The Life. The Engineer.
Growing up, we all pictured a life without obstacles.
Everything was clear cut in our minds and the path was vivid.
Everyone was encouraging to us, our support system was strong, building us up every time we felt slightly degraded.
Mom and Dad championed and were pumped on everything that we did.
“Oh, you kicked it in to your own goal…great job Rick!!”
Our friends looked up to us.
…Oh how the tides have changed.
At this point in our life, we reflect back on what has transpired over our existence and can’t help but realize just how off kilter our perspective of life was at that time.
That’s just real talk.
We grew up living in a fairy tale of sorts, which in and of itself is not a bad thing.
I believe all kids should be growing up in their own fairly tale world, allowing them room to dream big…we need to be dreamers.
And I believe we should still be living in a fairy tale regardless of our age and experiences.
The problem doesn’t lie within the dream, but with the inability to continue to dream in the midst of obstacles as life progresses.
It’s a fine balance, and with all that has surfaced over the years, I am certain that much doubt is beginning to seep in to your life, if not outright overtake that ‘ol brainium of yours.
I talk to engineers on the daily, engineers who had once lofty dreams and goals, but experienced failure and are now adopting a world view that:
1) They don’t feel that they are smart enough to pass the FE Exam.
2) They aren’t sure whether or not Engineering is something they are really meant to do.
3) They don’t think that they have enough time in their already busy schedule to get back up and push another round to get where they want to be.
What happened to the big dreamers?
But more importantly, what happened to the big dreamer in you?
Where once their were no limits, they are as stout as a Wildebeest, as fierce as a Honey Badger.
You are now locked at the extreme opposite frame of mind from when you were growing up as an aspiring engineer.
Truth is this though, both extremes are wrong.
Both extremes are right.
Realize that their is no magic bullet.
It’s understanding that to progress in life, we have to dream big, understand the limits of the world around us, and tug on both simultaneously to perform at extraordinary levels.
Most people can’t do this.
Most people won’t do this.
Engineering is hard…yes.
You have to put in work…yes.
The FE Exam covers a ridiculous amount of material that you may or may not have even touched since the day you walked down that aisle to grab your diploma.
The key is to approach the exam with a firm and grounded perspective, strategically, with the right mindset, grind it out, be resilient and spend your time focusing on the right things.
Fall in love with the process again.
When you become romantic with the process, the path of travel doesn’t matter.
It just happens.
When we were younger, we didn’t care, heck, even recognize obstacles…we just did.
We knew we would eventually get where we needed to go by marching along with the process.
Approaching preparing for the FE Exam with this mindset will not only allow you to make it to your exam date, but you will succeed.
I’ve seen it more times than I can count, feel free to read any of the stories here (But one word of warning, prepare to be inspired):
The Foundation Of Success
There are three key concepts to adopt in route to success in all areas of life, they are:
1) LIFE LONG LEARNING
2) GROWTH MINDSET
3) LOVING THE PROCESS
These THREE CONCEPTS are critical to continuing your growth and further prosperity as a person…as an engineer.
Through critical reflection of these three key areas, we can begin to explain the degradation of our protective armor of life. At close glance, it’s obvious what we need to do, and it’s obvious what we haven’t done.
Let’s take a tour through each one:
LIFE LONG LEARNING:
The resources in this segment are compiled to help you understand what you can gain personally and professionally from lifelong learning and to give you some tips and tricks on how to best incorporate learning into your routine.
The TOP 4 KEY TAKEAWAYS for this section are:
1) Learning as part of a community makes learning easier and more fun
2) Lifelong learning gives a personal and professional advantage
3) Continuous learning gives you a broader knowledge base that allows for interesting and useful cross-connections
4) Incorporate learning into your every day life by taking small measures to make sure you continue learning
Today, I failed.
The only thing that I have found to be constant in my life, is the fact that life is not constant.
The moment I feel “comfortable” it seems that something rears itself to remind me that comfortable only operates in the “moment”.
We have to embrace these moments.
But to do so, we have to realize that each moment has the dueling components of comfort and uncertainty.
We can’t just bask in the world of comfort, but understand the more powerful element of discomfort that immediately follows it.
Each moment of clarity is strung together with a powerful moment of uncertainty.
Powerful enough to break you down.
Powerful enough to build you up.
Uncertainty on the surface is not comfortable.
But its where all the progress is made.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS:
Gary Vaynerchuk spoke true gold in to my life when he put the journey towards living out a life in line with your dreams using the analogy of constructing a building.
He put it this way:
The moment you start to think about bricks, instead of a pre-fabbed building…you win.
This takes us full circle back to the world view of life long learning and the game of mindset, because honestly, that’s what this all is going to come down to.
We’ve come to be a population of people who look at the “next thing” as “the thing”.
It’s instant gratification above all else.
The next promotion.
The next class.
The next year.
The next day.
The next “whatever” is when “everything” is going to happen.
But it doesn’t, and it leaves us trapped in world of frustration.
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