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Institution Forums > General > Light hearted question – Do the traits of an engineer transfer across into the way you live life ? View modes: 
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Member (MIStructE)
Member (MIStructE)
Paul Hobson - 21/02/2019 09:27:44
Light hearted question – Do the traits of an engineer transfer across into the way you live life ?
Light hearted question – Do the traits of an engineer transfer across into the way you live life ?
Always wondered if it’s just me or that developing as an engineer over 30 years has made me deal with life’s ups and downs in a different way to the average person. We are trained to overcome problems and provide solutions to difficult situations by considering the whole structure and identifying areas that could cause issues during construction or through the buildings life span.
To do this effectively we are constantly have to play devil’s advocate, considering everything that could go wrong, the likelihood of it going wrong, comparing different solutions and finally committing to a solution. Sometimes the particular design or theory has not been attempted before and we have to rely on our professional judgement as to if something will work or not, thus on occasions, worrying if we have made the right decision, re-checking designs, sometimes in your head whilst trying to get to sleep after a 16 hour slog !
We also know that designs have to develop in a certain order, ideally we should be designing a building top down, (although these days other design team members insist it has to be design foundations first!) there’s an order to the structural cause and effect universe, I have noticed this certain requirement for a similar order has to happen in my day to day personal life. Also how I go about finding a solution to a problem.
It could be deciding to try something new, the skiing trip I have always wanted to try, what could go wrong, how likely is it that it could go wrong, if I break a leg how will that affect my business or getting to site.
It could be overcoming a problem with your children or spouse. What’s the root cause of the issue, solve that and the residual problems disappear. Not everyone thinks in that order, people concentrate on what happened (cause) rather than why it happened (effect).
It could be choosing a new TV. Which is the best, which is the most economical, which is the most pound for pound. Do I really need one? Your carefree mate, would just buy the one that looks ‘Cool’  with however much he has in his pocket. Do you buy the insurance, is it worth it. Your mate just says ’Nah, if it breaks ill just get a new one’.
There are many other scenarios I am sure, it just amazes me how some people are so carefree and have a worry about it later, it may never happen attitude. Makes me chuckle at times, so does my own overthinking attitude away from Engineering.
As mentioned at the start, this is just meant to be a light hearted break from what can be a very stressful work life, maybe help put things back into perspective for one or two.

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