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Keith Fail
Tech Leadership Skills - Senior Coach & Training Developer
Tech Leadership Skills - Senior Coach & Training Developer

Keith's posts

The Secret to Living an Amazing Career as an Engineer

Young engineers worried about getting ahead in their careers and also about how to be happy with their work sometimes come to me for career coaching.  I help them discover personal values that allow them to “get ahead” in their careers based upon whatever that means to them personally.  

Today there is much debate between advocates of “Follow your bliss”  and the old school economic wisdom of “Do what you must with fortitude.”  The former sounds good but rarely works out,  That is because it is the unconscious product of reviewing one’s career from after the fact.  

When Campbell said “Follow your bliss,” he was speaking from the end of his career where the points string together into a meaningful narrative.  Fortunately for him, it worked out great, perhaps even better than can be expected.  

Most people resign themselves to doing what they must to get by.  They have lots obligations in life to kids and family and such so they work from obligation.  They work to live rather than living to work because they can’t see how to make the situation come around for them in the way that they want.  

But there is the problem.  Do you see it?  They don’t realize that happiness is not ever out there.  I think it was the Beatles that once said, “The kingdom of heaven is within, not out there.”  Or was that Edwards Deming?   

The secret is not so much to follow your bliss.  Nor is it to do what you “ought to do” either.  In fact, generally you ought not do a thing just because you ought to.  Do you see?  

From my experience, the secret is to choose to put yourself under the authority of something greater than yourself, doing something you recognized to be meaningful.  Could be a cause, could be a company, a mission, a department.  It really doesn’t matter so long as you see how it makes a meaningful difference in the world.  

Something to which you can feel proud to belong.

Then choose in each moment to love whatever you are doing.  Choose to give your best. Choose to be of service to this meaningful cause.  Choose to love even what you don’t like.  Choose to surrender you own will, for the will of that greater cause.

This “choosing” is a lot harder than it sounds.  You will have to develop your character if you are going to keep to this program and not let it slip.  But what are you doing with your life that is worthwhile anyway?

Finally, quit choosing and consent instead.  Consent to that which is greater than you to which you belong.  Find your meaning there.  It was always there waiting for you, but you didn’t yet know how to see it.

Then when you look back from the end of your career the dots will connect into that happy story of how you lived your career from values you found meaningful.  

May we each make our lives and our work meaningful.  

If you want to explore these ideas further, drop me a line. or join me on Facebook:

Been working on the most amazing project.  Wouldn't it be cool if this patent changed the world?  I am sincerely excited. But I can't tell any body until it is filed. Soon. 

"Finally getting my mojo back baby!"  Working on reconnecting with all of those who I haven't heard from or was too much in the blue funk to connect with this past year.  Thanks for your friendships, my peeps.

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Corporations want what is best for themselves without consideration for what is best for individuals. This is their right to have such a desire, but I am an individualist humanist. If you like me think that the internet is a common resource that should remain for the benefit of individuals please consider this issue for yourself and please consider signing this petition. - Keith

Centering. Visualizing, Accepting, Releasing.


+Meri Walker I so much enjoy your mind. Thanks for challenging me. Not many people do that - proving your point about the desire for simplistic answers.
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