5 Words that changed my life
You see, whenever we asked for help with an assignment, he would start by saying, “You only know three things.” He was referring to Ohm’s Law, Kirchhoff’s Law, and Thévenin’s Theorem. If you know those three things, you can solve any Network Analysis problem. Sure, there are other laws and theorems, and we learned techniques to solve certain types of problems more quickly, but at their core, all of these came back to derivations of these three fundamental concepts.
I can hear you asking, “Huh? What’s that got to do with me?” Unless you’re an electrical engineer, you probably don’t use Ohm’s Law, Kirchoff’s Law, or Thévenin’s theorem much in your day-to-day life. You may not have even heard of them. And I’ll confess, I don’t use them much, either. After graduation I went on to work in digital design and software development instead of network design. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve had to solve a Network Analysis problem since college.
Yet I often hear his voice reminding me, “You only know three things."
Why? Because to me this phrase means more than the three concepts he referred to. Throughout my life, when presented with a new, complex problem, I’ve had a tendency to panic, to want to shut down, to “throw in the towel” and give up. And I know I’m not alone. In fact, many of my clients have hired me to help them overcome these feelings when they start to use various types of technology.
For example, let’s say you’ve decided to offer a webinar to promote your programs. Did you initially feel a surge of panic as you thought about how much work is involved? Did you panic even more when you realized how much you still need to learn?
Or suppose you start using a piece of software, and it doesn’t behave like you expect it to. Does your “inner 5 year old” come alive, wanting to just throw your phone or computer out the window?
Or maybe you feel overwhelmed when you try to figure out what tools you need to work more effectively in your business.
You Only Know Three Things
In these moments of overwhelm, I now hear my former professor's voice saying, “You only know three things.” It reminds me that I do have the capability to do this, and that I do know how to solve new problems.
These words can help you, too. The next time you face a challenge and feel that initial surge of panic, try remembering these three steps:
1. Remember to breathe.
2. Remind yourself that you can overcome challenges
3. Break the problem down until you get it into steps that you can manage.
That’s all you need to do. Using this technique, you can solve almost any problem and overcome almost any challenge.
You only know three things.
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