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.
I was reminded to get back to my blog, while responding to my friend Jayeeta who is learning to code. Learning is hard. Yesterday, I was stuck on something. My normal response was to get frustrated, give up and do something easier, feel like someone needs to help me but at the same time feeling too dumb to ask and just feeling stuck. Then I reminded myself, often asking a question is a lesson in itself. So, I went on to one of my favourite sites, stackoverflow, and asked a question. In the process, I explained what I was trying to do, laid out the steps with content of my work, and showed where I was stuck. This helped me break down the task(s) and therefore breakdown what task in particular got me stuck. After a nice dog walk and a nice warm bath, I returned to my computer to find the answer (a very simple fix in this case) It felt great. I was about to throw away my work, revert, and more importantly tell myself that "I can't do this". There will be times I make a decision that something is not worth it. That's fair. There is how ever lots to be said about a decision (a choice) versus giving up (a reaction).
Oops, I broke my pattern of blogging while working on a new project. I will have it on Friendlyroad for testing soon. The trouble with Discover, Explore, Define, Build is it often happens in many projects at the same time. I like to take on projects. It's a catch 22. As I learn, I build, as I build I learn. I have limited myself to 3 projects so look for changes to this site over the coming weeks. If you are reading this, feel free to say hi. The contact link is below in Contact us. Especially lately, I have been feeling the frustration of not having a tangible result. The important message, "keep going" Adjust, pivot, get help, change the speed, don't stop! I included a random video.
Feeling dumb and incompetent is good for you. That's when you know you're on to something. I just went through a long process of changing a website with a new domain, new design, and decided while I was at it I would upgrade the server, upgrade my ruby version, rails version and off we go. I was confident and ready to rock and roll. I checked out a git branch and worked away on a "new_design" branch. Merrily working away, I had forgotten that I had left open a form that allowed people to post creative places in the city (it was creativecalgary.ca).' When I checked my live site to see it was down, I fixed what I thought was some minor things, only to see it go down again. When I checked my logs, I saw https://4inn.ru and noticed my database for places went from 20 to over 2000 in a few hours. I had to do something. So decide it was time for a deploy. So, I cleared out my database, built a new server and went to work, only to spend 3 days churning with silly mistakes. Long story short I found my way through it and got a server going, only about 18 errors and fixes later. Bottom line, I was in a trajectory again, thinking I was competent, got in a comfort zone, and bumped into my own incompetence. It was time to learn. This time, I took notes and posted them for next go around. Tomorrow I look forward to be back in the zone. Time coding again!
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
What task are you making a task difficult for yourself? Posted: 2018-03-08
Keep going! Posted: 2017-10-19
Don't know what you can't do til you try Posted: 2018-03-19