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Friday, April 1, 2011

Set Your Mind To It!

I can fix water pipes. Who knew? I just repaired my grandma's copper piping that provides water to her garden. I'm not a plumber, I'm just a guy with a will to get things done.

Actually, I've been doing all kinds of handy stuff lately. Remodeling, installing floors and shelves, running cables through buildings, putting up light fixtures, working on cars and bikes, fixing enormously complex computer problems, setting up Linux servers. I have no training in any of this stuff.

People always tell me it's so amazing that I am able to manage the IT department considering I've had no training at all. My instinctive reaction is to say, “you could do it too!” All it takes is a little patience and perseverance.

All I know about computers, or about any other handy work, I learned by trial and error, critical thinking, logical deduction, reading and research, lots of inquisitiveness, and simply continuing to have at it until it's done.

People tell me I have a special gift for figuring things out. I suppose that is possible. But I think it has to do more with the mere willingness to set your mind to it. I think all of us are far more capable of doing things than we know. We far too often give up, or don't try at all, because we assume we won't be able to do something.

Here is a good example: I started getting so many requests to fix peoples' personal computers, I was overwhelmed. So I decided to start charging €3 per 10 minutes. Very soon, all the requests stopped! People, at least in most cases, were suddenly, as if by magic, able to fix the problems themselves!

If you're reading this, I want to challenge you. You know that problem that you're waiting for the repair man, or your dad to come over and fix? The kitchen sink... or the computer? Try giving it a go yourself... Be patient, be inquisitive, and set your mind to it. I bet you'll be surprised!