One of the first things I discovered about myself when I began my journey to learn code is the little gremlins in my head. You can't do that, you will fail, what good are you? ... I won't give them too much air time. They take enough. One of the first things I learned was to step back and listen with to my self talk. In my case, it was just me and a console. Who was giving me all this grief? Me! The trick is to listen, jot down the thoughts. That's all they are. When I go as far as writing them down, they can be absurd. The next step is to discern the facts. For example, I don't know anything, could mean, I made typos on my code or I missed my workout and had that extra pizza. Then I can make choices, work on something else, see the patterns, get to know my head a bit more.
It's one of those days, everything from procrastination, you know the moment zerrrrrooo drive. Besides taking the day off, I am going to regroup on some tasks. I got a great book "Practicing Rails" by Justin Weiss. He says to make 50 fast apps and chunk your work. I opened a blank page, took out my pen and will regroup. Time for a small mini app, then a walk with the dog.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
That feeling when you look at a blank piece of paper with no ideas. The nice thing about being on a self learning journey is I can set my own pace. Time to step away from the computer and find a reward; exploring my curiosity, maybe start a new quest.
Getting stuck, churning, distracting myself by checking Trump news; this can't be good. Time to chunk. I am going to work on something that I can finish today! Setting the task, off we go. If you want to follow along, make a quick list of what you can start and finish today. Then start.
I achieved making my event planner app with a calendar.. now what? I decided, it would be nice to have recurring events. So, now a maze. I tried a few methods on my own, guess I'm still green. So another question, try an other mini app, just focused on recurring events. I have been churning so decided to keep it simple with a new mini app. Will start fresh tomorrow. Plan is to combine them, but one step at a time.
I remember canoeing in a storm with our kids. We were out on a day trip and a storm picked up. It seemed like we were paddling but not moving. I spoke out loud, when we get half way, I'm going to grab something from that cooler. In the midst of paddling, and maybe a bit of swearing, my husband pointed to the cooler and the half way land mark on the shore. It wasn't long and we were back at our camp spot. I like to write down a list of rewards. Then every so often, take time to celebrate progress.
I found myself dealing with brain chatter. Things like, what is going on my my career, I should work out more, I'm fat, what if this? what if that. Let's check more Donald Trump drama. This isn't healthy, on and on. I stumbled on an awesome youtube talk by Ekhart Tolle who described stress as a personal illusion. This is great listening just before bed time.
I don't want to censor my own self talk. Sometimes, it just needs to be directed toward something useful. This is where journalling comes in handy. If the self talk is too stupid to write down, it often goes away on its own. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with a great to do list, even a worry list (often called an issues log in project land). I don't need to ignore the bully in my head but I do need to sometimes make it accountable instead of just a plain old a-hole.
So many days, I think to myself "I could so use some help with this stuff". The reality is there are not a lot of people waiting around to solve my problems. How ever there are many people facing the same challenges. People like to share. First, isolate the question or problem. What is it I would like to solve? I start with a question and google it. Then find key terms. This gives me more to search. I don't recommend jumping into the first thing in the search. It may not be the right thing. Then keep going. The information is out there. Enjoy it.
For example, I have been teaching myself about e-commerce and digging into some Stripe API documentation. At the same time, as an entrepreneur, I am stressed about taking so much learning time while the bills pile up. I am setting a 3 day window where I will do nothing but focus on the documentation and tasks in front of me. What I get done is 3 days is it. Then I stop, review, decide, drop it, keep going. It's that simple. For 3 days, I will park all of my worries and put them in a list of later.
Dreams don't necessarily tell us the future but what I find is they do let us know what's on our mind. As I go through my journeys and tough goals, I have dreams that either depict the old days as awesome (grass greener on the other side) or sometimes extreme goals with vague messages such as seeing a glimmer of something awesome, then getting a vague or irrational instruction. It could be ego saying, stop or it could be a flattering sign that I am making progress away from my comfort zone.
Every little step Posted: 2017-05-10
A no motivation kind of day Posted: 2017-05-10
Desiderata Poem Posted: 2017-05-10
Pit of Dispair Posted: 2017-05-11
Make the best of your day Posted: 2017-05-15
When progress leads to more questions than answers Posted: 2017-05-17
Keep a list of rewards Posted: 2017-05-23
Goals are good but your passion drives it Posted: 2017-07-05
I can be my own bully Posted: 2017-07-05
Use the Internet as an assistant. Posted: 2017-07-12
Churning - Set a mini time box Posted: 2017-07-17
Track your dreams Posted: 2017-08-02