It takes a village…

Or, another way of putting it…it’s great to accomplish goals.

If you’ve read my earlier posts from 2019 (and I apologize, there have not been a lot), I started out this year with a few goals. Some loftier than others. A quick summary:

  • achieve CCNA R+S
  • Earn my CWAP
  • Lose weight
  • be a better engineer/learn more

I left a couple off, but those are the big four. So, let’s update that first.

In February, I pulled off the first half of the R+S, earning my CCENT. In April, I passed my CWAP. And earlier today, I passed one that I somehow left off my goals list, as I earned my CCNA-W certificate.

The weight loss is still a thing too…I’ve slowed down a little bit, but I am very near the 100 pound milestone, with enough left to lose.

The learning is the best part of this whole process. I will be open, anyone who knows me, knows that it took me more than one attempt to pass my CWAP. While it sucks to fail, it’s actually an excellent learning experience (and I suppose a motivator too. It let me know how determined I was to pass).

Failing reminded me-it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. The certificates are nice, don’t get me wrong, but this entire process is a transformative one for me. The journey is important. Learning is the main reason behind all of this, and I’d imagine it should be for everyone.

A couple things I learned from this latest round of testing:

  • Understand how you learn, and stick to it. Seems obvious enough. I like writing my notes down, even if it’s re-writing what someone else summarized in another guide. This time around, I did round one on old school notebooks, and then went back and cleaned that up and typed them into Evernote. Having notes available online is very useful, as you can study for even five minutes whenever you can glance at it.
  • Have friends and mentors…and don’t be afraid to reach out. I have several, and all were invaluable. Words of encouragement, tips, tricks…some are going on the same journey at the same time, while others have been there and can provide guidance. They’ve all helped me in their own ways (so, this is also a thanks to them. they know who they are 🙂 )
  • I’d argue (and I can hear Scott yelling at me) if you aren’t confident, or you feel you need another couple days…don’t be against moving it out. At the same time, don’t be afraid to take it and fail. Everyone fails along the way, and the failures only really suck if you don’t learn from them.
  • This one is really obvious…but read and re-read the materials. A lot of questions are almost verbatim from the study materials. There are also tons of people who have done their own guides (Check out Rasika’s for CWAP, for example…just google MRNCCIEW + CWAP), so you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel.

So, now I give myself a bit of a break, with lots of family stuff going on in May. Then I turn my attention to one more cert…one I did not expect to look at until 2020: CWSP.


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