When it comes to innate ability, we all differ in what makes us special; it would be fair to argue that none of us are special because we are each unique in our own way, and so if everyone is so immensely special in their own way there is no distinction as to what it means to be special when comparing one person to the next. Even though we all differ in countless ways, from the range of emotions and life experiences we have undergone to the genetic variances that cause for us to look a certain way, we all share a very powerful ability- that which distinguishes us from all life on this planet. We have innate curiosity about the world around us and are able to turn that sense of wonder into actionable goals, visions, and ultimately results.
While we may share this sense of curiosity, many of us are at a net loss simply because we choose not to apply it, fearing failure to be inevitable and thereby stopping ourselves from daring to question freely- shackled to our own fear of hitting a mental wall. The remedy to this is simple, yet effective.
In order to appreciate our sense of curiosity and ultimately master it in order to make meaningful improvements in our lives and the lives of those we share the world with, it would be in our best interest to reflect. What makes you ask questions? Were you always able to think of answers, or was there something in you that made you wonder about why things are the way they are? What did you do once you had this initial sense of wonder? In my experience, there are two paths to go down once we begin to ask questions:
1.) Seeking answers and toughing it out until we get there
2.) Brushing it off and returning to the bliss that is ignorance until something forces us to choose option 1.
This simplification serves to underscore the main message I want to share with you through this post: If you are genuinely curious about something the pursuit of answers becomes more of a need than a want, and the search grows that much easier.
Curiosity can be a powerful thing when fueled by genuine interest, otherwise it becomes a task to be completed for some other reason, be it an assignment, an exam, or simply because we are told that we need to ask questions about a specific topic to achieve results that fall in line with what we envision to be our own goal(s).
The example of medicine comes to my mind. Having a genuine interest in learning about the biological, social, and spiritual components of human beings enables me to move forward with my pre-medical courses without succumbing to disinterest; I know that through studying introductory chemistry I will eventually be equipped to understand biochemistry and the subsequent topics essential to a sound understanding of the human body and how to treat medical conditions.
Even though my most genuine of interests lay in medical school topics, I continue to approach each required course with optimism and a genuine interest in learning. This makes the process easier both on the end of racking up points and in long-term retention of material. We are much more likely to remember things that we give our undivided attention to, and focusing our attention on a specific topic becomes easier if said topic is centered around our genuine interest(s).
It may very well be the case that you are at an impasse yourself. You find yourself having a strong interest and genuine curiosity about something, but at the same time struggle to associate that with a practical path to a stable life. I have gone into detail in describing the process by which we can define a vision for ourselves in another post, if you’d like to give that a read it’s linked below.
When it comes to choosing between practicality and what sparks a genuine sense of curiosity within yourself, there really are a ton of ways you can make things work.
If you look at people known across the world for their infamously successful businesses, they did just that. Take Elon Musk. His sense of wonder lay in advancements in space exploration, and so after generating funds through e-commerce in the form of PayPal, he went and pursued his interests and founded SpaceX. There are countless real-life examples of people who didn’t let the world tell them that their sense of wonder was too dream-like. They made their dreams into a reality all through the power of their innate curiosity.
If you’re reading this, then you are privileged with access to internet and even more so privileged by your ability to read and comprehend. These are things that many people across the world wish they could have. Imagine for a moment that you could not read nor write, you have no access to the internet, and yet you have questions you want answered and dreams you wish to make a reality. Now picture meeting yourself as you are now, blessed with these privileges. Would you tell yourself to stop asking questions? Would you allow yourself to give up? If you answered no then you and I are on the same page.
We realize our privilege and want to make something of ourselves because we are aware of all that we have; it would be wasteful for us not to dream, and it would be unforgivable if we stopped seeking answers to the questions that inspire within us a sense of wonder. These questions are invitations to higher awareness of the world around us- awareness which will enable us to make our dreams a reality and be of benefit to the world around us through our existence.
Do not stop seeking answers to the questions you have, lest you look back upon your life confused at what could have been were you to have dared to dream.
Does anyone have advice out there on the correct pathway to becoming a software engineer?
Thanks for reaching out, Ronald!
Our program explorer might be a good place to start exploring majors that teach the skills needed to become a software engineer. You might begin by looking at Computer Engineering and Computer Science, as well as related majors. For students who major in Computer Science, our Grainger College of Engineering also offers a Software Engineering Certificate that students can receive.
We hope this helps! If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to email us or call us at 217-333-0302.