, it could be worth asking, “Does this truly require an examination? Or can I do a clean reboot and start over?”
Do you see opportunities for a reboot in your life?

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