How do you stay motivated?

StonedHitmanStonedHitman Member Posts: 120
Im enjoying my studies for my ccent/ccna but i can't help stop thinking about the fact that, no matter how hard i study there's always someone out there who studies harder than me, knows more than me, and will probably get a better job than me. Like, on the news some time ago there was a story on some 14 year old who hacks some big company or whatever.....it's hard to stay motivated when i hear about things like that because how can someone so young possibly know how to do things like that....shouldn't 14 year olds be outside playing or something? I'm not trying to be a hacker(tho i do want to eventually get into network security).

Do you guys ever think about it? that there are probably people much younger than you who know alot more than you do.
Maybe idk what im talking about, it's just something that's been on my mind.
Currently reading Network Warrior
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Comments

  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    Find solace in Socratic Ignorance--

    Great Philosophers: Socrates II

    I further dive into this thinking and reflect; as I learn more, I realize how much I don't know. This gets me that much more motivated (and excited!) to better myself, especially in the professional realm.

    There's no point in comparing yourself to others because a million factors stand in between. The only thing to do is to focus on yourself, diminish negativity, and go full-steam ahead.
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    I look at people with a higher level of knowledge as resources to learn more from, I love rubbing shoulders with network Einstein's.
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It is a fact that more and more complex attacks are being done by younger people and with simpler tools. I learned how to DDoS at age 15, and learned how to bind trojan's to JPEG's. I also learned how to brute force accounts, and how to scan for proxies in order to use bot's.

    Fact is, with the freedom and high availability of information out on the market and internet, its not hard to learn all this stuff. I have trouble learning the 'engineering' side of the house, deploying servers, building infrastructure and securing networks.

    You shouldn't be discouraged, all that stuff I learned, was easy, compared to this stuff.

    The one thing that keeps me motivated, honestly, is my bank account, or talking to IT's who make $80 - $100K. I want to make that much, I want to be financially secure, not only that, I want to do stuff that I enjoy.

    There will always be smarter people out there, or smarter people then you or I, but instead of feeling down, it makes me try harder. There are those 'smart' people on this forum, I always read their threads, pick their brains when I can, and learn. IT is a learning industry, as many have said, if you earn your MCSE, and stop going becuase you think you're done, you're wrong. You need to constanty be learning, and improving yourself.

    It's not that the 14 year olds are smarter then you, its simply that the tools to wreck havoc have become easily available and complex attacks can be done from a laptop tethering off a phone connection. Don't feel discouraged at all.
    Kindly doing the needful
  • docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
    At the end of the day, you have to push yourself to your own limits. Everyone has different talents, resources, external support systems, and so on. Your situation is going to be unique and you have to make the best out of the situation that's handed to you. It's about how well you can maximize what you have. We all naturally compare ourselves to others, but don't get too caught up in it.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropeMember Posts: 1,010 ■■■□□□□□□□
    this is turning into a self help thread..I like it :)
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    I don't tend to look at people who I consider better than me or whatever except in terms of inspiration and something to aspire to.

    What keeps me motivated? Lessons learned through bad experiences and bad luck. I went through my early and mid 20s without any motivation, working crappy banking jobs, and generally not doing anything to improve myself. In 2007, some bad stuff happened and the reset button was hit on my life. I'll spare you the details but I basically ended up without a job, significant other, money, a car, and a place to live all within a week. When I finally climbed out of that hole I found myself in, I started studying for certs, going to school, and doing everything I could to move up because I never wanted to be in a position like that again or going days without eating.

    I definitely started in IT at a later age than most and there was a lot that could have discouraged me but honestly, I am glad it didn't. I went from making maybe $23K on a good year to making about $120K last year. I'm sure the industry will change, I'll have to learn new things and I'll meet people who are better than me all the time but it just gives me something to work hard for and aspire to :)
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Member Posts: 366
    I don't tend to look at people who I consider better than me or whatever except in terms of inspiration and something to aspire to.

    What keeps me motivated? Lessons learned through bad experiences and bad luck. I went through my early and mid 20s without any motivation, working crappy banking jobs, and generally not doing anything to improve myself. In 2007, some bad stuff happened and the reset button was hit on my life. I'll spare you the details but I basically ended up without a job, significant other, money, a car, and a place to live all within a week. When I finally climbed out of that hole I found myself in, I started studying for certs, going to school, and doing everything I could to move up because I never wanted to be in a position like that again or going days without eating.

