Prepineer Digest 007
From resolutions to doubt, counting moles and an FE Exam success
With a new year comes new opportunity and a fresh slate of lofty goals that we are ready to get after.
But it’s also a time to slow down and reflect on what came from a year past – both in challenge as well as growth.
I know we were all punched in the face this past year, but within the chaos, there was still opportunity. I certainly hope that despite all the madness, that you were able to come out of it mostly intact and excited for what this new year could bring.
Whether or not you look back and see growth in this past year, the opportunity hasn’t ceased. Now is the time to accept what has happened, learn from it and use it to your advantage moving forward.
At Prepineer, our hope is to give you inspiration and resources you need to act on this opportunity – now.
So with that, enjoy this week’s engineering resources, I hope they help you in some way take that next step in your journey! 🙂
Justin Dickmeyer, PE
What’s featured in this weeks digest
In this Prepineer digest, we are diving deep in to some of the more important components of exam prep, inching you forward, one brick at a time, towards FE Exam success – here is the rundown:
- We start off discussing resolutions, why it is we can’t seem to hit them and how we are going to change that moving in to the new year: The real reason you don’t following through on your resolutions
- Need some reps in practice, we’ve got you covered, walking you through a practice problem in Chemistry: How do you find the number of moles of a substance?
- Do you doubt? A past student drops in to give you first hand advice from his experience: I am having heavy doubts that I can actually prepare enough to pass the FE Exam, is this normal?
- Being 11 years out of college, is it even possible? We dive in to the story of one-time architect and now Professional Engineer, Olivier Brouard: The inspirational journey of Olivier Brouard, PE
Click where you’d like to start, or check out each resource individually, whichever way you go, enjoy!
The real reason you don’t follow through on your resolutions
With a new year comes a new set of lofty aspirations reinforced by a reinvigorated spirit to get after an opportunity that comes from the chaos of a year past.
Right now, we are on fire – inspired by each waking day, propelled by a vigor we likely haven’t felt in a while.
We are clear in what we want to do.
We are confident in the steps we need to take, but…
As it is with most new years resolutions, the action will either never exist or quickly fade.
Why is this?
It’s no doubt that we want to make progress in our career, in our lives…but we find ourselves stuck in a perpetual state of doing absolutely nothing about it.
Listen, I am preaching to myself as much as I am anyone else, I think it’s important to slow down and analyze why it is we are constantly looking for progress that seems to be ever-fleeting.
When I reflect on my own experiences with this, I see many components that have led to me being in the same exact position 365 days later.
In 2020, Covid hit us all straight in the face, so we can chalk that one up in the “didn’t see that coming” category.
But what about all the other years.
Work responsibilities, starting a family, socializing, amongst other things I prioritized for whatever reason above the one thing I wanted to do.
There are many components to this inaction, but let’s hit on one that seems to be the primary instigator for them all.
We are horrible at managing our own energy.
That’s just real talk.
When I am talking with new students coming in to Prepineer, we dive deep in to their past experiences with the FE Exam.
Most all are quick to call out their inability to properly prepare, but they aren’t so much inclined to being able to pinpoint the underlying foundation of those unproductive efforts.
People love to fluff Will Power as if it in itself is the reason for not seeing through their deepest aspirations – but it’s not.
Yes, Will Power is a thing, in the free-will sense, but it’s really the level of energy we have to go to battle when we are pushing up against that threshold of “go or no go”.
Let’s look at it this way, we are limited in the amount of energy we can output each and every day.
Every waking second there are things we can say yes to and things we can say no to.
Just as it is with the gas in the tank of our car, every mile we go, every decision we make, we etch away at the reserves we have.
This is the concept of decision fatigue.
As an individual preparing for the FE Exam, or pursuing goals in any area of life, we must be proactive in the way we are living each day, recognizing and turning away from the more obvious gas-consuming activities while making intentional efforts in replenishing our energy tank with net positive recovery including how we are taking care of ourselves both physically (including nutrition) and mentally (including sleep).
For most, considerations of why they are struggling to make progress in life fail to extend outside the basic stance of Will Power, leading down the road of self-doubt and a distorted picture of what you are actually capable of achieving.
This is where the cycle of letting go of your dreams and aspirations begins.
Rarely does society talk openly about the importance of mental health when it comes to achieving your goals, and because of this, we fail to recognize the patterns of daily life that are leading to us slowly letting go.
We enter a world of conflicting ideas where we are passionate in one sense while questioning our ability to stay enthusiastic in the midst of the pursuit.
So with this, let’s get meta and call out the flurry of head spaces and how they effect our overall progress towards our life goals.
Biologically, your thoughts, moods, daily interactions and stress responses are the primary consumers of your tank. You are the vehicle in your own life and having a blind spot as to what is consuming your level of reserves to low before you even sit down to start putting in work for the FE Exam or getting out for workout, or whatever, is the real problem.
Oscar Wilde put it like this:
Most just let life cruise by without a thought of why they are doing this or doing that…there is often no accountability to ourselves in the decisions we are making and we let others drive our agenda.
And this, my friends, is what needs to change – today.
Uncovering and accepting the parallels between the effects of physical and mental stressors on your ability to execute can provide a new, yet familiar lens to begin exploring your overall progress in life.
Realizing how adept you are at monitoring where you are spending your energy reserves, on what decisions, can give you the confidence needed to redirect your efforts to uncover the impact that a lack of energy has had on you achieving your goals in the past.
So today we take our first step to liberating ourselves to achieving more of what is important to us.
For the next seven days, be intentional in auditing what decisions you are making.
Identify where you are hitting the threshold of “go or no go”, the decision points, and where you are compromising your own desires in lieu at another persons request, agenda.
These decision points are subtle, but cumulative in nature, and if we are able to get to a point where we start limiting how many inconsequential decisions we make, we can then begin pivoting our decision-making for times when we feel most alert.
And that is where real progress is made.
This is your year!
How do you find the number of moles of a substance?
When hearing the word MOLE makes you think first of a little rascal that digs holes in the backyard, welp, there is some work we need to do in getting prepared for the FE Exam.
In this video, we dive in to a FE Exam Practice Problem, this time in the subject of CHEMISTRY, specifically revolving around determining the NUMBER OF MOLES of a substance in a given sample.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am doubting that I can even pass the FE Exam, is this normal?
One thing is for certain…the emotions are thick when it comes to preparing for any exam post-academia.
In fact, just getting started can seem like a journey in and of itself. From specifications to figuring out how you are going to fit prep in to your already busy schedule, there is no shortage of hoops one must jump through just to get that first step in.
With a flurry of moving parts at the onset, often times doubt will pop up crippling any chance of progress – the question is, is this normal?
Let’s dive in to it from a student’s perspective…
Olivier Brouard, PE
I wanted to close this Prepineer Digest with a student success spotlight on Olivier Brouard.
A one-time architect turned Professional Engineer, Olivier definitely went through the ringer when it came to passing the FE Exam, heck, even finding out about the exam.
We love success stories, and this one will show you just how much is possible if you can just believe that it’s possible from the start.
Until we meet again my friend, may God bless you and your family! 🙂