Hit the Reset Button

Sometimes you just seem to be on a roll. Everything is going great. You can’t lose no matter how hard you try.

I love it when that happens. Although, it doesn’t seem to happen very often. That’s life, I guess.

Life is full of times when things don’t seem to be going our way. One complication leads to another, and before you know it, you’re completely out of sorts, seemingly losing your mind.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

I’ve written posts about mindfulness and even included a chapter in my book Chasing Comets about it. I’m sure the principle of mindfulness has a deep root in an ancient religion or several religions. For me, though, the root of mindfulness comes from sports and games.

When I was a kid I played a lot of baseball. My coaches used to tell us that if you make an error, that’s okay. They followed that by instructing us not to make two errors on the same play. In other words, if you bobble the ball, don’t scramble and try to rush your throw. The result could be that the ball would fly into the crowd and the runner would go further around the bases.

It’s not just that way in baseball. It’s every sport. Golfers talk about managing the course. You can make a mistake on a shot or two, but don’t complicate things by trying to do too much on the next shot. If you do, and try to overcome the last mistake with the next shot, the results could be catastrophic. Well, as catastrophic as they could be on a golf course.

The same premise applies in life. When things are spiraling out of control, sometimes it’s helpful, often necessary, to stop what we are doing and just pause. In baseball, if you bobble a ground ball, you are told to just eat it, which means to grab the ball, stuff it in your glove, and go on to the next play.

It’s critical for us to be mindful of when things are starting to go awry in our lives. If we do not notice the chaos beginning to take over, we will not be able to take that pause.

What good does the pause do?

I like to think of it as a reset button.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing video games. Probably because I’m a guy that grew up in the 1980s when video games began to grow in popularity.

Occasionally, when it seems like I’m not playing very well on a game, I hit the pause button, and reset the game. Doesn’t sound very sporting, I suppose, but in the long run, it always helps me get back to center. Usually, when I start the game again, I am more balanced and play better.

Hitting the reset button in life can do wonders for getting us centered and back into a positive groove. It can be as simple as stopping your rush to get to work, and making yourself go outside for a minute of slow, deep breaths. This is particularly helpful when I lose something like my wallet, keys, or any of the other million things I seem to misplace.

Give it a try. Let me know how it goes. Or if you’ve already got some reset buttons of your own, share them with the community in the comments section below. Remember, if things are getting a little crazy, rushing to a solution isn’t the answer. Slowing down usually helps. And often, hitting the reset button is just the thing you need to do to get the flow going the right direction again.

 

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3 Comments

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3 Responses to Hit the Reset Button

  1. PMS

    Ernie
    What do u do when your children have everything and still are not happy? It is hard not to meddle. I just want to slap them silly sometimes. I had lived almost six decades and I know a few things so it is hard to let go and stay away. It seems to me I probably did not let them want for anything and now they do not want to solve anything and they just sulk or walk away.
    I really want to retire and I am kind of frustrated and thinking that I need to stay around longer to help them.
    I really do not want to do that but.. How do I solve this dilemma and walk away a winner?

    • The way it happens in nature is the parent bird lets the baby bird fly away on its own.
      If you don’t let them do that, they will never learn to fly.
      Just my two cents. But you have a life to live. I’d say you’ve done your part.

    • Brad

      I agree with Ernie’s comment. I would also say that their success or failure does not determine if you are a winner or not. Keeping quiet and letting your kids (even your adult kids) wrestle with their own problems and find their own solutions is really hard, especially when you feel like you’ve been in the same situation and can “help”. My kids are in their teens and I did this all the time with things like homework, school projects, sports, etc. I’m so eager to have them see the solution that I just show them how to do it instead of letting them figure it out. It’s a hard habit to break, but I try to remind myself that the process (especially the mistakes and “failures”) is where the real learning happens. It’s not about the end result.

      I know this for myself in my own life, and I bet it’s true for you in yours. But it’s very hard for me to keep it in mind when it comes to my kids because I (wrongly) associate their struggle and frustration with not helping them/not being a good parent/making them unhappy by withholding my help, etc. This may or may not be the same case for you, but it sounds like it might be based on what you wrote.

      I think that ultimately their pride, self-esteem, independence and happiness comes from their experiences of doing things themselves. That’s just my 2 cents.

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