There are some people with simple dreams. Mostly they just want to live a normal life and earn enough to support themselves. Others dream big, and these people have the most exciting journeys.
Then again, dreaming bigger also means having to face bigger obstacles, and in order to overcome these, you have to become a master at what you do, and be the best version of yourself.
Doing just that can be difficult. We already have little free time as working engineers, giving us little room to develop our skills. Most people fall into the trap of pushing it aside, or just giving up. There’s just too little time and too much competition.
But a simple change in lifestyle can give anyone the strength to push through, and become a better version of themselves in the process. This is phase 1: and at this point, you’re good enough that you’re in a high position, a boss or manager at a firm or the founder of your own startup. Here, you’re earning enough off of your passion for engineering to support yourself plus a little more, and are closer to your dream than most.
But that isn’t enough. Being the best means being in that top 1% at your own game. And getting there requires a total change of your very being. Your habits, your thoughts, and your way of thinking.
How do you do that, well here’s where to start:
Start As An Amateur
This is where a lot of people get stuck. Some people are just way too much of a perfectionist. They want their first work to immediately become a masterpiece. But that shouldn’t be the case. Instead of worrying about perfection, just do it to finish it– and as you continue on you’ll learn and improve your way to mastery.
There are a lot of online sensations that start of simple like posting random YouTube videos continuously for a few months. Usually they would go unnoticed until eventually, one or more of their content becomes viral.
The goal at first is “finish, not perfect”. If you’re an engineer who loves to design, or maybe invent new gadgets and gizmos, go ahead and plan something out and finish it. Don’t stress too much on additional details. Finish a project first and keep creating more consistently. You’ll soon get to that breakthrough moment.
Next is that you have to take your dreams seriously. That means getting a mentor, because there’s always more to learn to improve your craft. Get a teacher. Go to graduate school. Take an online course. Get a few business courses. Whatever it takes, you need to learn from the best to become the best.
Stop Living The Broken Rules Everyone Else Is Living
Most people play by the rules- it’s the normal thing to do. But you know what? Sometimes to get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. So go ahead, think outside of the box. Take calculated risks. When everyone else is zigging, you zag. Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing, it’ll help you stand out.
“The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea,” says Peter Diamandis. A crazy idea to some means it’s the right path for you. C’mon, Bill Gates didn’t say “I’ll just optimize the performance of this blue-screened text-only machinery.” He wanted to create a digital revolution, and he did.
Be Consistent Until You Have A Break Through
Waiting for that breakthrough moment can be tough, since we never know how long it’ll take. While you’re waiting for it to happen, make sure to be consistent. Remember, life is a marathon. Most burn out and quit. It’ll test your commitment and will. Keep doing what you’re doing, no matter how long or exhausted you are. Remind yourself that you’re doing this because you love it, not because you want to be rich or popular.
Allow Time For Recovery
Learn to be 100% on when you’re working, and 100% off when you’re not. While it’s great to work hard, doing too much will burn you out and bring you towards a downward spiral of fatigue and procrastination. So give yourself a break from time to time. Hang out with friends. Take a vacation. Party. Do whatever makes you feel great and you’ll have much more energy to jump back into work.
Get in the zone
You need to warm up before the marathon. The same goes for working. Before you start, you need to ease yourself into the zone before you obtain that optimal performance. Give yourself 20-60 minutes to do any routine that’ll help alter your emotional state. Get rid off all that fear and anxiety and negativity before you work. Gear your mind. Begin to focus. This can be yoga, exercise, doing a simple part of your work and progressively working towards harder stuff.
Embrace the anxiety
Let’s face it, fearlessness doesn’t exist. We all have fear, it’s part of our biology. So instead of learning how not to be afraid, learn to deal with it. The moment before euphoria is a moment of pain. When most people hit this block, they quit. Remind yourself that getting through this will put you ahead of them. Charge on. Push yourself beyond what you think your limits are.
Do it because you love it
Finally, remind yourself this is all because of what you love. If you live for the fame and the fortune, you’re doing it wrong, and you’re more likely to quit when a mountain is in your way. Your passion for engineering is what drives you towards success. It’s this passion that makes you want to become the best.