Ten Good Reasons to Reboot Yourself

By Lee Callaway

Ten good reasons to reboot yourselfThe computer dictionary defines “rebooting” as restarting a computer’s operating system. That’s a good description of what you are about to do — only this time the computer is you. You’re preparing to reboot yourself.

You’re at another crossroad in your life, and you’re about to make a choice. You are about to follow Yogi Berra’s famous advice: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” You are going to take the road of reinvention.

Reinventing yourself is exciting and challenging, and at the same time, it’s a little bit scary. You think it’s a good idea, but you aren’t 100 percent sure.

We’ve got good news for you

So, at the beginning of this new venture, you may be looking for reinforcement that what you’re contemplating makes good sense. The good news is that there are a lot of excellent reasons to take the step you’re about to take. While we’ve all made life choices on hunches or single reasons, most of us like to have several. We make lists. How many times in life have you made “pro” and “con” lists before making a decision? I’ll bet quite a few.

Ten good reasons to reboot yourselfI want to give you some good “pro” reasons to reboot yourself. I won’t spend much time on the “con” reasons. You already know them. And if you don’t, just wait until you tell some of your conventional-thinking friends or family members what you’re about to do. They’ll give you more reasons not to reboot than you can imagine. You can use some of the reasons below to rebut them.

“That’s me all over.”

The list of reasons below is not intended to be all-inclusive. Some of them won’t apply to you. But some probably will. I hope the list is useful as you weigh your options and plan your future. I hope you’ll find yourself saying, “Yes, that’s me all right. And that one, too.” In any case, I hope some or all of them will provide reinforcement, or at least positive food for thought.

Because I want you to reboot yourself. I think there is a world of fun and excitement that will come to you when you do. That’s what I’ve found, and I’ll bet you will, too.

Rebootyou power button Giving / taking "I've made all I need to make, and I want to give something back."

I’m thinking of becoming a full or part time volunteer with a cause or organization that has meant something to me or my family (e.g., perhaps an organization devoted to finding a cure for a disease that took the life of a loved one).

"I'm not finished earning money yet."

I’ve still got a skill or talent that makes a useful contribution to some organization, and I’d like to be compensated for it. I see a long life stretching out ahead and realize maybe it would be a good idea to keep adding to my nest egg, not drawing it down. I’ve always had a knack or talent for making money and I simply enjoy it.

Rebootyou power button Plan to live long / life is short "I plan to live a long time and I want to be active all the way."

I want to enhance the quality of my later years. I want to live all the way up to the time I die. I could live another 20-30 years. I recognize that perhaps my first career may not be sufficient, or the preferred one, for this “second lifetime,” and I want either to build on the first one by expanding and growing my skills, or to start completely over on something totally different.

"I might have only a few good years left, and I don't want to spend them just sitting around."

I’m in good health, but I know my ticket could get punched at any time. We live in an uncertain world, and there are risks out there. There are things I still want to do, and if I wait, I may suddenly wake up and realize it’s too late. Or I may suddenly not wake up, and it will be too late.

Rebootyou power button Avoiding boredom /
pursuing passion
"I've got time on my hands and I get bored easily."

I’ve always been an active person and have always been a little restless. I really dislike being idle and I think I would go nuts with some kind of passive retirement. 

"Now I've got time to do what I've always wanted to do but didn't have — or take — the time to do."

I’ve worked at one job or profession all my life, while harboring a secret love of something else. Now is a great time for me to take up that passion and make it into a second career.

Rebootyou power button Prove to myself /
prove to others
"To prove something to myself."

Serial prover – I’ve gone through life proving something to myself. Now I see reinventing myself as another way of proving to myself that I can do it.

"To prove something to others."

The people I used to work with probably don’t think I can do this. I’ll show them. “Nothing is much more pleasant in life than doing something others say you cannot do.” (Walter Bagehot)

Rebootyou power button Want to / have to "Because I want to."

I’ve always had more drive than the average person. I’ve always been a self-starter, an over-achiever, a stay-busy, start-something-new kind of person. I’ve never thought of retirement as an occasion to stop working, only as an occasion to change the place or nature of my work.

"Because I have to."

I need to keep working because I don’t have enough savings or investments to support myself and family on the savings and investments I’ve got.

Last revised August 2007

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