Happy New Year! On Persistence and Patience.

Happy 2016! I hope you’re off and running for your new year’s goals.

Today, let’s talk about persistence and patience whenever you’re tackling something new.

Most people don’t follow through on most things.

They’ll try something for 3 or 6 months or even a year, and then quit. They get discouraged when results don’t materialize.

The problem is sticking with something for long enough to get results.

Let’s examine my own journey with programming:

I never programmed in highschool, I only started when I went to college. I almost dropped out of my freshman CS 101 class because I was so bad at it. But I kept working.

I worked for 3.5 years, from 18 to 21 doing nothing but programming, not only in my course work, but I worked 2 jobs outside of the classroom.

That’s 3 years with virtually no positive feedback, but I kept going because I enjoyed it. Then in the Spring of my junior year I caught a break when I got an internship at Google. I kept working, studying algorithms all summer to pass the end of internship interviews.

I passed, and wound up as a full time Googler.

Now, technically I had “made it”, but the journey continued.

I struggled my first 2 years at Google. Then finally, I landed with a group where everything clicked, and I enjoyed huge pay bumps and interesting work.

So I had finally made it, but it took 5.5 years to get there. If I had quit before 3 years, I would have never seen anything. It would have been a blank spot of wasted time.

I’ve seen similar stories from everyone I follow, and it doesn’t matter what you chose to do. Blogging, working out, being an entrepreneur, programming, and martial arts all have similar learning curves.

Success takes its sweet time to show up, and there’s not much you can do to control it. But you can keep going. As long as you’re learning and trying new things, just keep going.

Happy New Year!