    I definitely started in IT at a later age than most and there was a lot that could have discouraged me but honestly, I am glad it didn't. I went from making maybe $23K on a good year to making about $120K last year. I'm sure the industry will change, I'll have to learn new things and I'll meet people who are better than me all the time but it just gives me something to work hard for and aspire to :)

    *High Fives Iris*

    You and I have a similar path, my lady. Congrats on all your accomplishments.
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    No need to get discouraged. I've had alot of people rag on my success/accomplishments because they seriously think that the more I succeed, there's less of the proverbial pie for them. Age is irrelevant; some people know they enjoy this stuff at a young age. Just in the IT job subforum a 24 y/o network guy got a +$100k gig with Microsoft. All I can think is "WOW, I need to clear my schedule and get a rack going". Same with Iris above^, who I recall from her pre CISSP days (lol).
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,917 Mod
    OP, I think you are being naive thinking this way. Of course there's always someone out there that knows more than you. That is just how it is. What everyone has said here is great advice. Be the best you can be. Have a plan and execute it. Use others as inspiration. This can end up as an unhealthy obsession that will eat you alive. Life is short, enjoy it!
  • ally_ukally_uk Member Posts: 1,145 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Stop comparing yourself to others ^ above poster has hit the nail on the head this isn't a productive way of thinking and the same rule can be applied to anything in life.

    I am not the most qualified person and not the sharpest tool in the box and I do not take home bags full of money ;) There are people out there younger, smarter more qualified and making my wage look abysmal I have witnessed god like beings sit there and write pages of machine code, God like Beings who know everything there is to know about Linux administration and can recite man pages I kid you not.

    You have to put things into perspective set yourself goals and focus on them sure there are gurus out there who probably can complete a MCSE or Redhat exam in days / weeks without minimal study. maybe they are dedicated more or are just programmed differently? and of course you just naturally have your genius types who start at a young age and by the time they are in there early 20s have a Certs Library longer than a highway.

    I know alot of people who are gifted when it comes to computing give them any technology and they can show you the in's and out's within seconds however there social skills are not the greatest something which myself is a strong quality.

    Look at the positives dude your going for a CCNA in comparison I know nothing about Cisco technologies and have been in the game for a couple of years now :)

    Look at how far you already have come if I apply this rule to myself then it's a nobrainer you are talking to somebody who didn't know what Linux was a few years ago I was instructed by a sysadmin at work to build a firewall out of some pentium 2 ancient hardware using Debian.

    My intial response was Ok firewall what version of Windows do you need on there?

    he looked at me puzzled and said Debian " Debian? Linux? Wtf are these technologies :)"

    That was my response after all I grew up with Windows since the 3.1 days

    I went from not knowing what Linux is to being after to Setup configure services, Handle the command line pretty comfortably / write shell scripts sure there were ups and downs and I felt disheartened at first that I didn't know the technology and that I was working under the guidance of a Linux / Unix vet / god

    But I saw this as a plus at every opportunity I showed more interest in the technology and began to open up and talk more about my desire to learn more and was shown gradually more advanced features. Yeah sure there must of been moments where this might of been considered a chore for the guy after all he had been using the technology for about 15+ years.

    Morale of the story don't be disheartened set yourself small goals and stay focused :) never compare yourself to others. :)
    Microsoft's strategy to conquer the I.T industry

    " Embrace, evolve, extinguish "
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Only one person can be the absolute best. I don't know who that person is or how one would pick that person.

    Don't worry about others being smarter. What is important is that you make sure you are capable. If you focus on that simple idea then opportunities will eventually come up. When they do make sure you take advantage of them.

    Good Luck!
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I look at it this way, I am crap at English, I sure you all can see it in my posts but honestly I have bits of paper from tests I did in my mid 20's that tell me that the average 10 year old can spell and read better than me. I went though school and my first few jobs with people telling me how bad I was, and how if only i "tried" harder I could may be do OK. Despite getting near perfect scores in maths and Science at school people only ever seems to make comments about my English skills.

