Learning from mistakes

A quick road map to life’s little roadblocks… random thoughts to get you “moving” through the day…

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The road of life is tough. There are too many obstacles around us every day trying to stop us in our tracks… But don’t be discouraged. This is a “normal” part of life…

Drive through these “road blocks”… Or take a detour… There is ALWAYS a way.

STOP driving blind or in the dark… open your eyes and turn on your headlights… YOU WILL find direction and the light…

ALWAYS know YOUR DIRECTION… Use a compass or map to guide you… Create YOUR own road map and FOLLOW it ALWAYS…

Always STAY on the road… Stay on YOUR path… and KEEP ON DRIVING…

And… DON’T run out of gas… Fill up your tank when it’s empty… and keep on going… and going…

Until… YOU REACH YOUR DESTINATION…

ZLS Consulting Inc. (c) 2017

There is NO such thing as “Luck”… only “HARD WORK” in the REAL world…

 

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You hear it all the time… “this person” or “that person” seems to have ALL the “luck” in the world… You know who I’m talking about…  We all probably know someone directly who ALWAYS seems to be in the “right place at the right time”… Sometimes this may truly be the case, but for THE REST OF US, who are not so lucky, there’s still some hope…

I’ve seen it first hand with my own folks… They seem to have this magical touch when it comes to playing slot machines at the casino… my parents seem to have this gift of walking up to any slot machine, putting some money in, and walking away with THE JACKPOT! How I would love to hit even just one small jackpot in my LIFETIME gambling career… wouldn’t we all…

This was my mentality growing up… that luck happens strictly by chance…. I know better now. After watching my parents in action at these casinos, I can tell you now that “luck” is only a small part of the equation. Trust me, you would be a believer after seeing how much  hard work THEY put into “beating up” these machines… My parents “play” those machines with the same intent and ferocity that a fighter has in the ring… I’ve seen my mom literally sit there on front of a machine ALL night long, without sleep (or food), simply because she was 100% convinced that it was going to “hit” any second, and she was not about to let the jackpot go to the next person in line. Funny thing.. as much as I always doubted the outcome, my mom (and dad) ALWAYS had the last laugh… and walked away with the jackpot.

Watching my parents, I realized that what they were able to accomplish in the casino was not luck at wall… Instead, it was really their WILL to win and to ultimately beat these machines that allowed them to be so successful. It was like a game to them. Yeah the reward at the end of the tunnel was always the main motivating factor, but whether they would directly admit it or not, they ENJOYED playing the game, just AS MUCH as they loved winning.

This whole idea was the “edge” that my parents had over the casino. They NEVER gave up and always just trusted their gut and instinct. Even at times when a particular machine won the round, they simply moved on to the NEXT machine until they FOUND the RIGHT one… Some of the “battles” that I’ve seen, MOST other players would have NEVER returned to the game. But no matter how painful a defeat, my parents ALWAYS came back to win.

The type of effort and “fire” that they put into the casino was at the SAME level that we would normally only expect from a professional athlete or even a Fortune 500 CEO.  In essence, my parents were actually PROFESSIONAL slot machine players, who won not because of “luck” but through shear will and determination to succeed.

I believe that it is this same will and determination that is the main driving force behind any successful person or operation.  Throughout my own experience, I have come to realize that “luck” is something that YOU can actually CREATE in YOUR own life.  By this, I mean that by PUTTING YOURSELF in the position and SETTING YOURSElF UP for these opportunities, “luck” is more likely to come your way. And all it takes is to be fully PREPARED and ready to take advantage of these opportunites… and take advantage of YOUR OWN “LUCK”, that you,YOURSELF, have helped create…

ZLS Consulting Inc. @ 2017

 

 

Forget Grades… Experience Makes the REAL Difference to Land that Job…

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Well not exactly… But it makes a HUGE difference…

As a company owner and an employer, I have seen some of the brightest and most intelligent applicants just come short because of their lack of experience they had to show for in the real world…

I’ve seen new graduate applicants with close to 4.0 GPA’s who have been searching for jobs for over a year, and just haven’t had the “luck” to land ANYTHING… As an employer in a niche market, I am constantly searching for new available talent… but in many cases, I find myself in the situation of asking these applicants the very same question – “what experience do YOU have?”…

After discussions with colleagues in various fields, I have come to the simple conclusion that most employers are simply out to find not just the best talent, but the best talent that actually HAS real experience… I found that most employers in highly technical fields would rather pay more money to hire an experienced employee than to hire someone who would require more time and energy to train… What a dilemma that becomes for the majority of new grads who approach the job force with NO experience what-so-ever…

To these applicants, I can only suggest one thing… FIND a job… ANY job – related or unrelated to your profession.  I find that limited or even minimum work experience is much better than none at all, and in the very least, putting yourself in such a position can actually help you to find some direction.

