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The title sums up everything I feel right now. I have been learning constantly since June of 2007 when I started down this path. Yet I still feel far away from understanding. I came close in my only lab attempt this past October, but losing is never comforting, no matter how close you came to winning. The biggest issue right now is I am starting to feel the burn out setting in. So much reading and labs has been done. So many hours put in, but I still feel far away again. One thing I learned from my studies is never take something you love to do and turn it into something you have to do. It only becomes a chore once you do.

Within the last couple of weeks, whenever I start doing labs, I get to a point where I just toss the lab aside and do something else. A few people have told me I just need a break. Problem is, I took a three month break after my lab attempt and I don’t feel refreshed one bit. Part of me thinks maybe the overall blueprint is overwhelming. Just the addition of MPLS to me in insanity. I know it is not core and not really hard, but that still doesn’t mean it can’t be complicated. I just can’t comprehend anymore how anyone can commit all this information to memory! Maybe I am just burnt out from my material. Maybe I am just bored of the labs. I definitely know I am tired of reading cut and dry information 🙂

Maybe the problem is I am still doing technology focused workbooks. Maybe I need to concentrate more on the full labs again and get away from the same topic for hours on end. I just feel right now my understanding isn’t any greater than before.  I don’t know how to fight against it. I even thought about another track, but I don’t want to quit.  Even my blog posts were more of a technical nature in the past, but now not so much.

I need to find new motivation or just have a good long talk with someone. I think I have been at this alone for so long and maybe that is the issue…


6 Responses to ““Much learning does not teach understanding” – Heraclitus”

  1. Kim Pedersen on April 8th, 2010 8:27 am

    You are not alone on this journey, and you are not alone with this feeling.

    I started to feel what you describe as a chore. It just wasnt fun doing for a while. Motivation can be hard to come by when the overall task to accomplish is enormous. The blueprint contains everything under the sun.

    I think that one has to take it step by step. Not rushing things. I also think that its impossible to know everything. Its also impossible to memorize everything.

    Thats why i think your idea of not keep doing technology focused labs is a good idea. If you have gone through them and you understand them, i think more complicated labs are in order.

    Just my two cents worth 🙂

  2. 1001QA on April 9th, 2010 9:11 am

    I can only tell you this:
    “Quantitative accumulation= Qualitative jump”

    Look at your methods, at your ways of doing things it is there where you need a change.

    Right now your skills (not the technical ones) are not up to the task, you need to change the approach. It is the time to put aside the technical books and to look into yourself.
    Taking a break is what you do when you work to much and you are tired. I would guess that right now you are missing the comprehension and the efficiency in selecting what is important.
    Perhaps another thing you are missing is the motivation.

    And don’t worry, you are not alone! There is people who want to pass the exam and there is people who want to become real super experts.


  3. SickMonkey on April 9th, 2010 11:33 am

    I hear you. I am trying to restart the security track after a 14 month break. I am actually getting excited again.

    I even have to retake the written.

    The version has changed, there is new materials to acquire.

    You CAN do it. I CAN do it. Just need to take a break long enough that the pain goes down and that old excitement comes back.

    I feel like I am enough removed from the process that I can see my weaknesses in prep and lab taking. I failed 3 times over 1.5 years, getting better each time but not passing. Close, horseshoes, Handgrenades etc.

    New plan. Start at the bottom with each of the new technologies/topics etc. Work my way through to the full labs, then possibly try to get into a bootcamp or something close to my next date. PASS.

    I am thinking you might want to try doing labs by a different vendor. Short of the version change, that is a way to have a fresh start for you. Good luck.

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  5. Rod on April 10th, 2010 12:43 am

    I think I can understand what you are saying. Your brain is getting tires of same constant amount of effort and not enough ‘eureka’ moments, the ones you need to take to the next level of whatever you are doing.

    So might be a crazy idea but what if you get into a parallel difference learning process. Maybe something not related to technology, something else that you are curious about.

    The idea is to have a different challenge in life so when one seems a bit stuck you jump to the other one and get the rewarding you need to keep you motivated to keep learning and taking challenges because someone them can actually be overtaken, maybe not today, maybe tomorrow.

    Something similar to avoiding muscle stress by doing two different sports so different groups can get different moments of workout/rest but overall you are still active and gradually improving in both.

    Don’t give up man, the problem now is just a matter of mindset.

    PS: I also agree that it’s time for going to the full labs

  6. CCIE Journey on April 12th, 2010 10:51 am

    I appreciate all the comments!

    @ Kim – You are right on the memorization part for sure, there is now way.

    @ Cristian – You are correct that my learning skills for this material at this particular point is lacking. What I am doing is not working at all and needs to be revamped.

    @ SickMonkey – Good luck with the next attempt! Much kudos for restarting after 14 months!

    @ Rod – the eureka comment I don’t think could be anymore correct…

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