Personal Computers are so complex. We don't claim to understand how they work. We know that they work when they work and they don't work when they don't work.
According to Google, Charl Bababage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer in 1871. That’s right, 1871. His work on the project spanned over 40 years. The first electronic rendering was introduced in 1946, thanks to the efforts of the Moore School of Electrical Engineering (Now known as Penn State School of Engineering and Applied Science). Fast forward a bit. John Blankenbaker created the first personal computer, the Kenbak-1, in 1971. In 1975, March 5th of that year to be exact, records tell us that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak walked away from a think session armed with all he needed to design the Apple 1. Since then, the computer has moved from our desks to our wrists.
It is not the history, though, that was fun, but the intricacies of the primary computing processing that we can learn from. Our brain chip processes so much data each second. We multi-process. We multi-task. We run hot. Sometimes we have too many tasks running concurrently and physically slow down. At other times, the processor is so overwhelmed that we need to shut down – to reboot.
When we were ripping and running, haphazardly banging away on the keyboard, we paid little attention to our inner workings. We just did what felt good at the time. There was little thought to the long-term, the objective of the effort. There was no thought to purpose.
The consequences of poor decisions piled on, creating friction, and limiting our ability to thrive. The conflict was resolved and exasperated by the escape we sought in that glass bottle. The blue screen of death was soon upon us.
We got a second chance—a miraculous opportunity to start over. We unwrapped the new box and plugged into a fresh start. The question became, did we want to clutter up this new operating system with old habits? Did we want the same people, problems, and places using up valuable space in our memory while chewing up prized processing power?
We had to become aware of what we were processing in real time, not repeat history. We had to keep that task activity window open so that we were informed as to what was sucking the energy. If we were slowing down, we needed to know why. We take time throughout the day to ensure we are running at optimal performance.
The funny thing is that life throws life at us without warning. Applications start running behind the scenes and beyond our control; cars break down, jobs are lost, people get sick, and some die. Interactions go south; projects take longer than expected. Envy (Thanks to social media!), anger, and fear complicate and over-task our ability to run smoothly. It becomes necessary to shut these distractors down painstakingly and purposefully before we freeze up.
And sometimes we need to reboot.
Restarting takes time. Programs shut down and re-set. While the technology re-tools itself, we sit quietly as it works through its natural cycle. It is in these moments that we can prepare to reengage. We can ask ourselves what is really required to drive purpose. We can ask what needs to stay shut off that is unnecessary in our lives.
The beauty of the gift of sobriety is that we have so many more software options available to us that help in our quest for peace: acceptance, hope, faith, courage, honesty, patience, humility, willingness, love of humanity, integrity, self-discipline, and service. These are the programs and principles we should use as tools for fulfillment.
We are often reminded that we can reboot or start afresh at ANY point. We don't have to wait until New Year's Day, the first of any month, Monday of next week, or even tomorrow. We can flush things out now – at this very moment.
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast # 40 titled " “Happy New Year - "Reboot" Strategy” The session dropped on 1/5/2022….Click here to hear the podcast.
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