    It was something that always interested me (like science does as well), and as computer became common place issues with English were no longer such a hindered. I found a field that I seemed find was common sense, its like a big logical puzzle that if you learn all the little pieces you can build up huge complex picture. I just love how such ordered and controlled systems can emerge from what when you start out in IT seems complete chaos.

    Later on in life I found out that actually my brain while incorrectly wired when it comes to languages is perfectly wired for logic and I relied that as easy as other people find language, I find looking at the big picture and breaking it down in to logical steps. I am not the most intelligent IT guy out there by a long long shot, but its what I enjoy and what I half decent at, after being told how rubbish I was for so long its nice to be in a position where people look up to me and are asking me for help. I have delt with people who hold multiply CCIE's and designed networks costing 10's or 100's of millions of pounds that stretch across the globe. When some one like that, (the kind of person you dream of being when you start out studying), come to do some consultancy and makes positive comments about how you manage your network, or when reviewing a design plan can't find any thing to add or improve. Or the time a new building on site gets opened and the network geek from IT gets invited along to the opening to take part in the opening ceremony. There are lots of times in my career I am proud of, not because of getting to shake hands with important people but because they are achievements that I can look back on as the building blocks of my career. From logging on to my first switch to what I do now, looking back its a completely different ball game. But if I hadn't stuck with study and put the hours in, then I would still be working on the help-desk fed up and stressed out.

    I don't care about being the best, or if people tell me I am or not. I just want at the end of my career not to look back regretting it, or feeling I never achieved anything. And maybe by the time I do retire, even if no one else know it, I will know that there are companies out there that I have had a hand in there success. Some thing that will never happen unless I make it.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Jon_Cisco wrote: »
    Only one person can be the absolute best. I don't know who that person is or how one would pick that person.

    Don't worry about others being smarter. What is important is that you make sure you are capable. If you focus on that simple idea then opportunities will eventually come up. When they do make sure you take advantage of them.

    Good Luck!

    No one can be the best at every thing, but any one can be the best at something. Its finding your something that is the Journey of life.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • StonedHitmanStonedHitman Member Posts: 120
    Thanks for the replies guys, I guess i just had a moment of weakness there. But I assure you all i wont be giving up, within the next few months you should be seeing 2 shiny certs under my name :P
    Currently reading Network Warrior
  • roch_gregroch_greg Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    That's the spirit man, hang in there. Anything worth having requires hard work and effort to obtain it. As my mom says "never-mind about those other people and focus on yourself" :)
    Goals for 2014: Cisco ICND1[X], Cisco ICND2/CCNA R&S[X], Junos, Associate (JNCIA-Junos)[ ]
    Ain't Nothing Illegal til You Get Caught --> Tickle from Moonshiners TV Show.
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The only person I care about being better than, is the person I was yesterday.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Member Posts: 604 ■■■□□□□□□□
    1. Worked in finance, hated the work/people/environment. Wanted to move to IT. Nobody would take on someone with no experience/certs.
    2. Finally took the leap, was unemployed and used a government training agency to get A+ & N+.
    3. Due to legacy debt I had, one week during the retraining I lost my wallet which had my loan payment for that month. I'd no other money. It felt like the walls were falling around me. Serious tears that day. A woman who found the wallet noticed my bank cards and it was returned. I gave her 50 euro and swore I'd never let myself get in this situation again.
    4. Did work placement as part of my retraining in what I thought was a reputable repair shop, it was not. Got berated by owner, said I'd never make it in the IT industry.
    5. Self employment for 3 years as contractor/MSP thought me a number of lessons and after moving to employment last year, I knew IT was for me.
    6. Now 12 months of hard work & 5 (entry level) certs later, I'm starting a job that I'm genuinely looking foward to. It was equally about the work, company and direct manager that sold me on it.
    7. I WILL NEVER STOP LEARNING!
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    When I see somebody young like that it just inspires me to learn more. It definitely humbles me if I ever got the idea that I was a genius or something but it inspires me. I know there's always gonna be someone out there smarter than me but I also know that I'm a pretty smart guy and am doing pretty well for someone my age so if I was never that child genius then at least I can make sure that my son is one day.icon_thumright.gif
    Being a sys admin sucks but I love it
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Ahhh motivation. What has driven me all the way up until this point is the want to be better and show what I am capable of. When I started my IT career (10 years ago shortly!), I knew I would be capable of very big things. I mean, I started computing at age 4. I was very lucky to get that kind of start, my whole life has basically been about computers. Since day 1, I've always had the desire to learn and show people what I could do. It got me into trouble more than a few times, but also I've done very well out of it.

