Look around — and I don’t mean too far — and you’ll see what will inevitably be called, “The Great Short Circuit.” Everyone seems at their breaking point from two+ years of process overload.
We’re trying to do too much with strained resources. And what happens to your computer when you have too many tabs open at the same time? Your operating system runs slower and less efficiently. (Or crashes altogether.)
Similar to computers, humans are complex creatures. We overheat, freeze, glitch, and encounter incompatible applications or insufficient hardware. And, just like computers, the only way to improve is to upgrade our operating systems.
I’m grateful to roar back with fresh energy after the Summer Moves, Summer Grooves series. Get ready to be amazed by indomitable guests and mind-bending content that I’ll have for you in the weeks and months ahead.
Today, I’ll share the four steps you need to take to upgrade your operating system. Remember, even top-of-the-line software programs experience post-installation bugs. So, I’ll also prepare you for common glitches, AND arm you with how to troubleshoot each error.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- The power to send notifications
- Releasing the outdated version of you
- Recognizing what’s incompatible & insufficient
- How to avoid undermining your progress
- Patience with the learning curve
Listen to the Full Episode
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, It is 7:00 am in New York, 1:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 7:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. I am an intercultural strategist, transformation facilitator, and solution-oriented coach, and I am on a mission to help you adapt & succeed through ANY life transition.
Speaking of transition, I am smack dab in the middle of one and I kind of have been for months. So I’m really excited to bring you along in this journey as my own life is IN TRANSIT and you will see for those of you who are watching this on video, I’m very much in transit.
For today’s episode of IN TRANSIT, we are going to touch base on what has happened in the last nine weeks, in honor of my Summer Moves, Summer Grooves series. And I’m going to introduce a concept to you that I have been using with my clients for months and months now and I’m finally able to share it with you. So let’s get started.
Okay, so I just came back from Summer Moves, Summer Grooves, 9 weeks off from when I left South Africa in June and now here I am in Switzerland in August. This has been a time for you to integrate some of my strongest episodes that have made an impact in my clients lives. And for me, it’s time to carve out a space for me, for my family, for the transition, but also, for my head, for me to create some space in thinking. And looking into the research, we know intuitively that taking a pause can reduce our cognitive load and increase performance. But when I was looking into the research behind it, I found an article from the Journal of Computers and Human Behavior and it says, “Empirical studies on how allowing and taking pauses has effects cognitive load and performance in dynamic task environments are scarce.”
I think it’s scarce because actually taking a pause anywhere is scarce. And that is what I did. I was able to take a pause on one level so that I could move forward on another. And for me, when I took that pause shifted my routine, there would be a lot that would flood in the silence. I don’t know if that happens to you, but it does happen to me and I think it’s probably because there are things that we actually want to block out. Or in that silence we’re hoping that truths enter that we’ve been waiting to arrive. There’s so much power in the pause, so much power in creating space to integrate what we are learning, what we’re experiencing, what we processing. And have more on that in coming episodes, but we’re going to experience a piece of that as well today.
I’m going to bring insights to you from what I’ve learned alongside with my clients. And today is one of those times where I’m sharing what I had said many, many times over with my clients, “Hey I should do a podcast on this,” and today I’m finally doing it.
So today is an invitation for you to pause and consider how things have changed for you. All right, I began this episode talking about nine weeks in summer over a geographical transition but let’s step back. Our lives in transit are much more than geographical moves. Our lives have been in transit in unique ways, especially over the last three years because of the COVID pandemic. We’ve also experienced a huge amount of racial reckoning on this planet, deeper confrontation with an environmental crisis and more and more and more, right? So now is a great time to pause and let’s look back and think about what’s emerging from you in these times? Whether you want to get narrow and think about just the last few weeks, the last few months, or if you want to go bigger and think about how you have changed in the last few years.
Okay, it could be that you’re in another transition. Maybe they’ve lifted a mask mandate where you’re at, or maybe you’ve gotten from a working at home model to going back into the office, or you could be retired, or have just welcomed a brand new family member into your home, right? These are times where it’s important for us to pause and do what we’re going to talk about today, and that is upgrade your operating system. Now, I know operating systems are reserved for people who are much more tech-savvy than myself. But today, we’re going to talk about upgrading your personal operating system. And you might have already done this a little bit. For example, when I used to spend time with my friends, we would meet for dinner and then go out for drinks or dancing. But when I had small children, we had to update our operating system and start meeting for brunch at 10 a.m. right?
So, today’s whole episode is an invitation for you to look at whether your operating system has been updated and have you let the right people know about it. Okay, so what do we know about operating systems, I do not know much about technical operating systems, but I do know a few things that relate to our lives.
Step one in upgrading your operating system is to check for updates. What has changed recently?
