Wednesday Inspiration

Dont-Wait-For-The-Perfect-Moment
It’s Wednesday of the first week where I haven’t been bombarded by training at my new job.  I’m launching into new projects and already feel fairly accomplished in just a short time of being at my first real, non-internship engineering position.  I moved into a bigger apartment, am getting a new car, and have a whole summer of stories from traveling abroad to tell (kfdevault.wordpress.com).  It would seem like things are just falling into my lap, but they definitely didn’t fall there.  Seeing this quote got me to thinking about it.
Waiting for the perfect moment is something I would normally prefer.  When I first read this quote, I was imagining me as an artist.  I can sit down to my favorite pencils and paper and just be completely incapable of drawing anything.  Then there are the times when inspiration just hits, I drop absolutely everything, and I crank out my best piece to date in less than an hour.  Just two nights ago I was watching my favorite movie (Silver Lining Playbook) when I was sparked to draw Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence).  I’m not sure how I did it, but I drew her without looking up at the screen and undoubtedly drew Jennifer’s portrait.  On just any spontaneous moment, I wouldn’t ever be able to do that.  So I feel like inspiration is not a spontaneous thing.
But inspiration doesn’t mean the “perfect moment” or the perfect reason to start something.  This quote has a little deeper of a meaning than just that.  When you know something needs to happen and you find the inner fire and drive that will fuel that thing to happen, that’s generating your own inspiration.  That’s almost like a survival instinct kicking in and forcing you to seize an opportunity that you have to make before you can seize it.  That would be me at my art stand when I was an artist at Kaman’s, forced to replicate a human with pastel in less than five minutes of seeing his or her face.  That would be me almost exactly two years ago.
I hear so many people who don’t have jobs and who are shocked when they find I came back from a summer abroad to begin work.  They find it hard to believe that I picked up a job as quickly as I did.  But I never had that perfect moment.  In fact, my resume is now so full that it only contains things within the last two years.  It took me years to build myself – personally and professionally – before I could make it to where I am now.  It took encouragement from some friends and a feeling of both urgency and need to land the interview that got me this job.  But more important than the interview and everything else was that moment two years ago as a junior when I realized I was in a terrible position to be hired in a year and decided to take a year off of schooling to find work in my field.  I think some of it was incredible luck finding the first company to give me that opportunity, but nonetheless the inspiration came from my acknowledgment of having absolutely nothing on my plate.
There was no perfect moment; I had to make it.  In two years, that moment finally bloomed to its full potential and none of it was easy for one second along the way.  Sometimes I feel like a steel rod supporting everything and I wonder – if you bend me too much and stress me out – if I may suddenly just snap from fatigue.  But I guess that’s everyone.  Even wild animals have their own daily stresses to deal with.  But they’re prey.  They don’t get to sit back and make educated decisions.  They just run with it.  You do.  You have the time.  And you’re capable of making more of it.  So don’t wait for that perfect moment; just make it.

Words of Wisdom: Perseverance

quoteQuote for today: “Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will.”  I saw this quote regarding perseverance and liked its simplicity as well as how it has applied to the things I have done against popular belief and how I continue to do those things.  It’s easy to let people tell you why you can’t succeed.  Sometimes they say this out of statistical evidence, personal opinion, or even jealousy towards your visions.  I’ve always been one who thrives from doing things I’m told can’t be done.  I find being told it can’t happen makes me absolutely determined to do it.  Maybe this is why my athlete director sat me down once and said, “Kid, I really like you.  You’ve got… spunk.  And a lot of it.”  It was that spunk that pulled me through creating a hockey club at my school so that I could finally play the sport I wanted to play for an official team.  We lost all but one game the first season, then went to the championship the next year for the state medal.  My perseverance and persistence to raise $3000 in two days and train enough players to make a team landed me with an enormous scholarship from Case Western Reserve University.

The same time of perseverance is what got me a summer traveling abroad this year, to pursue a double major that the faculty thought was impossible to achieve.  Against all odds, I have completed enough credits for a major in Environmental/Civil Engineering and French while also being an active member in a co-ed service fraternity, archery club, collegiate and extracurricular roller and ice hockey, NCAA XC, NCAA T&F, Premiere Scottish Highland Dance, and several instrument groups.  I’ve managed to travel to a couple dozen countries in the last year to compete in research and pursue my dream of traveling and understanding cultures.  I obtained three internships during the course of a year when I was told none exist.  This lead me to compete in research with AISES in Alaska, a trip which was completely free thanks to funding I managed to find last minute from my school and the ASCE group in Cleveland.  But determination doesn’t have to be so elaborate.  It’s also the reason why I eat healthy food and work out regularly .  It’s why I pushed myself to bike around the Finger Lakes in 2009, hike the Calanques of Cassis and Marseille on my own this summer, and finish a 130km journey by CityBike from Arles to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and back (the latter two are described on my blog, kfdevault.wordpress.com).

Let’s not be mistaken; this isn’t an entry about the things I’ve managed to do.  This is an entry about the things I’ve tried to do against popular belief as an inspiration of why you can do any of the simplest – or most complex – things you wish to do without hesitation.  If you want it, just get it.  I’m a firm believer in “If there’s a will, there’s a way”.  Maybe I’ve just been lucky enough for my life to follow suit as such, or maybe there really was something in my perseverance that landed me with a great job after years of struggle against the current of likelihood.  All I can say is, whether it’s a new job, new hobby, or new diet, you just have to convince yourself it’s what you want and you’d be surprised how thrilling the journey to success will actually be.

Happy Monday!