Respect the process, not the outcome

"Respect the process, not the outcome."

I wish I came up with this phrase, but I think I first heard about it from Tony Gentilcore. He was talking about strength training, but it very much applies to web programming as well. So I'm stealin' it for this post. 👹

So, last time we talked, we discussed what you can do after going through a code school and that thinking small is key to getting better at programming.

Today I'd like to talk about focusing on the process of learning instead of fretting about how there's so much to learn (jQuery? Git? React? Bootstrap? Ruby on Rails? GSAP?) when building an app or website.

I know it's tough—I've been through that and I still go through it all the time. I often find myself thinking that I'm not good enough because I don't know a piece of technology.

Being ok where you are

If you're a beginner, it's not only important to think small, it's also important to be content with what you've learned and where you are right now. Now I know that this sounds like some hippy crap, but it helps a lot. How?

  • You can be more productive. Stop getting distracted by the hot new shit on Hacker News or Reddit or Product Hunt. Focus on what you need to do now and go from there.

  • You can avoid stress and burnout. You can't get stressed at trying to "keep up" with the industry. There are always new things being built. New methods being invented. Absolutely nobody has kept up.

  • You can save time and money. You can't keep going back and paying for code schools because you feel inadequate. It's better to learn on the job than to learn without having any objectives.

Focus on getting shit done instead of fretting with all the tools out there. Don't focus on the outcome of creating multi-million SaaS products—focus on making small things first. If you keep on working at it, keep on building good habits, you'll get better.

You will feel inadequate. But keep showing up and you'll get better and better at it.

Being content doesn't mean giving up!

When I say content, I don't mean that you should give up on learning. All I'm saying is that you can't be pulled down by all the stuff that the people say that you need to learn.

Don't forget why you're doing this in the first place. It's not to learn tools, but to actually make something.

This happens everywhere

This doesn't just apply to programming! Programming isn't something that you learn in a few weeks. It takes experience and hard work and consistency.

  • It's like running. Anyone can run, but can anyone run a marathon when starting out? Nope.

  • Anyone can pick things off the floor, but can they deadlift 2x their body weight when starting out? Nope.

  • Anyone can write, but can anyone write a good novel? Nope nope nope.

And that's it! So just stay cool, and know that you're constantly improving. You'll get there one day. :)

Oh hey, if you liked this article, you might like the cheat sheet that I just made!

It pretty much sums up the last three articles I wrote about becoming a better programmer. Sign up to get it in your inbox!

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