Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Personal Life Reboot

I'm going through a personal life reboot right now. Yet again, through events completely out of my control, the world has been turned upside down on me. A month ago I was the church youth group leader (YW president), and then released completely unexpectedly. And then last week my job came to an abrupt (but welcome) end. (I had expected my job to last 2 more months.)
Not bad changes.
Just completely unexpected changes.
Suddenly, I have nothing to do. And I really do mean absolutely nothing.
I do have a book launch I'm slowly getting through. And I'm writing a book as much as my muse allows me. But really, no obligations, events, time sucks, etc. going on.
I've forgotten how to be this way.
But before I can figure out what comes next, I'm doing a very intentional personal life reboot. I'm reading books that have meant something to me and guided me professionally. I'm contacting mentors for advice. Organizing my material objects. Indulging in some creative activities. And really making sure I know what my priorities are, so that I can make a plan on how to achieve and focus on those priorities.

Some of the books that have helped me figure life out include the following

Who Moved My Cheese? 

This book, told as a story about mice in a maze, is about adjusting attitudes toward change in life, especially at work. Change occurs whether you are ready or not, but the book affirms that it can be positive. I come back to this book every time an outside force moves the cheese on me (again). 

My friend Rebecca wrote this book (and I helped edit and format it). She is a training and organizations expert that really understands the process it takes to set a goal and work towards it. Most importantly she understands and values the importance of motivation to help you get going and stay moving. This isn't a feel-good story book. It's more factual and yet casual. A good one to come back to when I am contemplating new ideas and goals for the future. 

Some people may consider this a strange book for me to count in my list of personal life reboot books. But this was one of the most life-changing books I've ever read. Malcolm Gladwell (one of the greatest writers in modern times, if not the 21st century) explains the extraordinary success of some very high profile people- Bill Gates, the Beatles, etc. And he explains their personal backgrounds and experiences that led to their exceptional success. For me, to understand how and why some people have achieved such remarkable success, while others who are equally talented and smart have not, really hit home. It wasn't about being the smartest or most talented. And in some cases it wasn't about hard work either. In many (if not most) it was about timing- being in the right place at the right time. Bill Gates wouldn't be Bill Gates if he hadn't grown up in an affluent neighborhood in Seattle at precisely the time he did. The Beatles wouldn't be a phenomenon if they hadn't accepted one of the worst gigs ever in Hamburg. (leading to what is now known as the Hamburg principle.) 
And like some people have had extraordinary success all due to timing, some people have encountered more setbacks, through no fault of their own, due to timing. He doesn't address failure much at all. But the converse of what he did talk about is what made a huge difference to me when contemplating some of my own successes and failures. 
For instance, I had a major professional setback for several years. Why? For a long time I struggled with the "why" question. Why couldn't I get a job? Why did I get laid off? Why did some friends seem to have so much success, while I kept getting setback further and further? This book helped me find the answers to the why. 
And helped me start seeing my way to success.

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