Engineers have a reputation for having their heads in the clouds with their feet pointed in the wrong direction from there! This couldn’t be further from the truth – although the incredible design failures we continue to post on our Pinterest site would say otherwise
Some engineers even complain that non-engineers can’t appreciate the creativity and budget consciousness involved in making a fully functional prototype – or even a long term fix – out of the limited range of materials currently available – even if the exact parts required are little more than a short walk to the nearest store from your house away.
It’s not that your engineer is not practical! He just hates to spend money on things that don’t bring joy to his true inner child!
What does the inner child of an engineer want? You’ll find most of the things on his list by checking out the Saturday morning cartoon shows from when he was a child.
We can hear the screams from here! “What?”, you say. “Surely he’s grown up past that!”
Fortunately, we can indeed report that your engineer has grown up past childhood – at least in some ways!
He’s still, at best, a 15 year old emotionally, with the less than fully developed perspective on the world of most soon-to-be-adults – but without the promise of a 15 year old that he might actually make it to fully functional adulthood – especially without drastic measures on your part to guide him!
Here’s you tip. Projects and chores come in 2 types – those that appeal to his inner child, and all the rest. If whatever occupies his current focus appeals to his inner child, your engineer will move heaven and earth to create a masterpiece – like a fully functional 20 foot high shopping cart.
If there is no inner child connection, then, left on his own in the absence of other factors (i.e. making money, pleasing you or making the neighbors jealous), your engineer has only one real concern – “what is the easiest way for me to get this done?” Here, his creativity knows no limits!
How can you use this new knowledge?
Using your huskiest voice (and you know why. You’ve used that voice before, but I can’t say why – this is a family web site after all!) ask him how he would feel about doing whatever it is that you would like him to do. If his face doesn’t completely light up, you might have to align the task with one or more of the three key motivating factors (and probably will have to continue to provide the alignment as often as necessary during the project or chore).
Once he’s expressing some interest, express your confidence in his ability to convert this idea into profit / pleasure / prestige – whichever of the three motivating factors you are using.
You might be asking, “Can it really be that simple?”
Trust me, I’m an engineer!