Book Review: Reboot Your Life

…Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break.

Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith
Link to Reboot Your Life on Kindle, currently just $2.99

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Are you due for a break, a meaningful, and restful one? If so, the best time is this time, and you can reboot your life all in one fell swoop.

Sabbaticals have broken free of the academic world, and they’re good for everyone, helping us keep better perspective of whether we live to work, or work to live. If you need a bit more convincing, the authors of this book have done a great job at reframing sabbaticals for us into the more modern notion of a “reboot break” covering 7 different versions that have become evidence of its mainstream appeal, and its wisdom.

I’d picked this up fully expecting it would well complement my recent urging that we managers consider the 20-hour work week as a wholesale societal rebooting of our normal workweek, a reinvention which is the silver lining of our Great Recession — and it does. The subject of a reboot break is covered thoroughly — there is much more content within this book than I’d expected to find — and I’d sum it up in these two themes: Convincing you of the benefits and possibilities (including good discussion of how to broach the subject with your employer), and then coaching you in making it count once you take the leap.

I’ve been able to take a 6-week sabbatical annually since purposely designing it into my business models back in 2004. My family, friends, and MWA clients know it as Ho‘omaha, the holiday hiatus given to all in my ‘Ohana in Business: We close for 3 weeks in December, and another 3 weeks in January. It now feels very natural and right to us, and best of all, it’s totally guilt-free; it feels smart, and it’s become quite strategic. I know we’re fortunate, now taking our Ho‘omaha holidays as matter-of-course as we do. So I also hoped the book would help me be more empathetic to those without the same freedoms we enjoy and capitalize on. Rebooting of some kind is often a transition which comes up in the Ho‘ohana coaching I do, so I can help managers bring more of ‘Imi ola into their lives as a value of lifestyle inventiveness and creativity.

The authors do not speak of values explicitly, but as they read The Reboot Break, MWA practitioners will make their value alignment connections often, and make them easily. For instance, the authors offer this as a common pattern of the Reboot Breaks which are most successful:

1. Creating Space – putting your life in order
(MWA’s Mālama, Ho‘okipa, Kuleana)
2. Reconnection – revitalizing connections to people, places, activities, and self
(MWA’s Lōkahi, Kākou, ‘Ohana)
3. Exploration – learning new things, especially through travel
(MWA’s ‘Ike loa, Ha‘aha‘a, Nānā i ke kumu)
4. Reentry – starting a new chapter of your life
(MWA’s Aloha, Mahalo, Pono)

I found the authors covered their subject well, offering substantial testimony over ‘what if’ supposition, but I still think the reader will have to be predisposed to the idea first if they’re to take the plunge and use this book as their roadmap. How badly do you want your own break, and how brave and determined are you?

Your best strategy might be the team approach: Get your work team and your family to read this with you. If you are between gigs, a good companion to this, perhaps for the “Exploration” phase of the reboot break you take, would be The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry: My book review is here.

From my own experience I can assure you: Ho‘omaha once, and you’ll never go back to a life without it.

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Previous review done for Talking Story: Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

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More on Reading in the Talking Story archives:

  1. Managers, you need to READ
  2. Deliberate Inputs
  3. Books Come to You at Least Twice