Step two, install the updates.
Then three is to restart. Restart the computer.
And four is to look at your notifications.
This is a pattern I see in my clients’ lives and I see in my own life and my invitation to you today is to look at it in your own life. Okay, so here’s what it looks like. One of my clients used to be what she would call a procrastinator. She said she was someone who didn’t stick to her goals, right? And in fact, when we started working together, she was like, “You need to know this about me. I’m not going to do something unless I want to.” Now she’s a very different person. And the reason is she has upgraded her operating system. But sometimes she’s operating in her head from an old mode, an old operating system where she still believes, she’s someone who doesn’t make progress on her goal. In that moment, I say, “Wait a minute, I think you’re operating from your old. Who are you now?” And now she reminds herself that she’s someone who rides the waves of energy and motivation when it’s good. Following my mother’s motto of, “Gettin when the gettin’s good.”
So what I ask her to do is, step one check for updates. “Wait a minute, how have I changed, right? What have I installed in my life that’s new.” And it reminds her that she has upgraded her operating system. All right, so for you, if you are telling yourself an old story but in fact, you are undervaluing the progress that you’ve made, maybe it’s time for you to relook at your operating system. Check for updates. Review the ones that you have installed. Restart your computer with fresh eyes, your life, your week, your day with fresh eyes with those habits that you have experimented with and seen success on, and then get moving forward.
This example, from one of my clients, is really an internal process for upgrading her operating system for herself, about herself. And I want you to think about it. Especially if you’re going through a transformation process, like I do with my clients, you might have used to do things a certain way and now you’re working on doing things a new way and you haven’t yet fully embraced this new identity of, you’re the person who follows through on her things, you’re the person who eats healthily, you’re the person who creates good boundaries. Remind yourself of the new things you’ve installed into your everyday life and don’t fall back on old operating systems. So that’s one example.
I have another client who has a totally different dilemma when it comes to an upgrade in her operating system. In our conversation, and this is not just her, there are many people that I’ve had a very similar conversation with, we talked about how in the time that you started engaging with people whether it’s in a relationship or in a professional situation that you’ve grown, that you’ve changed, maybe even learn new skills. Or you’ve gone through a huge moment of stretching yourself. And that growth has been primarily internal, or in private, right? Then we have a dilemma. We have people over here, who think your operating system is version 1.0, but you’re actually over here on 3.0. In this one conversation with my client, we talked about how people think she’s Windows 97 but she’s actually a Mac Pro.
So the question is, what experiences have you had recently that have changed you? What has been happening in the background for your own growth, skill development, strength building, that maybe others haven’t seen yet, right? And what do you have to do? How do you have to show up?
- To remind yourself that you’re a Mac and not Windows 97. Nothing against Windows. But it is Windows 97.
What do you have to do to remind yourself who you are now and then how do you bring others up to speed on your skills, your abilities, and interests? And this is really important for people who for example, have come back from abroad, maybe you left four years ago or like me nine years ago. And in the meantime, you’ve learned languages, you’ve developed professional credentials, you’ve taken on new projects, but the people in your community that you return to didn’t see any of that happen, right? Or it could be family. Maybe there are old patterns that you’ve really worked to disintegrate and now they think you’re operating from an old pattern. They have not been privy to the updates you installed. They didn’t know that you restarted your computer, so to speak. So now it’s time for you to give notifications.
How do you communicate to people that you’re operating from a different place than you were before? I know people who for example, when they came to Switzerland were asked to teach English or to do editing in English, and then they went and they got their degree in law, or in medicine and people were still coming to them, asking them for support with English. And they had to say, “I’m no longer available for that kind of support. Even though it’s still my native tongue, I have qualified in something very different and I’m not going to do that work anymore.”
So bringing people up to speed on what your skills are now. Your abilities are now. And your interests are now.
So think about it, where in your life has your operating system changed? Are you even aware of it? Have you taken a moment to check for updates? Have you taken a moment to restart your system so that you can actually install those into your every day, into your week, into your routine? And then who needs to be notified of these updates? How do you communicate them to others in your professional life, your personal life, so they can be on board with the same system, okay?
So I hope that makes sense. I love this metaphor because it has such an impact in people’s lives. There’s been real resonance among my clients when they think about upgrading their operating systems. For a business, for example, you might be a solopreneur but now you’re operating into a boutique consulting firm. It’s a very different way that you are engaging when you were a solopreneur versus when you now have a boutique consulting firm. How do you operate differently? What kind of boundaries do you create that are different than before? So those are the things that are important for you to think about.
