A lot of people say that there’s no such thing as a shortcut to success, is this really true? Is there really, absolutely no way that we can make our journey to success easier? That only the ones that do hard work from scratch would succeed? It’s the popular belief, but we’re engineers and I would like to question its validity.
The path to becoming an engineer is difficult, that’s why our training in engineering school is harsh. I admit that hard work is essential for students to pass their subjects (obviously), but with everything that goes on in engineering school, it’s clearly not enough. We use different “techniques” to make our engineering lives easier, like making use of calculator shortcuts, we photocopy notes we’ve missed instead of copying them by hand, we go on study groups to answer difficult homework, we create shortcut formula so we won’t have to derive their long-ass counterparts, even most of our thesis projects are meant to make other people’s lives easier so they wouldn’t have to do things the hard way. What I’m trying to say is it’s always possible to make work easier, and no one understands this better than engineers.
Hard work does really pay off, it does! But there is a limit to hard work, that’s why it’s important to combine your hard work with techniques that will make the work easier—thus, shortcuts.
Here are three shortcuts to success, according to Jeff Goins, the best-selling author of The Art of Work
1. You can get to where you want faster if you follow in someone else’s footsteps.
Find someone that can guide and mentor you, even if they’re far away. They will help mold you into the successful engineer you want to be. Just like our favorite movie heroes, Harry needed Dumbledore, Luke needed Obi-Wan, Frodo needed Gandalf. Every strong hero will need a great master.
2. Invest in opportunities that grow your capacity.
There’s nothing wrong with spending time soul-searching. It’s important, just don’t waste years of your time on it. Spend less time dreaming and more time learning. If you have the necessary funds to accelerate your learning further then go for it! Attend seminars, go on a workshop, buy more books, and exhaust all those YouTube videos. As long as it accelerates your learning process—and you definitely ARE learning, then do it!
3. Change your location. When opportunity is sparse, move.
If it means moving to a different town or country, if you know that you would have more growth and opportunities there, then it may be a good idea. Opportunities are closer than you realize, instead of waiting for it to come closer to you, why not go closer to it? Don’t sit around and wait for a miracle to happen.