There's a lot that can be said both for and against certifications. But one of the things I'm seeing during my journey is that it really takes a lot of determination to get to the finish line. I saw this with the half dozen tests to attain my MCSE certs and now I'm seeing it again with the CCIE journey. It's not something that you can just decide to do and it's done. This is something that you really need to study to attain. And it's not something that happens overnight.
So how do you keep motivated to get to the end? For me, it's like the "defense in depth" concept - I do it in layers. That way when one layer is breached by procrastination, there are several others to take up the slack.
Layer One : General Motivation Videos
This really needs to be something that you come to on your own. It really needs to resonate with your individual personality and fit your lifestyle. The site that I found that gives me general motivation is BraveHeart Women TV. I like this site and many of its videos for a number of reasons. The videos on the site are relatively short (about 10 min each) and cover a wide variety of topics. They are female-oriented, but not exclusively female. And they focus on collaboration rather than competition - which is more my style.
Another site that has motivational videos is Makers - which is a collection of short (sound bite style) videos from numerous women pioneers. This collection was created by PBS and features women in multiple industries who have broken ground in various ways. Some are famous and others you may not have heard about - but all are awesome.
The third place I go for motivational videos is Safari Books. You need to get a Library subscription (versus a bookshelf) in order to access the videos, but I find it worthwhile. Under Personal and Professional Development, you will find a number of videos from The Success Training Network. They are really interesting and varied in their approaches.
Layer Two : Industry Specific Videos
At this point, I only have one place - INE - that I use for videos that are specific to the task at hand. The videos are great and very encouraging. The motivation of the instructors is contagious and you're learning the material at the same time.
Another place that is available, but not so easy to use is the Cisco site. Search on TechWise TV and you will find a number of TechWise TV videos to show you the latest industry concepts in short (around 5 min) videos. Jimmy Ray Purser and Robb Boyd are interesting and cover a wide range of topics. The down side is that Cisco has these videos filed by topic rather than grouped as a topic itself. But they are entertaining and informative.
Layer Three : Audio Immersion
The daily commute is one of the best times to use to program yourself for success. Instead of listening to the "news" - which is really only bad news - spend some time listening to podcasts. I found it easy to download some podcasts to my Kindle Fire and connect it to the Sync in my car. Now my ride to work is filled with Packet Pushers Podcasts instead of listening to the horrors of the world outside geekville.
Layer Four : Other people
Yes, geekateer - you need to touch base with other people. And not just other people, but those who are doing the same thing you are doing - moving forward. They don't necessarily have to be attempting the exact same certification, but they have to be doing something positive to improve their life and bring success and abundance to themselves and their environment. It's contagious. The more you surround yourself with motivated people, the more motivated you become and you will find yourself attracting the people and opportunities that you need to grow.
Those are my four layers of perpetual motivation. YMMV.
Good luck on your path and keep moving forward!
Posted by BlueWolf on June 21, 2012 01:12 AM