Monday, February 27, 2012

Bicycle Balance

Me, the first time I rode a bike

“Do you remember the first time you rode a bicycle?”
My mind raced back to the sidewalk at my parents' house.  My sister and dad were going for a bike ride and I wanted to go…
“The first time you ‘got it’–bicycle balance, that is…”
I told them I could ride a two-wheeled bike.  I had watched and listened.  They told me I didn’t know how, but I knew I could do it…
“Bicycle balance is something you just ‘get’.  You are not falling anymore; you’re not afraid.  That’s when riding a bike becomes play.”
I have the best Senior Design professor.  He cares about us and our futures and he takes the time to invest in us.  Today, he told us about the importance of mastery, using the above analogy.  ”In your first five years of work,” he said, “you must continue to educate yourself.  You must work to rise above the 500 other new engineers.  Those are critical years when you distinguish yourself.  If you do that, you become invaluable, an asset.  You will not be the one getting a pink slip.”
“Is bicycle balance like a competence, and maybe some confidence?” I asked.
“No.  When you look around you will see many people falling.  You must get past the point of falling.  You need ‘bicycle balance’.  It is when you no longer work; it is when solving problems becomes play.  It is something for all careers, for all things.”
Bicycle balance.
Work becomes play.

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