As far as those that are still in college, YOU still have the time to do something about it… Although, during my college years, I did the direct opposite, I can tell you right now, that in certain professions, especially the more technical ones, landing a job and more importantly an internship can mean the difference between having a job straight out of college or being unemployable for years right out of college…

Finding an internship while in college is probably the best advice ANY employer can give to potential graduates… What I’ve found is that most of those individuals that actually take the time do so while in college are more likely to be hired directly by those same employers who they were interning for.  And if not hired directly out of college, these candidates will, in  the very least, be more employable than those without the experience because they now have that direct work experience that employers are looking for… Good luck to all the new grads on the hunt…

ZLS Consulting Inc. (c) 2017

 

 

Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice… Understanding Through Simplified Concepts…

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One of the biggest problems I see facing most new grads as they enter into the workforce is their inability to grasp simple concepts related to their field.  This is such a common issue I’ve seen, particularly the engineering professions.  I have seen it time and time again, where these very bright and highly intelligent individuals come in for an interview, but mess it up because they simply can not show their understanding for the simplest of concepts.

But I don’t blame them… I believe the issue lies in the educational system which seems to value  theoretical based knowledge over more practical and simplified concepts.  As a new graduate, I fell under the same problem… and it took me years to finally be able to grasp all these concepts that should have actually been learned in the curriculum.

My dad played a huge role in helping me to see the importance of learning through more simplified concepts. As a new engineer, I was overwhelmed by the pressures of being under the microscope of one of the most accomplished and creative structural engineers I have ever known – my own dad…

Growing up I have seen my dad tackle the biggest and most complicated of structural problems… many of which, I have seen most structural engineers would try to avoid out of exposing their actual knowledge and understanding (or lack of) in the very field that they claim to be so-called experts. Instead, my dad took every problem head on and he found the most creative of solutions to all of them…

Training under his wing, he taught me to look at engineering through a more practical approach.  He explained concepts, not in terms of complicated theory, but in the most simplified and easy to grasp concepts… concepts in which the “average” (non-engineer)  would be able to understand, given the explanation.  He taught me the complexities of structural engineering through the simplest concepts and ideas, which allowed me to finally grasp this theory that would be meaningless without a true understanding of the simple mechanics behind it all.

Today, I do the same with my own… I train my team through the simplest concepts and ideas… ideas to which to an accomplished structural engineer may seem almost laughable at the surface, but which in no means cannot be denied…

ZLS Consulting Inc. (c) 2017

Valuable Mistakes and the Lessons Learned From Them – A Structural Engineer’s Perspective on Life…

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Growing up I never quite understood the importance of making mistakes.  I think as adolescents we tend to equate making mistakes as failure, as we are surrounded so much by life’s pressures that we get confused about the real meaning behind them. Throughout the years, I have learned to accept my mistakes and simply use them as potential learning opportunities.

As a fresh graduate from college, I, like the thousands of other new grads entering into the workforce was excited and eager to experience my new profession head on. I approached it as an opportunity to prove my understanding and “knowledge” and ultimately prove myself to the real world. What a humbling experience that it actually turned out to become…

The countless mistakes I made along the way seemed to be a major road block to successfully “proving myself to the world”. Initially, I took these perceived “failures” as major blows to my ego… And it took some time to actually digest how really unprepared and unqualified for the profession I really was.  But like most others, I continued on and tried to move past these mistakes, and hopefully learn from them…

What I eventually realized was that this situation was not only happening to me, but was a common and normal process for most people entering into ANY new and “uncharted” territory… I began to look at mistakes not as “failures” but merely as obstacles or “minor” setbacks along the journey… Ones that NEEDED to be tackled head on…

As an adult now, I have learned that mistakes are actually important and healthy steps in individual growth.  They help shape and nurture our lives and bring about actual meaning to them, as they give us new meaning and challenges to overcome. With them we become stronger.

As human beings, it’s tough to accept our mistakes, but we have to learn to be able to accept them into our lives.  Instead of being critical of our own mistakes, we need to learn from them.  We need to accept them merely as part of life’s normal challenges, and embrace them so that we can eventually overcome them… And REALLY learn from them.  When YOU do, you will NEVER make the same mistake twice, and will be more successful in everything that you do along the way…

ZLS Consulting Inc. (c) 2017