My goal for this blog post is to make you understand the importance of your time and how to not waste it, doing activities that have a negligible or almost no effect on the results you want. Everyone dreams about a perfect life, a perfect job, a perfect GF/BF, a perfect home but while chasing perfection, we forget the most important aspect for achieving anything in life, ‘initiative’. So, I want you to drop all the pre-conceived ideas about success and take a fresh start.
“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience” – Paulo Coelho
Stop thinking about all the progress you have made, and focus on what really matters, everyone will tell you time and again “work hard, do what you are doing, follow the safe path” because according to society doing all this will supposedly give you the results that you want. I hate to break it to you, THAT IS ALL JUST PLAIN BULLSHIT !!! What you want as an end goal is best known to you and the best way to achieve the elusive ‘SUCCESS’ is to fail a hell lot of times. I will expand on how this philosophy will make you a better programmer faster than ever.
Fuck perfection; follow results: We live in a society where everyone is transfixed with utopian standards of life. Instead of working towards the results, we feed our brain with a daily dose of ‘Someday’ lying in the closet of untouched perfection. When I started learning guitar, I felt it was a humongous task and I would have to learn every single chord, scale and arpeggio before I could even think about giving a public performance.
“Fortune favors the bold” – Juvenal
Well, maybe I was just plain dumb (I still am), I was like FUCK THAT SHIT! And went on to give my first stage performance just a month after I started playing. Was I perfect? FUCK NO!, Did the performance suck? HELL YEAH! Of course, I didn’t give the best guitar performance in the history of music, but I also realized it wasn’t the worst.
“Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try” – Michael Jordan
The epiphany I had, at that particular moment, changed my life forever. I realized that failing isn’t necessarily that big of a deal and many good things can come out of it. After performing on stage, although for a small audience, I felt a big relief, I had got over the obsession of trying to get everything perfect. My guitar performance wasn’t extraordinary but nonetheless, many people enjoyed it and said that I am talented. This further gave me the confidence and motivation to work harder and I became a somewhat good guitarist in a span of 3-4 months. What I want you to take away from this, is that perfection is over-rated and, what is more important, is to ‘get started‘, taking one step towards your goal is more important that sitting and waiting for that perfect moment to shine upon you.
What it means for a novice programmer: As a programmer when I started developing Android apps, I didn’t have any formal training whatsoever. Just the passion and intention to go along with it and create something of value. What really mattered that time was that I was taking steps every single day, each day I would watch a video, or read an article and try to plug-in what I had learned to the app I was developing. So, effectively, I had forced myself into Android development from day 1 only; no knowledge of java, no knowledge of XML, no knowledge of IDE, nothing. How did this turnout? Well, it wasn’t the smoothest of the journey, to be honest, but what really mattered is that I was able to complete my first app within a week, which motivated me a lot and that was all the motivation I needed to push myself harder. That was just first of the many apps I developed in my 3 years long development journey, but it was the most significant one, as it kickstarted, what has now become my professional expertise.
To sum up everything I blabbered above, the best way, according to me, to get good at anything really fucking fast is to take a dive head-first, and then figure out the rest of the complications and nuances involved. You should never wait for a ‘perfect’ moment to execute your ideas as that freaking moment doesn’t exist. With all certainty, how-much-ever you prepare, you are bound to fail 60% of the time so it’s pivotal to fail as many times, and as fast as possible, so that you can increase your odds of success over time and finally reap the much-desired rewards. I have used this philosophy in every area of my life, and I am pretty much happy with how It turned out. Until next time…ciao