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Living A Good Life: Engineers Balancing Their Lives And Profession

1069 words - 5 pages

The good life has long been the pursuit of mankind. However, what that pursuit means and how one achieves a good life may be different for each individual. For centuries, scholars have debated the characteristics of a good life, and to some extent, they still do today. For an engineer, living a good life, at both a personal as well as a professional level, could mean any number of different things. An engineer in the pursuit of a good life must, however, find the appropriate balance between living life independently and interdependently. Engineers must reach a level of self-mastery, and move away from living dependent upon the work of others. On the other hand, they must also understand the ...view middle of the document...

This self-awareness enables an engineer to grow as a person as well as a professional. To lead an independent lifestyle, one must also know how to properly prioritize things in life. While it is important to be proactive in developing ways to prevent difficulties from occurring in the first place, it is equally important to develop a mindset that looks at ways to solve problems, rather than one that merely dwells on them. With independence comes a sense of self-actualization, which will propel an engineer on to bigger and greater accomplishments in life.
Although engineers need to be independent and proactive individuals, they must also understand the importance of relationships and how interdependence among engineers may benefit society. The healthiest interaction between people may be found in interdependent relationships, where all parties benefit from the interaction with each other and nothing is sacrificed by the individual. Solutions or agreements that are mutually beneficial do not simply happen by accident, but require work and understanding of all parties involved, and in almost all situations, produce better long-term results. Imagine a team of engineers working together on a difficult project, where several engineers have a unique opinion as to the best course of action. Any course of action that is not mutually satisfactory to all parties involved in the decision, creates a disharmony in the team, and will almost always result in future complications and disputes. The Challenger explosion is an example of an event where a decision was made that was not mutually satisfactory to all of the engineers involved, ultimately resulting in disaster. NASA managers were made aware of a potentially dangerous design flaw in the space shuttle, but decided to disregard the warnings from the engineers. This action resulted in the tragic deaths of those aboard the shuttle, as well as millions of dollars lost in equipment and a severe loss of faith in the engineering culture within NASA. An interdependent relationship between engineers requires the individual to actively work towards listening, understanding, and empathizing with his fellow engineers. This honest interest in and attention to other team members will help them to better reciprocate these actions towards each other. If the engineering culture at NASA had promoted...

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