About a month ago, I had a problem that is the nightmare for anyone whose job revolves around their laptop — I got a virus. It made my computer slow and prone to pop up windows, which obstructed my daily routine. This led to me having a breakdown in front of our office IT guy who patiently told me that he would need me to backup all my files so that he could delete every single thing from my laptop; the virus, my music, my office files…everything. It was like the nightmare would not let itself be over.
I copied all my files onto my portable hard drive, and realized that in the process, I was deleting files I no longer needed. This was an opportunity to declutter, and I took it. This voluntary tidying up left me feeling refreshed and in no way prepared for what was yet to come. When the IT guy returned my laptop to me, it felt lighter. I am sure my mind made this up and hence, the italicized felt. I no longer had the old bookmarks of pages I had thought would one day be relevant in my life. I no longer had chrome extensions that I had not run even once in the last year. I no longer had passwords saved (or memorized, for that matter). I had the chance to create new passwords and actually realize the multiple websites on which I was registered. It was an interesting feeling — it most certainly felt like a fresh start.
While I hope that viruses don’t become a regular phenomenon, more than they already are… I do hope that once in a while, we all find a reason to declutter and reactivate. Whether that’s our laptop or our lives, I hope that we find that going back to the drawing board is exactly what we need, from time to time.
This is exactly what ConnectFor is trying to do with their #100KSmiles challenge. The idea behind volunteering is that once you help someone, your life will be forever changed. The joy that social work brings is unparalleled and it leads to repeated acts of volunteering, which eventually leads to the making of a philanthropist.
With #100KSmiles, we are going back to the basics. If you make one person smile, it will inspire you to make many more smile in the future. Whether you do that through random acts of kindness down the road, or whether you engage in volunteering, it will change your life and the lives of others, for the better.
Moral of the story — sometimes, it’s okay to throw all the clutter out the window and start over, from the drawing board.