Enjoy The Journey

It really amazes me how often I come across people with the notion that there’s no point in trying something unless guaranteed quick success. When I tell people about my dreams they seem to enjoy pointing out all the reasons for why I shouldn’t try. I’ve known people who after not getting any success on a project for a month or two have grown despondent and totally given up.

Throughout history humans have always had a strong focus on inventing tools to make it faster to complete tasks. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve become so adjusted to getting things done quickly – using technologies such as the internet – that we’ve now come to expect it in many areas of our life. When we want to learn something many of us will try to information cram even though this is really ineffective. If we want to lose weight we have many get slim quick diets to choose from, but it’s probably better to take it slower and build healthier habits into your lifestyle for the long run. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making life easier through the creation of new tools, but it’s also important to realize that not all aspects of life have a short cut to success.

I think I realized this fact from a very young age. I always enjoyed drawing, but it took a long time to get anywhere near to being decent. I had to practice and draw many pictures to build up my skills. Even now I’m still practising a lot because I have a dream to reach a certain level of expertise. As I got older however, I seemed to get more caught up in the rush of life. There were more responsibilities and deadlines to keep to, and so instead of taking my time I started looking for short cuts. When I want to learn a new programming technology for instance, I exhaust myself trying to cram the knowledge in as quickly as I can, sometimes even staying up late to do so; I never really feel like the knowledge is fully cemented into my head though. I’ve met some people who believe that skills like programming are a simple case of learning the syntax, but I believe that just like drawing you have to be willing to commit to it for several years to really become good at it; You just have to be patient and to enjoy the journey.

I think the media has a tendency to put forward a lot of instant success stories, but in truth these are quite rare. Many successful people have had to go through a few failures first before they got there; Now these are the sort of inspiring stories that I like to hear, that against all odds they persevered and never gave up. I suppose that’s the trick in a way, just don’t give up. If something goes badly it’s never a waste because you’ve still learnt something from the experience. My friends often enjoy winding me up by pointing out that I don’t finish many of the games I start building, but I still feel like I’ve learnt something from every project I’ve attempted. On a few occasions I’ve had a programming problem thrown my way just to realize I’d already solved a similar problem in one of my own projects – this sort of knowledge can only be built up over time through practice.

So what if you spend your life doing something and really do never succeed. Well, life isn’t just about reaching the end goal all the time; Sometimes the journey matters too. You can learn many skills along the way, meet interesting people and have a lot of fun. I really enjoy being creative and exploring new ideas, even though many of them don’t turn out well. There’s always the hope that something could work out though; That success could be just around the next corner…

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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

2 responses to “Enjoy The Journey”

  1. j3w3l says :

    I like this message and it’s something I’ve tended to keep close. The fun is in the learning of an activity and you needn’t be perfect. You learn so much from the practice and that journey of learning

    • wallcat says :

      Thanks for the comment. Very well said. I forgot to continue enjoying the journey because of the worries of making things perfect, which I then can’t do and it leaves me disheartened. It’s better to try and tell yourself that you’re just learning and will get there eventually. Everybody has to start somewhere afterall.

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