Last friday, I had one of those days that you just wish would disappear from your memory. I woke up to my computer being completely dead. Pressing the power button did not even make a peep. It looked as though my computer had indeed “expired”.
Now I am somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to computer hardware, and I knew that it was probably a case of the power supply blowing up. Something happened during the night, maybe a short circuit or the power supply was just not good anymore. In either case, I decided to get myself a new power supply and within the hour I’d be back to work!
Wrong. Once I installed the power supply, I was expecting to see the fan start up and hear the humming of the central processing unit, but what I got instead was more of this dreaded silence. Again, with a brand new power supply this time, the computer was still completely dead.
Now I knew that the problem was much more complicated. You see, sometimes when the power supply gives up, it can fry your mother board (the part where everything is connected). Replacing a mother board is much more complex than replacing a power supply, but still doable. However, the major downside to it, is that once there is a new mother board, you probably will need to reinstall Windows, and that means losing everything on the hard drive.
I was not about to take that risk, so I decided that the best scenario for me at this time, was to just purchase a new computer. After all, my time is very important, and I just cannot allow myself to test different computer parts all day or bring the computer for repair. So I went and got myself a new computer.
For the next 12 hours (yes 12), I uploaded all my programs, files, and such onto the new computer. It took a really long time because many of the programs and hardware (I added my hard drive and sound/video cards into the new computer) I had were not fully compatible with Vista (I had XP before) and I had to scour the web in search of the proper drivers and patches. Indeed, it was a very long and very boring day. The good news is that now I have a brand new machine which should last me for a little while.
This whole day made me think of what I did to resolve the issue I had with my computer and how the same logic applies to life in general. Here are some of the lessons I learned from this computer problem that we all can inflict into our own every day life to ensure that we come out as successful as possible:
Expect the unexpected. The computer that blew up in the middle of the night was just 2 years old. Before, I had computers that lasted me 6-7 years. So this really came out of nowhere. Just like in life, an accident can happen at any moment. In just a second, your life can be transformed forever. It’s best to go through life knowing that the unexpected is just around the corner, it will save you a lot of stress & anxiety when you eventually experience an event completely out of the blue.
Always be prepared. There is nothing wrong in being preventive. It’s actually very smart and it makes sense. We have drills in place for earthquakes and we have a protocol to follow when on an airplane. Just like in your own personal life, being prepared cushions the blow and helps into having a direction whenever faced with an unexpected event. Being prepared for the worse does not necessarily mean the worse will happen (some people think it actually attracts the worse, but that’s a whole other discussion), it simply means that you do not lose control and give into chaos if something happens.
Don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Having had problems a few years ago with other computers, I had decided to always keep at least two working computers at my disposition at any moment (one of them being a laptop that is always close by). Thankfully I did, because I was able to get some work done while I was setting up my new computer. It’s the same thing in life, it could be in terms of investments (spreading it into real estate, businesses, and stocks), as well as in revenue streams (having a second job, or starting a home business). You will always succeed better the more you spread your eggs into multiple baskets. This way, if one basket has issues, you can still function due to your other baskets.
Have backups. Most of my work is computer-based. If I were to lose everything that I have on my hard drives, it would be a crisis that I’d rather not think about. But I have prepared for it. I have many backups that I keep in various different locations. When you run a business, your intellectual property is very valuable, and nowadays, most of that is digital, so you have to make sure that you have appropriate backups of your computer systems. It’s not being paranoid, to me it is being logical. If you expect the unexpected, and you are always prepared (point 1 & 2) you will create such backups. Many people keep their valuables in a safe deposit box and all of us keep our cash in a bank account. Let’s just say that keeping it under our mattress isn’t totally safe (robbers or a fire). I use the same principle for digital property, such as a hard drive. Whatever it is that you are working on, make sure you have backups.
Protect yourself. Your computer is prone to spywares, viruses, and random accidents such as what happened to me last friday. Make sure you always protect yourself with an anti-virus, a spyware removal tool, and backups like I mentioned above. In real life, a seatbelt can mean the difference between life and death. A condom can mean the difference between being healthy and ill. Insurance can mean the difference between peace of mind and uncertainty. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you apply this ideology into every facet of your life and you will experience a higher level of success overall.