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Control, Alt, Delete - Reboot yourself

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I bet you are well familiar with the term: Control, alt & delete in the world of computing. Pressing these three keys brings our pc back to its original setting. Computers are ruling our professional and personal lives and have become a lifeline for us. Our thoughts and ideas are stored in memory chips and data ‘clouds’.

Like any other machine, a computer also suffers from technical setbacks, such as when it ‘hangs’ – it sort of dies on you! In such a situation, we instantly reach out for the keys – control, alt, & delete to restore our work quite swiftly and smoothly.

Metaphorically speaking, the same principle applies when we need to refresh and revitalize our intellectual and emotional systems.

By virtue of being a trainer, I come across people from different businesses and walks of life. Human beings are different but their concerns and issues are more or less the same. Here is a snapshot of what people usually struggle with;

  • Low motivation levels
  • Confusion about  future aspirations and goals
  • Unfocused energy
  • Complacency
  • Fear of failure, uncertainty and the unknown

We all go through such emotional and intellectual stresses at one time or another. Life has different shades; we all have our share of good and bad days, cruising through the good days does not need any skill or support, it comes naturally to us. Unfortunately, when dealing with a rough patch, different people respond to it in different ways. A few come out strong, intellectually and emotionally, however some get stuck in such situation and keep running in circles.

‘Flight’ or ‘fight’ is a common instinctual response we make to challenges. People resort to motivational programs, counseling sessions or self help books for ideas and inspiration. Undoubtedly, all these sources of energy do help, but more often than not they only provide a temporary energy boost. What to do, to sustain confidence and passion? Interestingly, lessons from how computers work, solves this puzzle for mankind.

Control - Alt - Delete (reboot yourself)

The concept has been discussed many times before, language may be different but the essence remains same. The literal meaning of reboot is “to restart a computer or an operating system, or be restarted”. What is our mind? The most sophisticated operating system. The same formula can apply here. How?


Take control of your life, personal or professional – sounds like a cliché? We get to hear and read about this stuff in every self-development session or self-help book. How irritating! Yes, we know that we need to take control of our life, but how? Who will show us the way?

The truth is and it is bitter, nobody will hold your hand. You have to take responsibility of your journey to excellence. There will be people who will facilitate you on your journey but the decision and commitment has to come from you.

Take control of the disempowering factors, be it self-doubt, fear of failure, or procrastination. Win over the internal deterrents by having staunch faith in yourself and your future.

Here is a three step process for taking control of your life

1.    Reflection & Feedback

Dare to enjoy the fruits of reflection and feedback. Self reflection is the ultimate tool to dissect personal strengths and weaknesses. Conduct a self-scan with utmost objectivity and honesty and have the courage to accept the findings.

Also, take feedback from people whom you trust in terms of their competence and sincerity. It helps if the people you select for obtaining feedback are achievers, motivated and ambitious.  Such individuals will be able to understand the difference between performance and potential.

Feedback can be quite eye opening and unpleasant but cannot be avoided. We are usually blind to many aspects of our personality and its implications on our relationships at work and home.  Feedback will provide you with a blueprint for self-enhancement.

2.    Visualization

To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan... believe...act!"
(Alfred A. Montapert)

Volumes have been written on the power of visualization by gurus on mind sciences. The human mind is an incredible thing. It can literally manifest the things we seek by our mere thoughts and clarity of desire.

Experts on mind sciences assert that our subconscious mind is an exceptionally potent ally. What we tell ourselves to be and how we want things to work can be controlled. All we need to do is learn the power of visualization. Basically, our mind is fully capable of working backwards, working from the end to the means. This is basically an act of working towards our goal even without knowing the steps to be taken. If we “program” only the desired outcome successfully within our “mental computer,” then our subconscious takes over and helps us find the information and means to carry out the actions necessary to achieve the things that we want.

Visualization enables us to plant goals into our subconscious mind. The process of imagining ourselves going through the motions of a complex performance activates brain areas to enhance and further our skills. Brain scans reveal a firm neurological basis. Scientists were able to use the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans as basis for their theory. The results revealed that the mental rehearsal of an action activates the prefrontal lobe of the brain. This area was responsible for the formulation of the appropriate motor programs. This basically means that we can benefit when we use mental imagery.

Scientists have been able to establish the mind and body link. There’s also direct evidence in the way emotional stress can contribute to physical illnesses and difficulties. What people don’t realize is that the mind greatly influences the body and the circumstances outside it”.

If you see it in your mind, you are going to hold it in your hand
(Bob Proctor)

3.    Action Planning

Most of us often manage to get to the first two steps (feedback and visualization) but usually fall flat on our face when it comes to taking action. Drawing an action plan and actually living it are two different things. This is the most crucial phase as we are quite frequently pulled down by CFC - complacency, failure and lack of commitment.

The key difference between winners and losers is not about potential, it is all about commitment, persistence, resilience and drive to excellence. Talent is just like a hidden treasure which needs be hunt for by none other than you.

Alt – Alternate

“A foolish person tries the same thing again and again and expects different results each time”

At times, we just get stuck with failures in our professional or personal life. We keep running in circles, trying hard to come out of trouble, only to sink deeper and deeper in it. We usually overlook the fact that maybe its nature’s way of telling us to change our approach to the problem we are stuck in. Most of us are risks averse therefore feel scared to venture out into to unknown waters.

Even to mobilize a hung computer, we need to press the ALT key, changing the route so that it starts functioning again. But when it comes to our brain, we struggle with changing the thinking patterns or considering different lines of action. Perhaps, we humans are more comfortable trying the time tested strategies and action and fear stepping out of our comfort zone to embark on an alternate route.

Here again the self-scan will come handy. Objectively analyze what works for you and more importantly highlight what doesn’t work for you. In simple language, thrive on your strengths and work on your areas to improve and try new things with a brand new and different approach.

Every time you take an action, retreat – think for a moment about your first response and line of action, if it is the same as what you have always been doing - Check point – try a different approach. Success can never be guaranteed but learning can surely be. Try new options, don’t leave any stone unturned. Learning itself is the greatest grooming tool. Also, it opens our mind to new opportunities and possibilities.


A lot of times, we don’t move ahead because of the heavy baggage of failure in our head. We get so used to managing the unnecessary load that we forget to get rid of it.

When it comes to our wardrobe or afile cabinet at our office, we ensure that every now and then we rearrange it, keep the valuables and discard the useless stuff, be it personal items or papers in a file.

Unfortunately, we don’t apply the same rule to our thoughts and experiences. We keep cluttering our head with whatever comes our way and at times there is so much mess that no space is left for more.

Frequent garbage disposal is essential. Rubbish pollutes the environment and occupies unnecessary space. Likewise, disempowering beliefs we gather from negative experiences, choke our creativity and positivity. We need to get rid of these.

No book can teach us as well, as what we can learn from our own mistakes.  To make mistakes is human; to learn from them is greatness; to repeat the same mistake over and over again is foolish.

Put your fingers on control, alt, delete keys, press on them, get rebooted and move ahead.