A blog about trying to make yourself better at making and designing websites. Also about random shit.

The importance of learning how to learn

Two years ago I drove up to the Pocono Mountains to go snowboarding. Now, I’ve never done snowboarding in my life before this, but I was absolutely convinced that I could do it. I was so confident that I thought I didn’t need a helmet or a pair of goggles.

Well you know where this is going, right?

The first time I rode down the mountain I fell on my ass so many times that I thought I broke my tail bone. Distraught, but determined, I went down another slope. This time my glasses flew off and I fell on my face. I had to get my glasses back from up the slope so I took off my board which sent it off the slope and into the woods, never to be seen again.

I got my glasses back, but I ended up walking down the slope in shame.

A month later I joined a snowboarding Meetup group that was going to Vermont. When I got there I signed up for a three-day course with an actual instructor to get me up and running.

I first started with the bunny slope and I was kind of embarrassed that 6-year-olds were way better than I was. It kind of fucked up my learning, but I soon found out that being embarrassed about it won’t do me any good. I just had to mind my own business and to just be ok with not being good.

By day three I was able to actually go down a slope without falling on my butt! Well, it was the easiest slope (green), but I was happy.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, I wanted to remind you how hard it is to learn stuff. You’ll have fun, but you’ll also feel frustrated, embarrassed, and sometimes you might fall flat on your face.

That’s ok.

And you know what? It never stops. Especially in the field that we're everything changes all the damn time. You need to be in learning mode every day.

I ran across this video from Khan Academy the other day so if you need a little pick-me-up, you can refer back to this video:

Now this might seem counter to what I've been saying so far, but you also need to be content with what you know right now. Don't beat yourself up if you can't absorb all the material right now. Go to bed, and try again tomorrow.


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