My life has been a series of projects. The first project spanned 17 years, and it prepared me to enter the world as an adult. My mother and father were the “project managers,” and I am grateful for their stewardship.
The next project formally equipped me as a problem-solver and ran 5.5 years. When I exited the world of higher-education from Penn State University, I had credentials (BSME & MSME) and credibility for the arena of commerce.
Project #3 entailed engineering work in process control & automation of manufacturing systems. During that project, I was mentored and groomed as a sales & business development professional. It lasted 5 years.
For Project #4, I was fascinated with this new thing called the Internet and decided to acquire skills to help me navigate it’s emergence. To accomplish that, I helped startup an information security company, one of the first of its kind, while going for additional higher-education and another credential (MBA) at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. That project ran 7 years.
For Project #5, I reluctantly entered the world of big insurance. I say reluctantly because I did not like the industry’s stereotype. However, I took the leap of faith because of a good friend who sold me on the opportunity to transform the industry. 15 years later, the project is ongoing, however we’ve made significant progress. Little did I know my prior solutions, connections and experiences with projects #3 and #4 would intersect with #5 like a Venn diagram. Looking back, I see they actually built upon each other.
As I look forward to the rest of my life, I can’t help but to see it as a sequence of more projects. With each one, I am navigating closer to something that is very meaningful. Even when the project doesn’t work, when it’s perceived as a failure, the learning experience increases my chances for the next one to work. I simply need to be patient and persist.
When done with a generous heart and cohesive team, projects are even more fulfilling. In fact, others root for you to succeed. Here’s to the progressive realization of worthy projects based on worthy ideals. A worthy ideal is the thing you never give up pursuing regardless of how many times you fall down or fail trying.
What does your life’s project portfolio look like? Are you playing it safe and conforming to what others say you should do? Are you being selfish and greedy and too risky? Neither extreme is healthy.
A healthy, balanced, generous mindset entails being driven by good habits, passion and purpose. Your “daily bread” should be comprised of doing things and serving others that have a high success rate and produce many small positive outcomes. These are the fundamental building blocks by which successful projects are accomplished. When you see your moment to take a shot at a big positive outcome that has a low chance of success, take it. Dream big and act on faith. In fact, if you can do it on your own power, then the dream is not big enough. The Dream Project is the one you need God’s help to complete.