Okay, and like with any operating system there might be glitches when you upgrade and I’m very aware of that and I wouldn’t expect otherwise, it’s just how it works. Unfortunately we’ve seen it from top level software firms, even they experienced glitches. So why wouldn’t we experience that in our own lives? Okay, so when we look at glitches, we need to be aware that they might be creeping up when we upgrade our operating system. So here’s one.
- Glitch number one, that is common is Insufficient Hardware. Insufficient Hardware. What does that mean for you? Maybe don’t have all the tools yet that you need to make this upgrade smooth, but you don’t find out until you’re in the process of upgrading. That’s okay, that’s okay. So what do you need to do? What are the hard and fast things that you need to shift and expand in your own life for this around smoothly? Is it around your boundaries? Is it around your routines? Is it around your communication style? Okay, then you can look at the insufficient hardware, it’s not a bad thing, it’s like an alert, a notice, “How? I didn’t know that.” Okay? Make note of it and then go ahead and go get those tools to make that more smoothly. Don’t shame yourself for having it not ready already. It’s in that process of changing over to a new system that we discover that, right? So make note of all the tools that you need.
I know for me, when I’ve upgraded my own operating systems professionally, I had to have different ways of leading. I had to change my communication pattern. I had to internally change my systems in which I led my team, and I didn’t have the tools. So I had to go and get the tools fast, and I had to hire people to help me get them implemented, right? And that would be the awareness of operating on a higher level, a faster level that I had to then go in and install the hardware that would be sufficient to operate on. Okay, that’s number one.
- The things that we have to watch out for when we’re upgrading your operating system is Incompatible Applications. Incompatible Applications. And in our own lives, what happens is, “Oh… The way I used to do it, it’s not going to work that way.” Where in our lives when we’re trying to operate on this new system is something else we used to do now incompatible. So, for example, maybe one of your new operating systems is that you’re taking first-class care of your health and that involves setting your alignment, 5 am meditating, and then going for a run. That might be incompatible with your old application of flopping on the sofa, having a bottle of wine with your partner, and watching Netflix. Those are now incompatible because that means the new operating system is not smooth if the old application still happens, right? So that is something to think about where in your life are you feeling in compatible applications? The way I used to do it isn’t going to work with a new way.
And again, when we discovered these glitches, these are not personal failures, there’s nothing wrong with you, this is just a discovery. It’s just information for you to get curious about and explore, and realize, “Oh, that didn’t work.” And I love it, I have friends who are in IT and they do all this troubleshooting and I’m always fascinated by what it takes. They literally don’t know the answer, and then they experiment and find out what’s wrong. So the same thing for our lives. We can’t always know in advance. So it’s an experimentation that we discover. So where in your life do you have in compatible applications?
I know for me in transition, it has been my old routine, my old schedule on top of this current transition, and demands that are there because of a house renovation, because of a new school schedule, etc., I discovered that those two things are in some ways incompatible. And that means I had to adjust my work schedule. And I did it kicking and screaming. Let me just be honest with you. But I realized it when I railed up against it and then I accepted it, and now I am doing the work to make them more compatible applications.
All right. So number one was Insufficient Hardware, that means the tools that you need to make this smooth. Two is Incompatible Applications, the way we used to do it isn’t going to work with the new way.
- And third is this Learning Curve with New Interfaces. Do you know how on a computer when they upgrade something and you’re like, “Hey where’s my icon?” Or they change the logo or, “Where did that button go?” You get mad that it changed and you wish it were different and it felt better before and and you might be slower in using that new interface, it’s the same thing with our lives, right? You might be all aboard with this new thing but you still need time until it becomes intuitive. And what I notice in my clients is there’s a bit of shaming that of yourself when you have you’ve installed the new software you want to do something new. But then you struggle and it’s slow to bring it on board, until it becomes intuitive. And that’s simply about developing competency, right? If you know about competence development, we go from conscious incompetence to unconscious competence, finally, to unconscious competence. So it’s that process. We have to be gentle with ourselves. Just like with a new computer, we have to be building in time, build in time and patience with ourselves for this learning curve with new interfaces.
So there you have it. I’m inviting you to think about, where in your life, you’ve upgraded your operating systems and I’ve given you a few tips on what to look out for including; Insufficient Hardware. Incompatible Applications. And the Learning Curve with New Interfaces. All of them are normal, we can then accept them and give ourselves some grace as we embrace that in our own lives and transition.
And I am right alongside with you, believe me. I’ve been going through lots and lots of personal and professional transitions. There’s no clear beginning, middle, end. As I’ve said, life IN TRANSIT is this ongoing process. And it’s been interesting for me to absorb the new operating systems and then watch others around me absorb that as well.
For me personally, just one or two examples, now that I am back in the context of Switzerland, there’s something inside me that has changed in the last nine years, that says, “I am going to resist the practice locally of planning well, well, well, in advance.”
