When Kristian started as my assistant earlier this year I bought him a new laptop.  I noticed that it had a newer version of Windows than my own laptop and that the keyboard layout was different.  I used it once or twice and decided that I didn’t like it – I much preferred my older laptop, thank you very much!

As Kristian stopped working with me recently I told him to keep the laptop until I needed it – I could after all only use one laptop at a time and I was very happy with mine.

About the same time I realised that I’d had enough of running out of hard drive space on my laptop and spent a good few hours investigating the best and quickest bigger hard drive I could find.  Then it was time to find the best deal, have it delivered to me and finding a technician who could install it.  I took a day out, took it to him to replace and then spent about 20 hours over a weekend to re-install everything.

It was great for a few days and then I noticed the laptop fan that had been getting louder and louder and that, truth be told, I’d been ignoring for a while, hoping that it would get better by itself.  So I spent some time researching my options on the internet (which ranged from replacing it to using compressed air to blow out accumulated dust!)

Windows then started crashing from time to time – I blamed software I’d installed – and then late one evening I also managed to drop the laptop.  Now if you know how tall I am you’ll know that that was no short fall!  To my amazement my laptop booted up again, seemed to work ok at first, but crashed more frequently.

Again, I lived it with it for a few days ignoring the problem and hoping that it will fix itself (as laptops are known to do, of course!)  Then, when it seriously stared affecting the quality of my work I finally decided to get expert advice.

I called my friend Robert King from http://problemswithmypc.co.uk/ whom I’ve known for years.

That one call changed everything.

You see I started off asking Robert how I could fix my laptop.  We talked about having the hard drive taken out, checked and possibly replaced again, restoring to an old backup taken when everything was working ok, then restoring my most recent data again.  It would involve buying a new fan – knowing that I may not find the right model anymore.  It would involve (lots) more time, more money and more risk.

Up to that point getting my laptop fixed was the only thing I had in mind and I’d been totally focused on how to do it.  If I did consider using the almost brand new, unused laptop it was fleetingly and I casually dismissed it because I wanted to stay with what I knew.

In talking things through with Robert he helped me to see that it really wasn’t worth it, especially since I had another (almost new) laptop in fully functional order, pretty much ready to go.  I threw up all the resistance I could muster, from ‘I don’t like the keyboard and Windows 7’ to ‘But I just like my laptop’ and ‘I’m sure my laptop is faster’.  Robert, having heard all of that before, let me work through my own ‘stuff’ and come to the right conclusion!

I realised that I’d been so attached to my 3 year old laptop and the way I’ve been doing things that I simply did not even want to consider other, newer and unfamiliar options.

I realised that it was time to let go so that I could move forward.

When I actually checked the new laptop I found that not only did it have twice the amount of memory but also the exact size hard drive that I’d just upgraded my old one too and a faster processor.  With Robert’s help I was able to configure Windows 7 in a way that works for me and (don’t tell my old laptop this) the new keyboard is actually pretty cool.

Now as you read this I know that you know that I’m not telling you to go buy a new laptop; this story really doesn’t have anything to do with a laptop, does it?

It has to do with life.

Ask yourself where in your life you may be holding on to something that is preventing you from moving on; old relationships, old technology or old beliefs – sometimes we give them the power to hold us back because we don’t even consider that there may be something else out there or because we’re so familiar and comfortable even with that that no longer works for us.

Since change scare most people, is it really that strange that we so easily go into denial and procrastination and think that the problem will go away by itself or they’ll deal with it one day, some day (which typically never comes)?

When we take the plunge and ask for help we often find that it was much easier than we thought; even if it turns out to be as painful and horrible as we expected it to be, it still opens up possibilities that before we only dreamt of.  But you know that already from your own experience, don’t you?

Thanks to Robert’s advice I was able to remedy my situation and rescue my data before it was too late; my old laptop is now, officially, unserviceable.  As a bonus, I now have a laptop that’s newer, faster and quieter and honestly, I’ve not missed the old one much!

I’d love to hear from you – what are you holding on that you know it’s time to let go of and more importantly, how will that let you to move forward?

Bennie Naude

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