Back to Basics
I believe everyone goes through the same stages in life. Those stages only come up when you are closing in on your dreams. The key words here are CLOSING IN. The closer you are the stronger resistance comes to clip your wings, than laugh as you fall on your face. Yes, it sucks to know that while you are doing good life will try to ruin everything but it’s true. There is a way to get around this though. Are you ready to find out how to win this constant game called “Life”.
Just keep freaking going. Yeah, I know that wasn’t necessarily what you wanted to hear. One because it’s simple yet you feel like it’s hard. The thing is it’s not hard if you think about it this way.
Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it!
– Eric Thomas
You know what’s on the other side of this tedious path? What lies behind all struggles and difficult situations? Success, duh. I promise you keep pushing keep working. That’s easier said than done. I know because I had to keep telling myself that. The stages go a little something like this.
1: On a Roll
I was moving man I promise you I was. Couldn’t nobody tell me I wasn’t destined for this. Anything I wanted to create, learn, and look into I got it first try. Everything seemed to flow and come so easy. I was truly on a roll and I figured it would never end. The climb started of easy. The fire was light and rising.
I pushed myself until I would pass out at night (literally). I put so much work in and I was impressing so many close friends / family as I grew in skill. I eventually got cocky and figured web development was easy and that I would be a front-end engineer in no time. Now this leads to the next stage I am sure most people go through. Maybe not in this order but the stages still apply in some way.
2: Everyone’s a Critic
This new level of cockiness I develop of course didn’t sit well with my teachers or mentors. Every assignment they gave me I would knock it out in less than a week. If I did something wrong, or answered a question wrong my immediate response would be a dry; “I got this, I know what I am doing.” I just knew I was the master and should be paid that way to. I started demanding more money at my job. Even though none of the work I did outside the job was related. I probably was short and being a smart ass to everyone too. The thing is confidence is good to have but of course you shouldn’t let it get to your head.
Finally, you either realized you aren’t where you want to be or something traumatic takes place and wakes you up. Either way something gets you to realize that you aren’t all that. In fact it feels like a fatal blow and often you think you didn’t get anywhere. This is the stage that I just left. I recently got another mentor to teach me how to think about developing. I figured it would be easy, all the other assignments I had were. I practically just knocked them out.
Nope that wasn’t the case it was the first assignment that I couldn’t even began to think about doing. In fact it was so bad I didn’t even start coding a thing. I felt pitiful the whole week. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I love challenges and I put way too much time into it. I couldn’t just give up. I wanted my reward more than I wanted to stay comfortable at my 9 to 5 job. I wanted to live life-like I always saw it in my dreams.
I wanted to feel, hear, and touch the success I’ve already experience while I was asleep. I truly believe I have everything I could want already. However, some of those things I haven’t physically experienced yet. As weird as it may sound it’s the truth and I am sure it goes for everyone.
4: Back to the Basics
I sometimes forget to eat now, and when I do feel hungry I won’t move until I get what I want to get done. I often times forget to call people, or even remember the other things I have to do. This stage can have many names, but it ultimately involves a deep focus. A focus on literally the basics and other building blocks. I instantly realized if I am going to make up some lost ground I had to shut everything out and get to work. This stage could also be labeled as the heartless stage and here’s why. In this particular stage you do not care about anything else, you won’t realize anything else. You will be so focused that you don’t give a damn about small stuff and trust me everything else is small stuff.
I ruined plenty of relationships that I actually liked and valued in this stage but maybe the side effects are a good thing. My advice would be to tell everyone you love that you are about to leave this planet. They won’t be able to reach you until you are done. The true friends and family that admire you, and believe in you will stay. The fakes, and leeches will drop off. Either way you have to let everyone know you are in “The Zone.” That’s just the way that it is right now.
I don’t feel ashamed to admit this but I probably have been cut off by my girl more than I can count. Why? Because I would forget to call her, see her, and often listen to her. I can understand how she probably feels. It’s almost as if I placed her as irrelevant. If she is truly done like she says she is, that’s fine I understand. We’re young at the time of this post. If she can’t make it through this stage with me than it’s cool we will both live. If you start to daydream or dream about your future (good or bad) than embrace it. Let “the zone” take over. If you can’t sleep or eat, and you feel antsy about your work, or whatever you are striving for than embrace it. This is the most painful stage but it’s so effective. Part of me hates I take this so serious and the other part loves that I can be so hungry and relentless.
I know what to do and I knew it all along. I am walking through the basics and soaking everything up like a sponge. I may be out of control, irresponsible, reckless and/or heartless. I don’t care because I want this. I feel like I have the same killer instinct that Michael Jordan has, the same look Lebron had in game 6 against Boston. This is a love hate zone and it tugs on the emotions of both sides. I am slowly grasping concepts I should have gotten before. I’m starting to creep into the advanced aspects of development.
I can’t allow myself to get big-headed again. I have to keep pushing.
5: You’re Never Done
At some point you realize. You will never be done improving and working. No matter how much you accomplish, you celebrate way less because you are now a pro. You now understand that you can’t relax and let your foot off the gas. You keep going because you are never done. When you get to this stage it’s a thing of beauty. Why? One everyone will think you don’t take breaks and you will be amongst the handful of people who have crazy work ethic. Two only geniuses or higher-ups will understand you and how you operate. Three the feeling of winning will drive you this could be good or bad though. Finally the fourth reason is because you only reach this stage if you are on the right path.
This stage is intense and you can’t reach it unless you love what you do.
So make sure you recognize the stage that you are in and keep progressing. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and hit the basics.