I recently had a conversation with someone going through a “life reboot.”
There are moments in life that are crossroads: changing jobs, ending a long-term relationship, moving, a spiritual epiphany, ending old habits, the death of a loved one, etc. I’ve written in the past about crossroads.
IMO, however, I think certain crossroads involve a huge number of changes happening all at once. And, I think of those moments as “reboots.” They’re an order of magnitude more profound and life-changing than a crossroad. When you have a huge number of changes happening at once, it leads to a long set of highly personal and existential questions. And, you do not emerge from a reboot the same person.
I’ve had a two reboots in my life. A year out of college, I ended an unhealthy relationship, quit my dehumanizing investment banking job, moved out of NYC, and started to invest in my spiritual life. After my mother and brother-in-law died, I entered a gradual reboot period that persisted for years, which resulted in deciding to be an entrepreneur and starting Kepha.
So, a friend of mine is right now in a reboot. And, I’m having a hard time giving any advice. Every reboot is so unique and every person is unique. So, glib advice is hard to find, at least, for me.
I think I can be a good friend and listen and empathize. I think I can share what worked for me.
So, this post is really about starting a dialogue. How do you advise a friend going through a reboot?
I’d really like to know.
6 thoughts on “‘Rebooting’ Your Life”
Indeed, you never emerge from the reboot as the same person – and letting that happen (i.e. surrendering to the inevitable change) is about the best advice you can give … in a situation where one size fits no-one. IMO the hard work that helps the most in a reboot is to redefine your values (what matters most, to me, as I am right now). That is, give yourself permission to reinvent you – and start with your values as the core foundation. Work out what they are and then rebuild yourself around them.
My values are health, family, creative contribution – in that order. Those values evolved as I did. Each reboot redefined the mix and priority. Above all, I had to roll with the change and dance with it rather than fight it. Dis-ease happens when we fight it.
When a friend goes through the reboot I do sneak in a little sharing, based on experience: 1. I’ll love you on the other side just as much as I love you now. You got this. I’m with you. 2. It will take more time than you think. Stick with the program. Stay committed. Don’t forget why you started. I’ll remind you. 3. You got this. It’s your life. If you crave more or different, trust that. Keep going.
What I found interesting from some previous reboots is no-one knows what to say – so they say nothing. Yet your friend/s need you in these times. Your fears and awkwardness aren’t helpful. But, you saying ‘I don’t know what to say but I’m with you on this, no matter what’ is helpful. To them (and you).
That’s a great point. Sometimes no one says anything. I think it’s important to say something to my friend.
That’s a tough call.
Having gone through a major reboot in my life, the unexpected , sudden and successive death of my parents, I can totally relate to your first paragraph about many major things happening at the same time.
I was blessed to have a few good family members some of whom were also spiritual advisers who have helped me or continue to help me get out of that situation.
Without getting into details, I guess what being at the crossroads, or doing a major reboot does , is it makes you look at who you really are at that time, and what you want to do with the rest of your life.
That may sound trite, but as people who have been in that situation can attest, there is nothing like a major crisis to show you your life in such sharp clarity, that things which were previously hidden/ignored/denied are forced to come to the fore. It creates an environment for an epiphany to occur.
Once an epiphany does occur, The second and most difficult part is acknowledging it, owning up to it, and to continue to search for a solution for it, if you don’t have one already.
Does this sound familar to you as well?
is it ‘advice’ you should be giving ? maybe listening and asking questions is what is needed ?
I think you’re right.