In the spirit of doing

Sunday, March 2, 2014 by Louie Bacaj

It took me a while to learn this, but for those of of us, who are not born excelling at something we would love to be great at, we don’t have to watch in awe and just wish we could do those thing. We need to start doing, and continue doing in order to get good at the things we want to be good at.

Coding hard

Speaking from personal experience, although I’m sure a lot of you can relate, in life, it seems like some people are just great at doing certain things. To outsiders looking in, it seems as though these people were born skilled. At some point or another, we all have probably struggled to comprehend why we just aren’t as good as the next guy or gal.

Lifting hard
Lifting hard

It took 5 years of working out, going to the gym 4 to 5 days a week, to really lift some serious weight. It took getting a master’s degree in computer science and constantly trying to implement my own data structures and utilize different algorithms to really understand.

Unfortunately there is no shortcut, I learned this by rolling my own data structures and algorithms and forcing myself not to use what’s in the library. I didn’t do this because my implementations would be better, in fact they were probably significantly worse. I wouldn’t recommend doing rolling your own data structures for any serious projects that are going to go live, what is apart of your favorite language will be far better, but boy is it a great way to learn. Much like lifting weights I did it to reinforce muscle memory to truly understand big O notation and get good at writing code.

Repetition of challenging tasks can be difficult but it builds grit, muscle, and intelligence.

See, the problem is that doing stuff is hard and most people give up after a few failed attempts. People want immediate results. If they don’t see results after 3 months of going to the gym they stop working out. If they can’t understand how red-black self-balancing binary tree are implemented then they will just give up. If they can’t see education giving them an immediate high paying job as soon as they graduate then they drop out.

Most people will quit, they don’t understand that doing the process is the results.

You have to constantly improve yourself to be great at the things you want to be great at. When you do things all the time you are guaranteed to see results, that process of doing those things will be your results but the trick, if there is one, is to never stop.

I decided to start writing a blog because I want to get good at writing. I go to the gym because I want to be healthy and feel strong. I code everyday whether it’s for work, school, or a personal project because I want to be great at it.

So in short if you’re not that good at something but would really like to be I suggest the following:

You just have to start doing and do it over and over again. You really can’t stop improving and you have to do this because you were not born great at it but you want to be great at it.

P.S. I know we all have qualities that others admire, things that come naturally, but this post isn’t about that, it’s about the things you want to be great at but just aren’t yet.