Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You're In The Tunnel.

I tend to take my Cisco certification exams first thing in the morning, since I'm a morning person. 

Even if you're not, you've probably taken an early exam.  The scene in the testing center is always the same.

If you've every looked around a testing center waiting room when there are 20 or so people waiting to go in, you'll see something interesting.

At least five people who are about to go in are prepared to fail.   You can see it in their body language.  They're prepared to lose.

When you're minutes away from your exam, you must be prepared to win.

Have you ever seen an American football team in the tunnel right before they take the field?

I've been in that tunnel at most levels of football - high school, college, and  at NFL games as a spectator.  The higher the level of play, the higher the level of concentration on the part of the players and coaches is stunning.

They're totally focused on the job ahead of them, and no matter what happens..

... they know they are there to win.

It might not be easy.  Heck, it probably won't be. 

No matter how well prepared they are, it's a safe bet that they'll be surprised at something the other team does during the game.

Same goes for us.  No matter how well prepared you are for an exam, the odds are solid that we'll be surprised at something we're asked during the test.

That football team might give up a big play or two, just as we'll likely whiff on a question during the exam.

Mentally, none of that matters to the football team - they're prepared to overcome any obstacles and win.

And so are you.

After all, the football team doesn't show up at the stadium "just to see what the other team's going to do".

And you didn't show up "just to see what the exam is like".

You're there to win.

When you're in the waiting room at the testing center...

... that's your tunnel.

(Note: Don't slap the test proctor on the side of her helmet. Not good.)

Have the attitude that you've already earned the certification...

... and you're just there to make it official.

Chris Bryant
CCIE #12933
"The Computer Certification Bulldog"

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