Create artificial challenges
You are in a dark room. You don't know where to go. It may as well be that you feel really comfortable in this room. Maybe it has a nice sofa, a good internet connection, the deliverymen show up once in a while to give you the paycheck and even your friends there. Or maybe it's the other way around. You want to start something new, learn a new language, start coding, create a startup. You feel the anxiety of burden you have yet to overcome, of all the hardships that will be on your path and all the unknowns.
Both of these scenarios are known to me. When I was just starting I was overwhelmed by how much I had to know to land a job.
Later on my path, it seemed that I'm no longer moving forward because I simply didn't know where to go.
Don't hesitate, do something and find out in a process if that's what you needed.
A lot of things are counterintuitive. Getting up early. Why? Just do it and see how it'll go. Getting up early was the biggest productivity boost for me. There is a science behind this, a huge amount of books on the topic, but I was skeptical about it and nobody was going to convince me that getting up at 5 AM would be good for me.
Same thing with the other stuff I wanted to pick up but struggled to find motivation. I mean, contributing to open source is cool, but I don't really have time right now. Bullshit.
Learning vim, Linux, hosting your site, writing this blog. It's all the things that I agree would be probably interesting to do at some time later, but never actually do.
So yeah, this is where artificial challenges come in handy.
I'll read through open source projects issues every day and see if I can help I'll write this blog every day I'll get up at 5 AM every day
I don't need any reason or motivation to do it. I'll do it anyway because this is a challenge that I've committed to. In fact, if I lack the motivation that's even better. I don't need it anyway. Motivation comes and go and if there was no motivation in the first place, I'll experience fewer setbacks.
Artificial challenges are extremely useful when you know who you want to become, but don't know how to start. Pick your identity.
I want to be a Software Engineer, that involved in open source projects, have a good ground knowledge that he's able to share with the people and deliver products on time
I want to make sure that I support this identity by doing small challenges everyday.
It also works in case when you don't know where to go. There is one place that you certainly don't want to go. Waters of forgetfulness, place of not making any difference, oblivion. How do you not ending up there? Do something right now and do it everyday. Commit to the small challenge everyday and do that for a month, reflect on how it changed your life, how much better you became at what you have committed to. Finally, see if that's your thing. If not — move on.
You can read though my progress on artificial challenges for April here.
Thank you for reading this.