Things break ALL THE TIME. What to do about it?


One of the things I’ve becomed accustomed to after owning three Jeeps is the fact that things break. Sometimes it’s expensive and critical (like a throttle control switch) and sometimes it’s minor.

Today it was a little thing: a break-light globe.

As vehicles become more and more sophisticated and as fixing cars becomes more about software and less about hardware, it is getting harder to fix things myself. I’m just not equipped with the required gadgetry.

So today I am thankful that I could actually do something about my brake-light. All it took was a trip to the local Autobarn, a screwdriver, 5 minutes to take the light out, 3 minutes to buy the right globe and two minutes to replace the busted one and reassemble the brake-light housing. I did it all right there in the car park.

I always make a point about trying to repair things myself before I call in the experts. It makes me happy when I can do it myself and get a successful outcome.

Not always is it possible to do the repairs myself and it’s not always convenient either. However it’s worth at least having a go. It’s one of the great lessons that my father taught me at a very young age: chances are it can be done and chances are I’m more than capable of doing it even though I’ve not done it before. It just takes a bit of thought, time and patience. Don’t rush. Be deliberate. Act decisively.

As my students head towards the end of the semester, they are facing a complex task for their final piece of assessment and it is unlikely they have faced something like this before. It will require them to think carefully, work deliberately, and make a series of decisions. The secret to success will be for them to work consistently and collaboratively towards solving the challenge that they’ve been provided while relying on their skills and capabilities that they’ve been developing over the course of their degree.

I know they can do it. They just have to try.