    Motivation can be very difficult, though what I like to do is make the best of a bad situation. I became unhappy very early on as the employer I was with (government) basically meant that there would be no way that I could progress up the ladder without people moving out of jobs first. I mean, I could be waiting a long time. I managed to stick it out 18 months there (I did 4 jobs throughout that) and had to use my unhappiness to fuel my way out. I started certifications way back in December 2004 and I think I've probably done over 25 exams at this point, and I'm currently working towards CCIE.

    Admittedly life can throw some bad stuff at you. I'm currently going through some really bad times at the moment outside of work and studying, and that is a constant worry and has been for the past 12 months. It's a situation I won't go into but it is one where I am utterly powerless to change things, and there are some very serious consequences that may come out of it.

    It's at times like this I feel like giving up, but then I remember the times where I used my studying to get out of a hole, and I then try my best to channel my bad feelings into my learning. It's not always possible, but it helps. If I got my CCIE this year, it would mean very big things for my career, and this would help solve all the other issues that I've got going on at the moment.

    I suppose all I can do at the moment is keep on trucking. Passing CCIE opens up all the doors for me especially as I don't believe there are many of us in the area I live in - should make any job easier to get, not to mention the financial gains that should present themselves. Here's to it.
  • DanfrombhamDanfrombham Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    How to stay motivated? I'd suggest you put on the most raggedy change of clothes you have. Take about $10 with you. Get a friend to drop you off downtown or something. Then live for about two days like a homeless person would. Exposed to the elements. Little to no food. No shelter unless you can manage to get a bed for the night at a shelter. Experience poverty for a while. Poverty and hunger are terrible feelings to have but they are also great motivators.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,259 Admin
    Sign up to take your cert exam in 2-3 weeks and pay for it out of your own pocket. That keeps me motivated to study and not to fail. icon_bounce.gificon_study.gificon_thumright.gif
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    JDMurray wrote: »
    Sign up to take your cert exam in 2-3 weeks and pay for it out of your own pocket. That keeps me motivated to study and not to fail. icon_bounce.gificon_study.gificon_thumright.gif

    Yep I agree with the "own pocket" bit, I keep my work and certifications separate. yes I often do exams based on my current work projects. But I like the fact that all my certifications have been paid for by me. So many people moan about work not sending them on training or funding there study and I don't have much time for that as an excuse.

    Putting your own cash on the table is a great way to motivate you to pass :)
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    I get inspired by taking on specific projects that push my limits, it's hard to explain but when something comes across and I am being pegged for the project. I look over the SOW and if I get a chill and that nervous feeling, that's the project I want.

    It's crazy but to me, that is how you not only learn but move forward because after all the challenges encountered during the project and frustrations and panicking are over and the project is complete, you look back at it and smile and you walk away with a better skill set and experience.

    I remember one of my first projects was to travel to several countries to implement MPLS/ASA. Kickoff meeting wit the client and they state they have everything configured, the equipment just needs to be plugged in. I'm thinking, ok cool but there is no way it will turn out that way (experience told me to know better). Sure enough, get on site and I am not only staring at a router with uncompleted configs I end up subnetting and cutting the network up on the fly and configuring.

    I loved it, got to troubleshoot some BGP things and see how GRE tunnels can be affected by missing prefixes etc. Was wild at the time but as I moved onto the next site, I knew the network and it went smoother each time. When it came time to do the last site, I sat at the terminal gate at the airport writing configs for the router and ASA. Got to the site, pasted in..verify..plug up..verify connectivity..game over. Finished early.

