Small Moves

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. So good to take a moment and answer the question, “What are the things in my life for which I am the most thankful?”

As I sit here, listening to some great holiday jazz—reflecting on all the things that matter most—I realize how fortunate I am. No doubt this has been a tough year for all of us.

Sitting around the table with my family in our humble cottage eating fresh biscuits and gravy talking about life on a cold Fall day watching out the window at the leaves literally fall in front of us I can't help but be overwhelmed with feelings of joy and gratitude. It really is the small things. And speaking of small …

As I prepare what we will be learning together I'm reminded how much being focused on small gains matters, “small moves” as Ellie's dad reminders her.

It is better to focus on less and master it better. Patience really is a virtue. Often in our rush to learn we forget that mastery takes time, practice, and patience.

According to science humans are overly optomistic which can lead to frustration. In fact, we are usually overestimate our capacity or time constraints by double, which may be why I have so often heard professionals recommend doubling any estimate once you make your best guess. Obviously some will get better at this, but I have observed throughout my professional career that this is about right for most people.

16 hours is not that much time. That's around one hour a week. Think about how much you could accomplish in one hour a week, certainly not learning any instrument or sport. Next time you get down on yourself for not being a rock-star coder ask yourself honestly how much time you are actually putting in. Can you dedicate 30 minutes a day to working on coding a project that you like? How about just 15 minutes?

By adding small moves you will eventually see big gains as you continue to progress rather than fall behind and have to catch up again. Soon you will have a completed project that you can proudly share with others and the learning to go with it.