My family realized I had the makings of an engineer because of my endless curiosity. Intrinsically, looking for patterns and figuring out how things were interconnected motivated me to ask questions of depth and substance. Whenever the adults didn’t have an answer they would hand over a book, magazine or tool and leave me to my own devices. There were so many things I learned to fix and optimize on my own that to this day, people call me with requests to figure out what went wrong with those items they would like to reuse or treasure.
My need to fix things and/or find the reason why they didn’t work out anymore rewired my brain to always think about the deltas. It is in the difference in performance or output that you find the answers as to what may be going awry. This approach is not only for mechanical, system or electronic misfires and malfunctions; you can use it to solve most problems in the world. It is a shame we are not taught to think, challenge and repair the societal institutions that hold us back and make us submissive and complacent. Obviously ignorant masses are easier to control with the responsibility to direct the course of history falling into the hands of those who were privileged enough to get an education.
Critical thinking is a skill that is not necessarily taught but is crucial to develop. Media outlets and social forums will bend and splice the truth to sell you on an idea to either use you, your talents, or your time to promote themselves and sell you goods or thoughts that do not necessarily serve you. From Valentine’s Day to the laundry washing soap, what you see and hear is tailored to get you to buy into the consumerist agreements that bound our country to capitalism and its consequences. When money is king, we are all its indentured servants. Rich or poor, it doesn’t matter. We are all paying to live on planet Earth. The only species to do so, actually.
Putting one and one together is not hard when you have a plethora of experiences and other people’s perspectives to draw upon to connect the dots. We become blinded by our own biases and confidence issues that we fear striking out on our own at the risk of continuing to be unsuccessful. Time and time again I hear comments about how an individual didn’t take a chance at a goal or dream because they weren’t prepared. News flash: We are never prepares for a challenge, that is why these events are challenging and stressful. When you see an opportunity, a way in, take it! The next person in line won’t thank you for giving up on yourself; they will benefit from it.
Fake it until you make it is the mantra I live by. Everyone else is! There are many answers to the questions and problems of our time. It is up to you to seek and provide good counsel. Consider all the options. Look for the win-wins. For the rewards behind the sacrifices. If in the short and long runs it is not worth it, financially or emotionally, redirect the course and sail away. Don’t be afraid of your own success, of having to leave behind a comfortable life to lead a more fulfilling and exciting one. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are not ready for happiness or a higher paycheck with greater responsibilities. You got this!
There are too many confident idiots out there running and ruining countries for us smarty pants to doubt ourselves. This is why challenging the status quo is important. People wait for retirement to travel, when they can save and travel now. With kids or without, it doesn’t matter; you’d be surprise how much more you can do with less if you strategize and use resources wisely. Do understand that there is a better way to approach things, always, which is totally dependent on the circumstances. Sure, luck and proximity to serendipity help, but most of the billionaires you read about daily didn’t sit and wait for an idea to find them. They went out there and got it done against all odds. Not all of us will make it but at least go down swinging!
Take financial courses. Apply for a loan. Beg, borrow, launch a Kickstarter or Gofundme. Do your best to seek out mentors and champions that will point out deficiencies and areas of growth for your personal and professional lives. Free yourself from expectations such as being married by a certain age, or having to play by the same rules everyone else does. Feed your passions and learn to say no to commitments and requests that will occupy your time unnecessarily. Learn when to do it yourself, when to pay, and when to delegate. You will achieve nothing if you stay in your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of your own success!
Fortune favors the bold.