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Crashing the Hard Drive of Life

We are closing another year of our lives. For some of you, 2001 has been a great year. For others, well, let’s just say it hasn’t. In either case, in just over a week we will ring in the new year. A fresh start. A clean slate. A new beginning. Whatever happened in 2001, we have the opportunity to begin anew in 2002. What changes will you make in order to have 2002 be your best year ever?

Last Thursday, a catastrophe occurred. I went into my home office, with the intention of producing the Christmas cards that we would be mailing this year. When I turned on the computer, however, it quickly became clear that, not only would I not be performing my intended task that day, but I wouldn’t be doing anything on that computer for quite some time. You see, my hard drive “crashed.” And, upon discovering this, my mood also “crashed.”

(Before I get too deep into the story, please know that I store almost all my data on a Zip Disk, so that was not the issue. And, as it turned out, the data files are intact anyway.)

Even though no data was lost, I was still distraught. I really dislike (okay, I hate) wasting time, and I perceived this “violation” as an inconvenience that would require a tremendous amount of time and energy to correct. Not to mention that this was occurring in mid-December, in the midst of the holiday season. Recognizing that our Christmas cards were in jeopardy, I allowed (for the moment) my sanity to also be in jeopardy.

I continued stewing for quite some time that day, allowing my emotional state to be adversely affected by something that (1) had already happened and (2) could not be changed.

Then, with help from my friend and mentor (thanks, Jen!), I realized the wonderful opportunity that lay within the tragedy of the hard drive. And what perfect timing, too…

We are closing another year of our lives. For some of you, 2001 has been a great year. For others, well, let’s just say it hasn’t. In either case, in just over a week we will ring in the new year. A fresh start. A clean slate. A new beginning. Whatever happened in 2001, we have the opportunity to begin anew in 2002. Hopefully, we can bring some of the good stuff with us, and repeat it 2002 (even if it’s just a memory). And we can certainly choose to leave the rest behind. After all, it’s a NEW YEAR.

Like hard drives that become cluttered with software that we don’t need or use, our lives become cluttered, too. Rather than “deleting” these undesirable components, we continue to leave them installed on the “hard drive” of our lives. As these things build up inside us, they have an adverse affect on our system. Yet, we just leave them there, creating all kinds of reasons that justify doing so.

When my hard drive crashed, my slate was cleaned for me. All the useless clutter than was contained on the hard drive is gone. Sure, I’ll need to reload software that I do need. But my system will then be clean, and running efficiently. When we eliminate clutter, and old clothes, and ill feelings, and grudges, and the emotional baggage attached to so much of this “stuff” that we carry around, our personal “system” will be clean, too…and running efficiently.

Wipe your slate clean after next week. Begin 2002 with a renewed sense of excitement and gratitude about your life. As I quote often from Tony Robbins, “The past does not equal the future.” You are not living in quicksand. You do not have to continue the pattern of doing the undesirable things you’re doing now.

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” If you want 2002 to be different than 2001, then you must be different. Wipe the slate clean, and decide what you want 2002 to look like. Then, determine the kind of person you will need to become in order to make that happen. What will you have to be, do and say? What actions will you have to take? What support structures would be helpful to have in place?

I’m glad my hard drive crashed. Sometimes we have to get to that place in order to clearly see what’s occurring in our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way, though.

As you think about 2001, recall fondly the wonderful memories that were created, and look for the good even in that which was not desirable. Then, write down the changes that you can make in your life that will help to make 2002 your best year ever. Write down anything that comes to mind, and don’t stop until you’ve written at least 20 changes. Finally, decide, then really commit, to giving yourself the gift of making those changes. Your life will never be the same.


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