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Ep. 23: Oliver Myers – Overcoming One Obstacle After Another to Reach Your Dreams

Today’s Chasing Dreams podcast features another of Aimee’s good friends, and a very smart guy, Dr. Oliver J. Myers. Oliver is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. His story is one of perseverance for the sake of his dream. He worked full time while working to earn three degrees over the course of 7 years. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County for all three degrees of Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. Today you’re going to hear from a guy who knows what it takes to make things you want to happen, happen.

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Disappointment doesn’t have to be a closed door.

Dr. Oliver Myers was working hard to get the degrees he wanted, but when he wanted to pursue a fellowship, he was denied the opportunity to even apply for the fellowship. As he was pursuing his PHd, a vital mentor left the program and he had to try to find a way forward without him. He tried a couple of options, and none of them worked. So he returned to the program and started again from square one. But he didn’t quit. That’s an amazing amount of determination, and you’re going to hear the kind of mindset that fueled that determination, on this episode of Chasing Dreams.

I would do it again, but I would tweak how I did it.

That’s what Dr. Myers says when asked if he’d make the same sacrifices if he had to do it all over again. In hindsight, he can see that there are things he could have done with greater discipline or more wisdom. But now that it’s all over, Oliver feels that he has to press on in spite of the things he would have changed. No regrets. That’s what he says.

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Stay true to yourself and never give up.

Too many people let discouragement and difficulty push them away from fulfilling their desires. There’s no reason that has to happen. It will take hard work and an intentionality about life, but you can do it. Today’s guest is convinced of that, and Dr. Oliver Myer’s experience and success proves it. Listen to this episode to hear the many things he’s done in pursuit of his own dreams, and learn how you can apply some of his sage but simple advice to pursue your dreams.

If you want to grow, to learn, and to succeed, you have to be uncomfortable.

Growth happens because something unusual or challenging upsets the status quo. It’s uncomfortable when that happens, but you have to get used to it. So many people make it their goal in life to never be uncomfortable, and they’re the people who never grow beyond the point they’ve reached. Dr. Oliver Myers says that the only way you can grow is to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Take it as a challenge. Determine that nothing will upset you and nothing will stop you. That’s how you learn. That’s how you succeed. That’s how you get the dreams you’re chasing.

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OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • [0:50] Aimee’s introduction of Dr. Oliver Myers.
  • [4:10] Why Oliver worked his way through school instead of taking out loans.
  • [8:00] The “calling” to be an engineer and how Dr. Myers pursued it from an early age.
  • [8:40] The struggles Oliver has faced trying to get through his education
  • [12:03] Losing his guide in the midst of his PHd program.
  • [17:57] Dr. Myer’s involvement with the Seal-Fit program.
  • [21:00] Advice about undergraduate students pursuing graduate degrees.
  • [25:12] The work Dr. Myer is doing now, researching nano technologies.
  • [28:30] The rapid fire game.
  • [29:10] Oliver’s advice to those wanting to chase their dreams.

DR. MYER’S RECOMMENDATION:

Stay true to yourself. Don’t give up on your dreams. Go do some adventures that challenge you. Everything that you do and learn translates into your life. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone.

RAPID FIRE GAME: Category: Office Supplies

Aimee and her guest alternate naming items in the selected category. The first to hesitate, give a wrong answer, or repeat an item, loses.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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