One of the things where I would like to give a notification to others about my operating system is that I don’t want to make plans six weeks in advance, or six months in advance, unless it’s maybe a wedding. But I don’t want to do that because it is important to me that I honor my energy and I honor the fluidity of my life with the multiple pieces that are happening. So if we have a relationship, if we have a connection, I wanted to be able to call that week and say, “Hey, do you have space this weekend? And let’s spend time together.” That is one way my operating system has changed and I need to give notifications for my closest people so they understand that about me.
Another one is something that I’ve embedded in my professional community and I want to make sure my personal community knows as well, is I am someone who is all about a clean, “Yes,” or a clean, “No.” No dirty yeses and no dirty nos. That means if you ask me to do something and I say “yes,” I do it with my whole heart. Not because I feel bad or because I think I owe you or you owe me. It’s “yes” with my whole heart. If I say, “no,” then it is because I’m unable to give you a clean, “yes,” and there should be no hard feelings, and I would love the same in return. I’ve done an episode on this called; The Bitter PTA President, I’ll make sure I put it in the show notes, but that’s this idea of clean, “yes,” and a clean, “no.” It is a concept, a value, a community agreement I have deeply embedded in my professional context, but only a few people, in my personal context know about it. And I want to make sure that more are aware that that is something they can count on with me. That’s personal.
But professional, there’s so many fun things that are upgrading here over at HQ and I can’t wait for you to discover more but just briefly, what’s happening in my company is I’m getting more focused on three areas. So in terms of my operating system, I am so committed to supporting organizations going from multicultural to intercultural. I am committed to helping multigenerational organizations become intergenerational. So not just having people of many ages, but actually engaging and having relationships across the age divide. I’m also very passionate, as I have been for years about supporting female leaders going from being responsive to their environment, to active agents, not just in their work but in their whole lives.
So these are the things I’m going to hone in on even more. At the same time. I’m taking on a role at a global enterprise, which delights the interculturalist in me. I can’t wait. But it will impact my availability for the other things that I have as priorities. So, that means now I have a waiting list and we’re going to start scheduling a month in advance, and I have to be much more selective about what I say, “yes,” to.
And to be honest, in this upgrade of my professional operating system, it feels a little bit like I’m steering a cruise liner. And when I get that feeling, I remind myself of the three things that often happen when you’re upgrading your operating system around Insufficient Hardware, Incompatible Applications, and the Learning Curve with New Interfaces. And what I’m doing, just to be fully transparent is, I am upgrading now knowing full well, those three things are true. I’m not waiting until all the glitches have been worked out because I know it’s in the installation of them that we work them out.
So I’m excited to learn more and to share more with you as I discover them along the way. So, what can you look forward to in the next episodes?
- I am excited about integrating the pause that I experienced during our Summer Moves. Summer Grooves project. I have really benefited from learning from others who integrate pauses in their own processes, their own learning journeys. And thanks to the work of Trudi LeBron that I did with her, I watched what happens when you integrate pauses in a group or in your own one-to-one work. And I’ve done that with my clients, and now I’m going to do that with a podcast. So what you can expect are some fun things. One, as you can see from this episode, we have moved to a new video format. So not only can you read the transcripts, you can listen to them, now you can watch them. So I want to give you many options on how you can integrate the material, whether you more of a reader, a listener, or a visual.
So, I’m excited that for the next four months, all of the podcasts will be also available on YouTube in video form. It will give you at the same time an opportunity when you learn about some of the guests that are coming to really more fully experience them and experience the energy that I was so lucky to also be able to absorb. All right, so think of it like this. What’s coming next is going to be a little bit like this expression, “Two peas in a pod.” I’m going to call them “Bean Pods” where I will put two or three similar episodes in the group and they were going to build in a week of integration so that you can pause. You can reduce your cognitive load and allow that information to integrate, and then see how you apply it to your own life. It has been wonderful to watch people do that during the Summer Moves, Summer Grooves series and now we’re going to integrate it in the next four months.
- What else is ahead? Oh my gosh, I cannot wait to share with you the guests that we have. We have incredible TED Talk authors, we have people who have number one, New York Times selling books. We have these amazing community leaders, thought leaders from around the world that are going to be on the podcast. We’re going to talk about aging, intergenerational relationships, untold stories, the power of community, how to sync up our bodies so we can process trauma and more.
So I’m very, very much looking forward to having you join me. Can’t wait. So check it out in the show notes. What’s ahead. All of this will be available on your podcast platform, on my website, and fresh on YouTube. All right, thank you for joining us for this episode talking about upgrading your operating systems and now you are along the journey with me as I do the same with mine, you’ve been listening to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. Thank you for listening. I’ll leave you with this anonymous quote: “Every next level of your life demands a different you.”
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