When I was a young boy paternal grandfather would save old small appliances for me to take apart to try to figure out how they worked. Before my family moved to Winchester VA, my father had a small business replacing roofs, pouring concrete sidewalks and drive ways, installing glass block windows, and even small remolding jobs such as installing or replacing porches or decks. When possible, my father would take me on these jobs and teach me what he could. This would continue after my family moved to Virginia when he would make improvements or repairs to the house. A lot of what he taught me.
I remember to this day. From, my prepubescent years to mid to late teenage years I would watch and even shadow repairmen almost to the point of being in their way. When crews were tearing and digging up the street to install or repair water or gas pipes, I would be right there watching them. Sometimes they would even pay me to "watch" their equipment while they went to lunch. All this combined with being mechanically inclined, a trait I got from my mother, all add up to me at least feeling like I can figure anything out. It doesn't really matter what it is. I taught myself how to install phone lines, first using four conductor cable then later with CAT 3 and later still with CAT 5. I also learned how to terminate coax cable in much the same way.
These traits continue today. Clients will hand me devices or pieces of equipment that I may not have seen or even know what they are, but yet I have to figure out how to make them work. Clients / customers have asked me to show them how to operate a device or piece of equipment that I may never have seen before, for example a security camera system in a store they just purchased.
Whether it is by reading the manual, research on the Internet or just by using general knowledge I take great pride in being able to figure anything out.