I am an engineer. I grew up in a family of engineers, building with Legos and electrical sets, and got my undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering. So, yes, I have been around the engineering block.
You're An Engineer...Yes, You!
When I would meet people and they'd find out that I was an engineer, the first response I'd normally get was, "Wow, you must be really smart. How do you think like that?"
This always struck me as a strange response, because the truth is that we are ALL engineers, actually.
Just as an electrical engineer creates a gadget, you create your career. You create your relationships. You create your body, by regulating the inputs in (food) and the outputs out (exercise). We only have neat technologies because an engineer somewhere sat down and engineered them. The same is true of any area of your life. If you have an area of your life that is rocking out and going great, consider that you have done a top-notch job of engineering it.
If you have an area of your life that isn't going as well, consider that it's because you aren't engineering it.
When I first realized that life WAS engineering, I had to laugh at myself. Here I was, this finely-trained engineer who could build any electrical circuit she wanted, or engineer yeast cells to glow green, but I wasn't engineering losing the 20 pounds that I knew would make me happy. I wasn't engineering a great relationship with my boss. I was single and wasn't engineering finding the love of my life.
In fact, in many areas of my life, I wasn't being the engineer at all. I was being a weather reporter, reporting on how my life was going as if I had as much control over my weight or my relationships as a weather reporter has over the weather. I said things like: