When a person decides to train for their first marathon, they begin to realize how much they must shift their lifestyle if they want to reach certain goals. This can be adding more exercise to your routine, modifying you eating habits, and increasing your running. With my “head on” personality, I dove straight in with the no sugar, no more booze, must be up early everyday to run and must stick to a firm training schedule. I was doing so well for 9 weeks. Then one of my friends had a birthday party scheduled the night before my longest training run. I enjoyed myself with my friends until the wee hours of the morning, and had the worst run of my life. I learned from this mistake just as I have learned from the mistakes I have made in my engineering career.
For the new engineers coming into the industry, mistakes will be made. How you act on those mistakes and use them in the future is what will help you to have a successful career. Mistakes are how we learn and improve for our future projects. By following a basic guideline, you can turn failures into success for the future.
Step 1: Admit that you Made the Error: This is the most difficult part for people starting a new career. If you are unable to acknowledge that you made the mistake, then you will never be able to evaluate objectively to find what went wrong.
Step 2: Learn: Evaluate what occurred and retain this information, so that the error will not be repeated in the future.
Step 3: Do Not Fear Failure: Once you have failed you have hit the bottom. The only way to go is up! New engineers tend to beat themselves up when a mistake is made, but the best thing to do is accept responsibility and move on.
Step 4: Find Innovation: When a failure occurs, this opens the opportunity to try something new and creative to resolve the error. This also helps you to be less restrictive on taking risk.
So, what was taken away from my running mistake? I have learned that drinking large sums of alcohol after 9 weeks of sobriety is not recommend. I am no longer 20 years old, and am unable to recover after staying up all night. It’s also okay to modify my training schedule when there are events that I want to attend that could affect my run.