Parts of Ten
So the results are in.
Three months ago I launched the pilot of the ‘Pass Your CCNA in 60 Days’ programme. I sent out an e-mail asking for people who were deadly serious passing their CCNA, committed to spending 2 hours per day for 60 days at the end of which I guarantee they would pass their CCNA exam.
As you can imagine, I was inundated with requests. I chose seven good candidates and just as I launched I was asked by three people if I could include them. None of them knew each other but they all said the same thing. They were desperate to pass for work or personal reasons and were 100% committed to passing so could I permit them to join the challenge. I did let them join.
Things started well with plenty of e-mails and chats on the special discussion forum I set up on Google. One person passed after only 3 weeks which seemed to excite everyone on the pilot programme (including me). As we approached the final couple of weeks I wanted to launch the programme to the general public. I asked for feedback and received a couple of responses but a few others went quiet.
By the end of the programme one other person had passed, one failed and one became injured and couldn’t study.
Missing In Action
What happened to the other six you may be thinking to yourself? I can only guess. They were given everything they needed to pass. Study tools, cram guides, videos, advice from me and a forum where they could get support and answers. Despite several e-mails asking for feedback or any news I still have heard nothing back. Nada, nil, zip.
This came as no surprise to me although I find it a bit rude of them to not even acknowledge my e-mails but this comes back to my title of the parts of ten.
I have taught over one thousand CCNA candidates and they can be trended in the same way. Be it home study, howtonetwork.net or an expensive CCNA course. Out of every ten students about two will pass. On some courses you will have six pass the exam and on others none will pass. When I mean pass I mean they don’t even attempt the exam in fact. I find that those who fail on their first attempt become very determined to pass on their second attempt.
What happens to the others or more to the point what happened to my passionate and determined group of ten? Well since they never bother to reply I can only guess. Things get in the way, one day they have a study session planned and something happens at work or a family member is ill and they don’t study that day. The next day they have two days worth of studying to do. They manage one session and tell themselves that they will catch up over the weekend. They miss another before the weekend and then it is too late.
Force of Habit
It is just like the person on a diet eating just one cake which turns into two. Before you know it, the norm is not to study rather than study. The massive gravitational force of former habits pulls them irresistibly towards the TV and their mission to pass the CCNA once and for all and have the chance at promotion, their own business or a break into the IT industry is dead.
It is a sad thing for me but after being in the police for 12 years and running IT courses for 6 years I have learned a lot about human nature. We are creatures of habits and if our habit is not to do then it will take a big effort to change this to doing. Funnily enough, once this new habit is formed then that feels like the norm and not to study feels uncomfortable.
I am not judging anyone here but at the same time I often find myself sitting there shaking my head at how a grown up can often have the same attention span and discipline as a five year old child.
Do you want to be a CCNA, CCNP or CCIE? There is no secret if you do. Study every day until you have reached your goal. Study when you feel ill, study when you are busy, study when your friends are inviting you out for a drink and study when you don’t feel like it. This is why one of my friends is currently making $24 000 per month on a Cisco design contract. He sits in a nice cosy office with friendly people and does what he loves which is to design Cisco networks. He is a short stroll from the coffee machine and goes for a nice walk in the fields outside during his lunch.
I wish you all the best in your studies.