Manual Reset

Anyone who’s spent time around electronic devices is familiar with the reset button. When a gadget starts to act funny, the first act of technical support is to press “Reset.” It’s amazing how often this fixes the problem.

Life is similar. People find themselves becoming ineffective. They feel as though they are going in circles with zero output. Perhaps they’ve been trying to do too much, or have been hit with a large number of challenges at once. This can lead to overwhelm and hopelessness. The way back to equilibrium is often by doing a reset.

Resets come in several forms. Some are involuntary. A sudden health problem has gotten many a person to change his or her thinking about certain activities, habits and perspectives. We refer to them as wake up calls, though “reset” is just as accurate.

Experiences that help us reset don’t have to be negative. Positive events such as accomplishing a major goal, getting a huge project behind us, or reaching a milestone like marriage or a new job can be the catalyst for getting us out of a rut in some other area of life.

The calendar itself also provides reset opportunities. Think of all the great new adventures that have begun on January 1 of each year. Fitness centers report that Monday is their busiest day of the week, when they’re filled with people turning over a new leaf (at least for a couple days.)

More valuable than any of these, however, is what I call The Manual Reset. This is the one that you and I do of our own efforts. Manual resets are intentional. They’re also a lot more difficult. We’ve got to somehow quiet the chaos and distractions, reach out for that figurative button and press it with all our might.

Each person will have a different method of accomplishing a manual reset. What works for me won’t work for everyone. Personally, I need a block of uninterrupted time – at least two hours – during which I can go to a clean, orderly environment and prayerfully process most all the elements in my life without additional incoming. When I do that, I can generally get back to devoting a large percentage of my time to high leverage activities in the direction of goals subordinated to my mission, values and vision. (Sorry … I had to toss in a quick lesson on the Life Management process.) But without such a time for a manual reset, I might spin my wheels for weeks.

Now it’s your turn. When demands come at you quicker than you can turn them around, and the anxieties reach a tipping point, what’s your mode of operations? We all want to avoid involuntary resets. There’s no need to wait for a major event to come and go. And calendar-based resets are notoriously short-lived.

A manual reset, therefore, is the best option. Learning how to do that for yourself is an extremely important exercise which will help you overcome that frazzled feeling and get back on a more productive road.

Do you agree with this article? If not, why not?
If so, how do you reset? Comment below.

7 comments on “Manual ResetAdd yours →

  1. Pat powers says:

    You won’t believe how much that applied to me at this moment. Thank you!

  2. Myrna Dixon says:

    Well said.
    Short, sweet, to the point and a nugget for the rest of us to consider.
    Food for thought.
    I hug my dogs, take a few minutes to read another chapter and then block the work in segments that will give me a sense of accomplishment.
    I often think the author James Patterson found that if chapters were a mere two pages readers would be so impressed with themselves they would read on.

  3. Joel Cohen says:

    Strangely enough, my reset always happens on a airplane, and only when the plane’s not crowded and no one’s sitting beside me. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen very often these days.

  4. David Oakes says:

    Your words are polished into a thoughtful gem.

    You helped me realize why I subconsciously reset; upsetting some, but giving myself time to breath and think. Encourages me to be more deliberate about sectioning off my time, decompressing and to creating mental space.

    Thank you, Steve.

  5. Nancy Moral says:

    Hi Steve,

    Great article. I am very thankful you have been in our lives! I reset by looking at my tasks around me and willfully neglecting those that are stuck on stupid. If I don’t step back and choose what to be passive about, then I keep getting the life sucked out of me. lol

  6. Tonya Beck says:

    This is a great analogy. Some of the ways I reset are to spend time with family and friends with no agenda or a few hours at the beach alone. Organizing a space is another way I reset. There is something about de-cluttering and putting things back into order that gives me a sense of a fresh start.

  7. Alan Williamson says:

    I reset by taking what I call A Day Of Spiritual Renewal several times during the year. It includes meditations in the a.m. and p.m., a good workout, affirming/inspiring readings, relaxing music and nutritious food. I also leave some time during the day to call a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while.

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