    The moral of the story, it upped my R/S skills and and you can only be grateful for these experiences because I promise you they add up. That is the difference between you and an "expert", they have experienced so much more than you and we can get there one day as well, push for it..fight for it. It's there for the taking and I plan on taking my slice of the pie, right now i'm feeding on crumbs but slowly getting a bigger bite.
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • tayro12tayro12 Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I had a similar question to the TE team when I was studying for my CCNA and hope it also motivates everyone that reads it.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/76010-what-keeps-you-motivated-getting-your-certification-i-e-ccna.html
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I hit walls all the time. Very easy to slip into a mode where you do your job and then you go home. Very hard to sit and work on a computer all day, talking to people about how something should work, and then go home to continue to do it. But that's the difference between the rock stars and the normal people. If you love what you do you never work a day in your life.

    Need the Stoic mind frame i.e. worry only about the things you can change. In theory there will always be someone who is better at something then you are. When I would train new people at the MSP they'd often say "I'll never be as good as you" or "I just don't think that way". I'd always say I didn't wake up one day and know what I knew now. Also, I didn't stroll in and have the internal knowledge of over 100 customers. Time is your friend and the longer you're at it the better you get. One month later they were doing what I was doing and somethings they were better at.

    Keep working and you'll get there. Also, in regards to the 14 year old, if he didn't design his own tools or discover the vulnerability used to exploit the company then he/she didn't do anything you couldn't do.
    WIP:
    PHP
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    Intro to Discrete Math
    Programming Languages
    Work stuff
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    For me it's really easy. Focus on things I enjoy and tune out things I don't enjoy. This may not always align with my career, but I have found with this strategy I complete more books, retain more information and usually retain momentum to go into another book of interest. If I study material that I feel I have to study but don't enjoy that never goes well. For instance for me I do a lot of project management, business analysis, testing, report writing etc. I find the methodology and framework piece much more enjoyable than the programming aspect of my position. Forcing myself through SQL and VBA is great while I am work but once I get home there is no need for it. However working on my presentation skills and my proposal writing has always been of great interest to me. So I natural complete those books/study sessions whereas if I get into chapter 5 of an SQL book out of 20 chapters I did really good!
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Happiness and my family.

    My goal is to hit that place where I am happy and can ride it out a while and just be promoted internally and not go home dreading my work every day. So I train harder to hopefully one day land that job be it on my own or with help of a good recruiter. That way I come home and be with my family, know my life has some stability and I can give them the best I can give.

    I know I will never be the best, but doesn't mean I cant be good. I learn as I do and I enjoy when I get to do it. So I want to keep pushing until I can just do it day in and day out and get everything I can and learn off the others that do know more than me. I figure the money will come with it as I get better at it (not like I am not getting paid decent now)
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I forgot the other way I do it, remembered to day. Looked down at my phone thinking I need a new one. then remembered I promised myself a new one when I passed my next exam... So of to the shop I will be going :)

    But I always put a price on new toys I want. yer the money has been in the back for ages, but just feels nicer knowing that its not just a new toy. And if I do it I am quite strict, if I don't archive my goal then I don't get the toy.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • no!all!no!all! Member Posts: 245 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I got into IT less than 3 years ago and just finished the Comptia triage. I'm also working towards my CCENT/CCNA. Everyone has their own pace is what I've realized. Don't be discouraged and just keep on keepin' on icon_thumright.gif
    A+, N+, S+, CCNA:RS, CCNA:Sec

    "In high society TCP is more welcome than UDP. At least it knows a proper handshake" - Ben Franklin

    2019 Goals: CCNP:RS & relocate to St. Pete, FL!
  • Steve202Steve202 Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I've been in IT for 6 and half years. 6 of those was at one company where I got comfortable, too comfortable in fact. Around 6 months ago I wanted a challenge and learn something new but I knew I had to motivate myself to find it. I put a CV together, put it online and within a couple of hours, had someone asking me to come in for an interview. Interview went well and I got the job (although I had gaps in my skill set which I would have to fill). 4 months into the new job and I'm still learning.

    How am I learning something new everyday? By taking baby steps. Pick a subject and learn as much as possible. At the moment I'm going through a couple of Exchange 2010 videos, learning a little bit each day.

    And the people that know more than you? Ask them questions, if they're doing something you're interested in, ask if you can watch them. Use them to better yourself. :)
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