Since I recently finished the SANS SEC-503 course passed my GCIA exam, I’m enjoying my first week in a while without evenings full of intense studying. There have been fits of cleaning and organizing things I let go too long, and event a move to complete some of the small home improvement tasks I’ve put on the back burner.
This weekend I was working on a project.
For me, this means rolling a cart loaded with lock boxes filled with power tools into an alley and hoping for minimal interruptions. When you have something you want, you make do with what you have to make it happen.
This is exactly what happened.
I made a plan and laid out my mobile workspace. I hefted the materials I needed into the alley. I fired up the cordless circular saw and it immediately died. I did some troubleshooting on the battery and found out it was dead. And the backup battery was lame. But I already staged my materials and with a temporary mobile workspace, you don’t roll it all up and go home until you are finished.
I experimented with other tools I had at my disposal although they were less fitted for the task than the circular saw. I dug through my lock boxes looking for other options. Finally I spotted it – the jig saw I had not used for ages and had contemplated getting rid of in my last clean-through. If my project was the turkey and the cordless circular saw was an electric carving knife, the ancient jig saw was a rusty scissors.
Let me give you an idea of some of the things I worked around to finish the project. Getting a heavy, heavy industrial cart over some PVC pipes clamped down across my pathway. Dead batteries for the set of cordless tools. Not a long enough cord for the jig saw. Broken clamp. A wheel fell off the dolly while I was moving a pile of wood. The lights in the trash room were out and it was pitch dark. You’d think I was the bad news bears of DIY tasks.
So I coaxed and I pushed and I persevered and I finished the job. It was not pretty. It was not at all as I had planned. But it was finished.
I cleaned up my mobile work-site, made a list of things I needed to repair or replace before I came back for the next job. I celebrated the tiny victory of knocking a hard task off the list of things I wanted to finish.
I learned to be resourceful from my parents.
They encouraged us to stick with it. They challenged us to find another way when we hit a wall. They did not freak out at the mess that was made when I attempted to create what I needed myself. I can be a hustler and a hard-worker, and when I take time to think I can be smart about it. The willingness to be resourceful and either persevere or pivot to another way is important to me. It is one of the things I believe can translate into professional settings and differentiates between people who move on and people who finish hard tasks.
Try hard. Learn from the goods and the bads. Try again. Get better.