There is a difference between not knowing, knowing, doing, and being and this is the key to maintaining your motivation as you grow as a coder.
The main reason being that if you know where you are and where you’re headed, then you can celebrate your progress as each step. But more importantly, you can avoid the pitfall of getting stuck when you lose your drive because you don’t feel like you’re moving fast enough.
And this idea of maintaining your effort over the long haul is why I always tend to say that as you learn, you should break it down and take it slowly.
Why fun projects don’t get stuck
Take for example learning to make websites, at one point I didn’t know anything about it. All I knew is that I wanted to make a fan site. I did not know anything. Then I read up on it and explored the idea. I was just trying to get to the knowing point. No pressure and no big deal.
Then once I knew what was possible, I started digging through some tutorials. Again, I was not stressing myself about it, and I still had not made anything yet.
Finally, I made my first DMX fan site and published it on the internet, and I had done it. I wasn’t trying to be a coder or anything like that. I just wanted to make the site.
Fast forward some months, and I was hooked and many websites later, I was a coder. It was some that I was because it was part of my identity now.
The whole time I was just doing it for fun. I had not pressured myself, and I only ever looked at the next step in the journey and not much beyond that.
Know Where You Are
At any point when you’re looking at the things that you’re doing, and you’re not sure if you’re making progress, or if you feel like you’re stuck, then take a second to reflect on where you are.
Some valuable questions being: What don’t you know? What do you know about but don’t have the skills to apply it? What are you doing and what are you not doing? Who are you becoming in the process?
These questions will lead you to more awareness about your current state. And more importantly, they’ll help you to appreciate what you’re doing right and how far you’ve come.
So as you go through your coding journey always keep in mind that there are significant differences between not knowing and knowing, knowing and doing, and doing and being.
The key is to know where you are and where you’re going and celebrate your progress at every step. Afterall, applying yourself is not easy. If it were easy, then everyone would be doing it. But most people are not. You are.