After two years of half-assing my way through random coding bootcamps and tutorials, I’ve finally begun my programming journey with intention.
It was clear that using scattered, free services online–while this is a tactic I advocate for everything else–wasn’t incentivizing me enough to stick with it. After reading this post by one of my idols, and paying $50 for this goofy little book, I feel committed and energized.
This blog is not meant to convince you to learn how to code–though I do think it would be a fulfilling experience (and it’s easier than you think). Instead, I want to highlight the euphoria of learning something which made no fucking sense to me a week ago.
…used to look like this:
It’s a damn good feeling.
Obviously, I’m still a novice. But sitting down and pushing through the Resistance it takes to learn something entirely new provides two life-changing lessons:
1) It doesn’t take long to become better than 99% of the world at something.
After one jiujitsu class, you’re better at defending yourself than most people who have never tried a martial art.
When you read through one well-written article on Copywriting, you understand how to write advertisements better than almost everyone alive.
After spending one week consistently working through my coding book, I’m showing my Kindergarten-level code to friends with no experience and they look at me like I’m a hacker.
2) Once you get over the hump, momentum takes the wheel.
Sitting down to learn something completely new is daunting. It feels as though you’ll have to practice intense grit and discipline each day until you are a master.
Of course, getting better at anything will require persistence and hard work, but it’s not as brutal as one would think.
You don’t need to be crazy disciplined to show up every day to learn; you just need to be disciplined enough to learn the core concepts so you can get by and fill in the blanks as you go.
When I lived in Germany, the first month of practicing my German was rough. I couldn’t keep up in most conversations and I was convinced I would never improve.
Then, one day, something clicked. I walked down to the Cafe with my German buddy. After walking about a mile, I realized I had been speaking German the entire time. The epiphany was:
I could finally carry a conversation, not because I had remembered enough words, but because I had become good enough at the grammar to consistently structure sentences.
In other words: Once I became sufficient with the core concepts (grammar), I could easily speak and fill in the blanks (by just asking how to say certain words).
Learn new shit. It’ll be hard. Sometimes very hard. But it won’t be very hard for very long. And it’ll be one of the most rewarding things you ever do.