Engineers get shit done! Period. Look around you, everything human made has been engineered. Your house, your car, your phone, everything. But before these inventions came to be, they were thoughts. The thought of someone like you and me. Someone saw an obstacle as an opportunity and acted upon it. Going all out on creating a solution!
This is why engineers are awesome. Their thought process is all about thinking of solutions. In their actions they design and implement them. Creating a better world in the process.
So you want to improve yourself and the world? Try using the mental tool box of an engineer! The mindset of engineer are not limited to solving technical problems. They are applicable to all aspects of life.
First of all, engineers think in solutions not in problems. The premises is ‘I am going to think of a solution!’ By being solution oriented you feel less bummed out about problems, because you simply don’t focus on the obstacles. Better yet! The bigger the initial problem, the more awesome your solution will have to be!
For example getting in to shape. Instead of focusing on the fact that you are fat, you focus on all the ways you can adjust your lifestyle and start applying it.
Cultivate a genuine curiosity for the world and all its aspects! A child like wonder. Looking at mundane details of life with pure interest. Seeking to understand. ‘Why is this as it is?’ ‘How did others solve it?’ Don’t be hesitate to dissect and tinker with everything.
So how do you apply your curiosity effectively? Develop an analytical minds. Step back and reduce a problem to its components and levels. Seek to understand how and why each part affects other aspects. If you do this in an objective way, you learn to understand an obstacle. Separating the trivial from the relevant. Also analyze solutions of others. Comprehend how they worked and see what you can use and improve.
Seek to understand your metabolism and eating patterns. Play around with different diets. Analyze healthy people to see how they act. What applies to your situation and were to enhance?
With your analysis as basis, define a system. By system thinking you reduce a situation to a scheme. This will give you clarity. Write down the different aspects of the situation and their connection. What is the surrounding context? Understanding the bigger picture will help you define were possibilities and risks are located. Thoroughly understand the situation, and the solution will be clear.
Systemize your energy and nutrient needs in relation to what you put in and burn. What attributes to what. You will find the biggest bottle neck, start there!
Next step, design and create your solution. Once you understand the situation the design of your solution is simple. Don’t limit yourself, and show creativity. Everything helps as long as it is progressing towards the solution.
Realize that solving your life problems is not a linear process. This prepares you for disappointment. There will be setbacks and the necessary tweaks. It is an iterative process. Were you zoom in and out, have ups and downs, setbacks and boosts! This iterative process is part of the fun, the setbacks are necessary for creating a sustainable solution. Expect setbacks and push through.
Design a diet and exercise schedule. Try, fail, get up, try again. Repeat until you find what works and stick to it.
If you have solved a problem once, doesn’t mean you have to do it the same way the next time. Look critically at your system and design. Constantly improve on your tactic. Look at the infinite number of software version programmers produce. There is always a bug to be fixed or a feature to be added. Look at your life and solutions this way. There is always something to upgrade. Create a slightly better version of yourself every day. Improve to fit new realities.
Review your diet and exercise system regularly. What can be improved upon, less carbs more protein? Or more strength training and less cardio?
Every engineering miracle needs maintenance. Neglect will topple the tallest skyscraper. Even the toughest bunkers will eventually disintegrate if maintained. So when creating your solutions, think of maintenance! Don’t forget to check up and fix if necessary.
Once you get in shape, stay in shape by keeping your diet in check and your butt moving!
So next time when you are feeling stuck, think of what will set you free instead. The problem inherently poses the solution! Using this mental toolbox you can engineer your way out of everything. So look forward to your challenges, think in solutions, and engineer your life!
Hi I am Timon – nice to meet you. Hope you learned something. At my blog Techlecticism I write about social mastery for technical minds. You can become a social badass, especially if you are a geek or nerd! Every skill can be acquired. So check it out.