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“In order to maximize your gifts, you need to utilize your gifts. Practice is what builds confidence, confidence leads to mastering your craft, and the only way to practice is by doing.” – Unknown

I remember walking in to my first Network Engineering class at Rasmussen college (A+ Hardware and Software Fundamentals). This class focused on getting you to know your computer, to be one with the computer. Okay, that’s a bit much, but it’s purpose was to get you to know the ins and outs of a computer. Class started and we got these tool kits which I still have somewhere, (most likely buried in a pile of computers at my brothers house; which I’ll tell you about a different time) and a form we needed to fill out to have our barebones computer shipped to us. What’s a barebone computer? Instead of buying a fully assembled computer you buy each part by itself, and you put it together. You can save money doing it this way, and for learning purposes you can’t beat it. I remember thinking, “This program just started and we are already building brand new computers?” Needless to say, I was pretty stoked. Up until writing this, I don’t think I’ve actually said stoked before. The computers came in and as our first test we had to race each other to see who could assemble the computer the fastest. You may have guessed because I’m sharing this story, but I won.  Side note, we took the same test at the end of the semester as our final and I did not win. Oh well, that’s not the point. The rest of the semester went similar to how those first couple of weeks went. There were more little victories, challenges, enthusiasm, and excitement that continued throughout the class. 

So what’s the point?

The enthusiasm I had at the very beginning of the program with the small victory I experienced shortly afterwards had set up the foundation and mentality of the rest of my degree. Do you need a victory like the one I experienced in order to have success? Absolutely not, but it was everything leading up to that moment that helped create the excitement, new computer, tool kit, the start of a new program. I had a lot of energy rushing through me. There was so much to learn, but I wanted to learn it. I’ll say that again. I WANTED to learn it. When you get excited about something and add confidence to that excitement, it starts to build a fire inside you where all you can think about is adding more logs to that fire to make it grow. Your job is to find out where the logs are. It could be: taking a class, reading a book, listening to a podcast, starting a blog (see what I did there), building a team that has the same vision as you, and many other activities. You just need to find the ones that fit your style and will support the long term growth. Big picture goals are exciting so you should have them in your mind to strive for. I believe the small victories along the way will make you keep going and keep growing. So thank you A+ class, you treated me well. 

It’s Your Turn

What are some small goals that you could be working towards achieving? How are those goals going to set you up better for you long term goals? Take some time to think about what gets you fired up, and make an action plan to start taking steps towards that thing. Maybe it’s taking a risk that you’ve been holding out on, because you’re not sure when the right time is. The right time doesn’t exist, so it’s time to start now.

Become Better Each Day

Donovan Armstrong

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