Looking up something like how to teach yourself to code, there are a million resources. I’m sure you were able to find some. But that’s also exactly the problem, because there is an overwhelming amount of information out there. I’m gonna guide you through all of the stuff that’s not good versus the stuff that’s actually really useful.
Our topic today is how to learn to code. Starting from scratch.
The number of resources out there is actually just totally overbearing and overwhelming. You have, like, a myriad of resources as soon as you search for anything related to code. codecademy.com pops up. udacity.com pops up. coursera.com pops up. edx.com pops up, teamtreehouse.com pops up, and so on… So, you really have a million resources out there where you can actually go and learn computer programming. So I guess you don’t need to read this article anymore because I just gave you all of the resources. I’m just kidding! The point is that, even with all of these resources, you want to narrow down your learning, because a very common problem that people face is actually something called a learning binge, which is great, because that’s something that I always do. I’m like, oh, I wanna learn this, and I wanna learn that.
Now, at this point, you might be wondering, who is this guy, and why should I follow his advice? I am somebody who has actually been through a lot of these, so what I wanna do is… Kind of cut through the nonsense and get you the right information so you can get started without being overwhelmed by the number of options.
Let me tell you something: what if there is a way that you could become like Bradley Cooper for the movie ‘Limitless‘? I’ll never forget the impact that this movie had on me and how it changed the way I viewed the world the moment the main character swallowed NZT and became as most would call it – limitless. It was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever seen in a movie once NZT kicked in, all of his senses instantly sharpened. In fact, he actually says in the movie: I was blind but now I see.
After watching a movie like this you can’t help but wonder is there actually a way to truly become limitless? Do we have some sort of hidden abilities within us just waiting to be unlocked? And if we did, what effect would it have on us?
In the movie, after the NZT wears off, it leaves Bradley with a negative rebound effect and if he doesn’t take more of it, he’s left worse off than before he took it. In fact, it actually makes him physically sick. If you’ve ever watched the movie you’ve probably already searched for ways to develop super intelligence like what is seen in the movie. After all we live in a world of instant gratification – when people want products they order them on Amazon and get them the next day. When people want a dopamine release they just log onto Facebook and post something with this mindset.
To learn programming (and basically anything else in life), there’s really only one skill that you need to have or get a hang of: the ability to just sit in front of a computer for many hours and concentrate exclusively on a single task.
Successful people know that there’s something called the zone where they basically just do a single task, uninterrupted for long periods of time and that’s how they are able to put together complex thoughts chained together. This state is also called flow. This is needed also when building complex computer programs.
This is a habit that a lot of people don’t have, but it is needed to make complex tasks done. Artists, scientists, athletes — genius minds leverage on flow to accomplish the impossible.
So how can you train your brain to achieve the state of flow and boost performance and happiness?
Individuals can experience flow state with any activity. However, it most likely occurs if one performs a task for intrinsic purposes. To get into the flow, pick up an activity you genuinely enjoy. It could be complicated like music composition or as simple as lifting weights.
Remember, choose something challenging but not overwhelming. High skill-high challenge is optimal for getting in the flow. Check the graph below:
Whatever you choose, turn it to mindfulness practice. Now let’s go to actionable steps:
- Step 1: Before immersing yourself, stop and take long breaths. This would soothe your mind and make the groundwork for creating flow.
- Step 2: Live in the moment. Pretend there is no past or future. A good exercise for feeling the present is tensing your muscles and feeling the tension in each muscle from your body.
- Step 3: Deliberately perform the task while paying full attention. If you are writing, pay attention to every word. If you are lifting feel how the tension spreads in your muscles and how your breathing changes. If you are coding, be aware of each statement and each code chunk you write. Think it as a meditation but through constant action.
- Step 4: Remain vigilant and continue your mindful practice. If your attention slips off, bring it back to the where it belongs to. Stay engaged in such a way as if you are born for it only.
This mindful practice will make most mundane activities deeply satisfying, hence, clear up the path to the flow. And once you master the flow, as the Japanese warriors put it, it will become instinctive and the way of your life.
So, when will you be starting?
In my opinion, this is the first, and most important thing to master (before starting learning anything else): to master the zone.
After you have mastered it, feel free to check the courses on WordPress and plugin development (also more to come soon), offered by me on Teachable: https://coderevolution.teachable.com/. I think when you are in the zone, you will enjoy them the most.