The One With The Broken Laptop

After feeling a little under the weather last week, I was excited to get started and get shit done this week.

Until my laptop’s hard drive died. I tried everything. I channeled my inner IT department and switched it off and then back on. I entered the BIOS. I don’t even know what that is, but I did it, at once pretty proud and also terrified I’d somehow mess something up even more. I met a friend for lunch and co-working and hoped that his IT skills would magically communicate through the ether to my laptop and it would suddenly work. I looked into shipping it to Jakarta - too risky and too long! I rode on the back of a motorbike for an hour looking for a laptop shop that was open, passing what felt like 350 mobile phone shops and 2 laptop shops, both closed.

In the past I would have had mounting frustration and anger and annoyance and all sorts of negative thoughts. This experience was different. I was action oriented - let’s find a solution! What’s the worst that can happen? And, this, while my laptop has possibly never been more important to me as I expand my business. The worst, I was out of pocket and partly out of action for a couple of days.

When my driver and I finally found the computer market in Denpasar, I was hopeful that all I needed was a new cable. When the technician opened my laptop, we discovered I have some newfangled type of hard drive that doesn’t have a cable. While the tech guy trundled off to the neighboring shop to see if he could recover anything from the hard drive, I was optimistic he would return with a giant yes, there’s nothing wrong with your hard drive, and plug it back in so that my laptop magically restarted. Nope. Instead, he said, We tried a few times, and we can’t read anything on the hard drive. Can you say that again in some way that means I haven’t lost all my work, I asked him? He laughed.

So, I found myself in the middle of busy Denpasar with 2 hours to kill while he installed a new hard drive and all the software I needed. I know my old self would have been annoyed, frustrated and angry. Why meeee???? Seriously???? I mean, what the fuck? All my shit is gone???

Not this time.

I went to a little shop to buy water, and had a lovely conversation with the little old couple running it. They were excited to see a buleh, a foreigner. They complimented me on my Bahasa Indonesia. Sedikit, I said. I speak it a little only. I went to the Art Gallery and Restaurant up the road, which I learned is only a restaurant now. Rather than be annoyed at the false advertising [I mean, the art gallery sign was HUGE!] I ordered a beautiful cold beer. And was something of a novelty to all the staff as a foreigner.

My driver waited for me, and let me know that my laptop was ready an hour earlier than expected. So, I hurried back for the privilege of paying a small fortune for the repair. And, I thought, It’ll be like getting a brand new laptop. And I’ll be able to do my work all over again! Yay! A little I was frustrated. But mostly, I recognise that I have been on such a journey and grown so much over the last few months, that the work I produce now will be of much better quality and detail, and more aligned to my values and just cause. I am genuinely excited to work on it all again! Mental!

Riding home on the back of the scooter, I had a crazy sense of calm and appreciation. I am so in love with the place I live in it’s unreal. I mean, my driver was genuinely concerned with making sure we got my laptop fixed once he knew it was totally kaput. Yes, he was going to make money from taking me around, but he could easily have dropped me at a shady place, rather than driving me for another 30 minutes to make sure we got to a reputable shop and then waiting to take me home. Yes, the traffic was crazy. So many motorbikes! But, somehow it all just works like a ballet, kids smile and wave at the buleh on the bike.

And then I had an article pop into my inbox - If You Want To Achieve Long-Term Happiness, Embrace The Growth Mindset. Old Kristen? Fixed mindset. New Kristen has moved into Growth Mindset. Although if you had asked old Kristen, she would have argued that she had a growth mindset. ‘Happiness doesn’t come from achieving a goal; it comes from the act of making progress towards a goal. In other words, happiness is a function of personal growth.’ Long term happiness doesn’t just magically happen. It’s a by-product of how we approach and handle each and every situation that arises.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at to book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story.