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12 Things I Know So Well About Engineers

12 Things I Know So Well About Engineers

My whole life, I’ve loved engineers.

My dad, my brother, my boyfriend, my ex, many of my friends, and more than half of my coaching clients: all engineers.

You are a fascinating and lovable bunch.

Through the abundance of engineers in my life, I’ve come to understand you and appreciate you in a special way as a group. Here are 12 things I’ve found to be refreshingly true about you:

1. You diligently consider all angles before making up your mind.

You take great pains in being as objective as possible. You may even host debates in your head. My boyfriend does this. He constructs arguments with different imaginary figures in his mind, arguing each viewpoint fairly until a sound, objective conclusion is reached.

2. You are whimsical.

You are fun. You see things in an ironic, fun, and funny way. You enjoy xkcd.com and the like. My college days (surrounded by engineers, for sure) were sprinkled with ninjas vs. pirates vs. zombies debates.

This is the “logical” whimsy that is so endearing and playful. Your particular kind of creativity isn’t found in other people in the same fun way. It’s a delight!

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3. You methodically think through all the ways something could go wrong.

This may seem like a drag, but it’s actually really helpful.

This means you’ve always got (or are at least actively formulating) a back-up plan. You’re practical. Risk-averse, perhaps, but thorough. This helps you make quality decisions because you have thought before implementing, saving yourself a pile (or several piles) of unnecessary life clean-up. :)

4. You are thoughtful and empathetic.

Your thoughtfulness doesn’t only get channelled to math and science.

You are also especially thoughtful when it comes to your relationships with people who are important to you, and even people you’ve just met. You are hyper-aware of several viable (and non-viable, but interesting) possibilities that might be occurring in other people’s experiences.

Because of your constant and diligent thoughtfulness, you’re more empathetic than you might give yourself credit for.

5. You are genuinely curious.

Because you understand and appreciate the world (and the universe!) in its infinite complexity, you are curious about how things work, fit together, can be improved upon.

This childlike fascination carries into adulthood and is what makes you so wonderful at your career and such a delight to have a conversation with.

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6. You are naturally playful in relationships.

When you get to know and love people in your life, you find new ways to relate to them. New playful catchphrases, allusions and reinventions of past jokes, even funny physical movements or expressions.

Because your mind is so creative and thoughtful, playful memes always feel fresh and personal.

7. You appreciate the beauty of systems.

You have long pondered the beauty of systems: nature, cities, technological inventions, any kind of infrastructure, really.

You love structure, and you love the mathematical intricacy with which things work together. To you, the way you see these things is just a matter of fact. To others, your level of appreciation for systematic beauty is awe-inspiring.

8. You find linear, logical paths to be relaxing.

You prefer the most direct path to your desired destination. When you have too many choices and emotions involved, this can be very confusing.

That said, when you feel capable and confident and are in your healthy frame of mind, it is immensely satisfying to determine the most logical, linear path to get where you want to go and then set about taking that path. It relaxes you to do this.

9. You value play.

One of the core tenets of genuine confidence, and a centerpiece of my own coaching method, is the foundational exercise of defining your deepest values.

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Most of my clients are engineers and–get this–most of these engineers list PLAY or FUN as one of their top five values.

I told my friend this, and she was surprised. That just wasn’t part of her concept of engineers, but I told her how true and delightful it is. Perhaps that’s because usually your playfulness comes out more within close relationships.

Also, a lot of your playfulness is internal. The way you think about things and interpret the world is playfully curious, and that might not always be expressed.

That said, it’s often really fun for engineers to find new ways that feel natural and fun for expressing their playfulness and relating to people on that lighthearted level.

10. You are relentlessly self-aware.

Because your mind works in such a wonderfully structured and thorough way, you are constantly self-assessing.

You are your greatest puzzle: your own mind, your own behaviors.

When you’re feeling confident and capable, this is really fun! You enjoy the process of analyzing yourself and watching the progress flow once you actually know what to do. That’s the key: knowing what the hell to do! Once you have that, you’re off to the races.

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11. You entertain multiple working philosophical and sociological theories.

Because of your curiosity, thoroughness, and patience, you entertain many working theories on various structures in life: from the sociological (how should we be dealing with X?) to the cosmological (where do black holes lead?).

You may go back and refine any one of your working theories for years, like an artist returning to his sculpture, scraping away what doesn’t belong and perfecting what does.

12. You are quite romantic.

In fact, you are arguably the ideal romantic partner.

You know why? Because you are so earnest, and you want to CHOOSE your partner.

You have ideals for a relationship, the way you want it to feel and operate, and you know you won’t be happy with anything else. Therefore, badass that you are, you go about learning the skills you need to naturally attract and keep the kind of partner you want in your life.

Because you generally prefer depth to breadth, you are extraordinary at focusing in on a relationship and making it hum.

In my experience–in my personal love life and in my dating/attraction coaching–engineers make the best life partners.

Your attention to detail, your care and thoughtfulness, your courageous and relentless focus–they all work together to make you AWESOME.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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