One of the best tools we have for achieving personal growth is our virtual “restart button”, that is, whenever we have an intention to think and act in a new way, and we do not carry out our intention successfully, we can push an imaginary “restart button” and renew our intention to carry out the new way of thinking and acting.  We do not have to become discouraged, saying things like “I keep failing to change in the way I want” or “I will never be able to think and act the way I want”.  Instead, we can say, “I have not succeeded yet, but I will”, push an imaginary restart button and once again, do our best to perform the new thinking or acting the way we want to do them.  As was noted in “The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz (2010), “If you fail to keep one of the (4) agreements, make the agreement again.  Begin again tomorrow and again the next day.  Keep practicing and practicing.  Each day will become easier.  By doing your best, the habit of misusing your word, taking things personally, and making assumptions, will become weaker and less frequent over time.  If you keep taking action to change your habits, it’s going to happen” (p.87).

It took a lifetime for us to acquire our current beliefs and habits and it is not likely that we will be able to change them in a short period of time.  Rather, it will take whatever time it takes to make the changes we are wanting to make. We simply have to keep pushing our virtual restart button however many times it takes, and we will find that over time we will be pushing the virtual restart button less and our new beliefs and habits will become easier to manifest in our life, even to the point that they will become automatic and occur without any conscious effort being necessary.

There is an old saying that is relevant to the idea of a virtual restart button, which is “today is the first day of the rest of my life”.  An even better version of this could be “this moment is the first moment of the rest of my life”, and to keep choosing to push the virtual restart button in this moment, when that will help us to again practice the new ways of thinking and acting that we want to achieve.

  1. Christy


    September 7, 2023 at 1:28 pm -

    Earlier today I was just reflecting on how I lost traction on one of my new habits at work. I didn’t feel bad about it; instead I thought, “Something isn’t working quite right yet. Let’s simplify it a little to make it easier to regain traction.” Was so happy to see this article later on. I was just using the restart button on that new habit.

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