What Do Highly Successful People Have In Common? Can Engineers Learn?

Written by Gouw Tjie Liong, Ir., M.Eng, ChFC, PhD. Posted in Problems of Engineers

Engineers are the backbone of a successful nation, do we all engineers agree? Without engineers, can a country have a good infrastructures, productive factories, luxury office buildings, etc???? So, why are engineers earning much less compared to economist, doctors, lawyers, and other professional? Why do we want to go through a bidding that force us, engineers, fight against one another? Let’s first read the article about what do highly successful people have in common…

  1. They Work Hard! Yes, They Play Hard, Too! 
    They get up early, they rarely complain, they expect performance from others, but they expect extraordinary performance from themselves. Repeated, high-level success starts with recognition that hard work pays off.
  2. They Are Incredibly Curious And Eager To Learn
    They study, ask questions and read – constantly. An interesting point, however: While most of them did well in school, the difference is that they apply or take advantage of what they learn. Repeated success is not about memorizing facts, it’s about being able to take information and create, build, or apply it in new and important ways. Successful people want to learn everything about everything!
  3. They Network Extraordinarily Well
    They know lots of people, and they know lots of different kinds of people. They listen to friends, neighbors, co-workers and bartenders. They don’t have to be ‘the life of the panty,’ in fact many are quiet, even shy, but they value people and they value relationships. Successful people have a network full of people who value their friendship and return their calls.
  4. They Work On Themselves And Never Quit!
    While the ‘over-night wonders’ become arrogant and quickly disappear. Really successful people work on their personality, their leadership skills, management skills, and every other detail of life. When a relationship or business deal goes sour, they assume they can learn from it and they expect to do better next time. Successful people don’t tolerate flaws; they fix them!
  5. They Are Extraordinarily Creative
    They go around asking, ‘Why not?’ They see new combinations, new possibilities, new opportunities and challenges where others see problems or limitations. They wake up in the middle of the night yelling, ‘I’ve got it!’ They ask for advice, try things out, consult experts and amateurs, always looking for a better, faster, cheaper solution. Successful people create stuff!
  6. They Are Self-Reliant And Take Responsibility
    Incredibly successful people don’t worry about blame, and they don’t waste time complaining. They make decisions and move on. Sometimes they are criticized for taking this to extremes. Jimmy Carter carried his own briefcase and a President ‘shouldn’t’ do that!  Extremely successful people take the initiative and accept the responsibilities of success.
  7. They Are Usually Relaxed And Keep Their Sense Of Perspective
    Even in times of stress or turmoil, highly successful people keep their balance, they know the value of timing, humor, and patience. They rarely panic or make decisions on impulse. Unusually successful people breath easily, asks the right questions, and makes sound decisions, even in a crisis.
  8. Extremely Successful People Have A Gift For Living In The Present Moment
    They know that ‘Now’ is the only time they can control. They have a ‘gift’ for looking people in the eye, listening to what is being said, enjoying a meal or fine wine, music or playing with a child. They never seem rushed, and they get a lot done! They take full advantage of each day. Successful people don’t waste time, they use it!
  9. Living in the Present Gives Them A Unique Ability to ‘Look over the Horizon’ And See the Future
    They observe trends, notice changes, see shifts, and hear the nuances that others miss. A basketball player wearing Nikes is trivial, the neighbor kid wearing them is interesting, and your own teenager demanding them is an investment opportunity! Extremely successful people live in the present, with one eye on the future!
  10. Repeatedly Successful People Respond Instantly!
    If an important relationship is cooling down, they take time to renew it. When technology or a new competitor or a change in the economic situation requires an adjustment, they are the first and quickest to respond. These traits work together in combination, giving repeatedly successful people a huge advantage. Because they are insatiable learners, they can respond wisely to change. Because their personal relationships are strong, they have good advisors, and a reserve of goodwill when things go bad.

Fortunately, none of these traits are genetic! They can be learned! They are free and they are skills you can use. Therefore, you and I can be successful too. Those principle are applied to us as engineers as well!! So, let’s START NOW, start upgrading our ENGINEERING and SELLING skill!  DON’T ACCEPT CHEAP PRICE. WORK ON REASONABLE PRICE!! Don’t let them make us fighting against ourselves. Remember, they can only make a lot of money out of our skill and knowledge. So, why sell your service cheap?


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Gouw Tjie Liong, Ir., M.Eng, ChFC, PhD

Dr. Gouw is a certified Professional Geotechnical Engineer. He has been working in the field of Geotechnical Engineering since 1984. His expertise covering geotechnical investigation, soil instrumentation, deep foundation and excavation for high rise buildings, pile load testing (Static and PDA), pile integrity testing (PIT), sonic logging test, vibration monitoring, slope stability, ground anchors, pumping test, dewatering, micropiles, tunnelling and ground improvement works, e.g. dynamic compaction, vertical drain, vibro-compaction, geosynthetic and grouting. The jobs cover more than 180 projects in Indonesia, Singapore and Srilanka. He has a great passion in the teaching and disseminating of geotechnical engineering knowledge. He serves as lecturer since late 1984. Currently, he serves as Associate Professor at Podomoro University, Jakarta for undergraduate study, and for post graduate students at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Bandung, Indonesia. He also conduct regular geotechnical training for engineers. He also chaired the Indonesian Chapter of International Geosynthetics Society since 2006. He has published 80 papers and 22 technical notes.

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