I know,  you are thinking, “Just what does attitude really have to do with computers?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  While in college, I worked part time in the English department as a computer technician. Although I was far from experienced, I knew enough to solve basic problems.  For a while, I was the only person they had and my boss relied on me.  Often, I would be called to a professor’s office and told, “My computer doesn’t work.  Fix it.”

What do you do when your computer stops working?

These guys had it easy.  All they had to do was ask for help and I would come running.  I would sit down, do some diagnostics and figure out what was going on.  Once I knew where the problem was, I would fix it and allow these educated men and women resume their work.  I became a personal hero to some, because they were absolutely helpless without me.  A handful of them were embarrassed that they really had no clue how to do anything but turn on their computers and open their word processor.  I didn’t judge them.  Hey! They all had PhD’s, had obviously accomplished something with their lives.  No one can know and do everything.

While fixing, I would talk to these men and women, get to know them. It became a quest for me to spread a little knowledge. Rather than just fix the problem and go, I made sure that the professor was right there, watching me work.  I spent a little extra time explaining what I was doing. I gave them a little crash course in troubleshooting, right there. Of course, it still amazed me.  Here I was, a twenty-something kid teaching PhD’s how to fix their computers.
Through this, I learned that no matter how much education you have, your beliefs can still keep you from accomplishing your goals.  If you believe something is too hard, too scary, too complex, you might as well just pay for someone else to do it, because you are never going to get it done.

Computers?  If you see them as the enemy, as a mystery box that can’t be controlled, as a thing only experts can use, you will always be a computer dummy.  To be a good troubleshooter, you have to believe you can do it. This is not some touchy-feely garbage. One secret to any accomplishment is to have a clear vision of what you want to do.  Picturing yourself as fully capable to handle computer problems is an important step toward actually doing it. Without this vision, this attitude, the rest of this book will be a waste of your time.

There are many books on changing yourself through affirmations, visualization and so forth.  I just want you to believe in yourself. You are a capable person.  You have gotten this far in life successfully. Any mistakes you have made are just practice.  Everything you  set your mind to, you accomplish. If you believe these things, you can persist long enough to do anything. You will stop trying and startactively doing.
Remember what Yoda once said to Luke Skywalker, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Trying implies failure. You are not a failure unless you believe you are.

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