Where to begin? Some practical tips from a beginner

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The Expert in anything was once a Beginner.

Background

Recently I had a chance to respond to the HashNode discussion thread asking, Where to begin? The question and my response to it was around a specific context but, after thinking more about it, I got the idea of expanding it as a blog article.

In my opinion, the word beginner is underrated. We use this term loosely and allow others to use it without realizing the true power behind it. This blog post is about my views of where to begin and the fun of being a beginner.

I am sure, you will be able to relate to it. It will be great to hear from your experiences as well. Please share your thoughts, learning, experiences as comments below.

There is a beginning of everything

We all are born as beginners. From a toddler to kid to teenager to an adult, a beginner's journey is about learning, improving, persisting and again loop the cycle for a new beginning. Believe me, we will be doing just the same for the entire life!

Beginnercycle.png

Exactly the same philosophy applies to the skill development, coding, programming, our creative work, whatever we take up next. All of the four stages are equally important for us to get transitioned from a beginner to an expert or master.

  • Begin: Start of the journey.
  • Learn: Being in the journey and discovering the end of it.
  • Improve: Knowing the struggle and challenges of the past to ensure a better future of the journey.
  • Persist: The ability to stay firm, focused, confident and try completing an enjoyable journey.

Where to begin? Few Tips

A famous quote by Barbara Sher,

You can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.

As a beginner, the question of where to begin is very common. However finding the right answer may depend on various factors like,

  • What am I beginning with?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • What's my end goal?
  • Is there a reference(or experience) to follow when I begin?
  • What if I fail?

☑️ Begin with the end in mind

goal.gif

This is about knowing the end goal at the beginning of the journey. Say, You want to learn reactjs and you do not have much ideas about it yet. That's fine but, you should have fair idea of why do you want to learn reactjs? What are you going to do with it? Is it going to help getting you the next cool job? or Is it for fun learning? certification etc?

Time is precious and invaluable and we must make a good use of it. There must be reasons of beginning something. Also beginning with the end in mind gives you enough planning opportunities to make your learning productive and fruitful.

☑️ Motivation is important

motivation.gif

You have began. How are you doing? It is hard to continue without a motivation. Some of us are self motivated. Many of us need an external motivation factor. A motivation to begin something always helps us in completing the journey with positive outcome.

At present, #2articles1week challenge motivates me to write articles for the technology community benefit. I began on the challenge with the motivation of writing at least 2 quality articles in a week and I am on it!

☑️ Do not give up

hang_in.gif

It is very easy to begin. It is equally challenging to hang on it without giving up. Most of the beginnings are not overnight things. It takes time. Persistence is the key here.

For example, let's take any skills. A skill takes time to learn, more time to be good at, much more time to be an expert or master. Don't give up. Keep moving on.

☑️ Follow a proven path

path.gif

It is about learning from others and their experiences. One who has completed a journey or left in-between can help others guiding on similar path. Be an information seeker but, not necessarily you need to imitate.

For example, if you are beginning your journey to become a blogger, it makes sense to learn from the journey of other bloggers. How and where the journey began for them? What are the DOs and DON'Ts they have followed? You can always improvise on top of that to make it your own.

☑️ You are not alone

together.gif

When you feel challenged, struggling with things to make it work, do not feel that the situation is unique to you. You are really not alone even when it seems so. Look around, ask for help.

Going back to the basics help many times in coming out of a challenging situation. Specially in the areas of skill development. Be part of a community where you can learn and share. When it comes to the areas of skill development, no better support than a community to make you feel connected.

☑️ Being a beginner is inevitable

start.gif

Yes, this is true! Once a beginner is always a beginner. How? Let me explain.

You began on something, learned it, improved on it and persisted too. Now you are a subject matter expert on it. Are you going to stop with that? No, right? The ever curious mind of yours will find something else, something new to begin. Thus you are a beginner again.

So, what next?

So where to begin? If you are waiting, begin now. Begin with the resources you have in hands. If unsure, ask for help. Once began, stay motivated and do not give up. Good to have inspirations but, work towards making your own mark.

It is not just about where to begin, it is also about how to proceed, what to do and when to end. I would like to conclude this article with another famous motivational quote,

Never forget that, even the best was once a beginner. Don't be afraid to take that first step to greatness.


All the cool gifs used in this article are from https://giphy.com/. The cover photo is from freepik.

If this article was useful to you, please Like/Share so that, it reaches others as well. To get e-mail notification on my latest posts, please subscribe to my blog by hitting the Subscribe button at the top of the page.

shivambhat's photo

Thanks for Great INTRO on how to start blogging as a beginner and the way you explained everything was just magnificent.

Now I just need to Start up with something and basically my end goa for blogging is that I want to Have my work & leanings documented as a beginner in Python & data science space ,But honestly i am still unsure about How and What to use Blog for?

Tapas Adhikary's photo

☝ UI/UX Enthusiast | 💻 Work @MicroFocus | ✍️ Blogger | 👨‍🏫 Mentor | 🎤 Speaker | 🍟 Foodie

Hi Shivam,

I am glad, you liked it!

I would say, just begin. Anything that you felt as useful learning to you, will be useful to many others. No topic ideas are small ideas. Looking forward to see your first one.. All the best!

Bolaji Ayodeji's photo

I love this!

Jeffrey Desir's photo

😲Impression => A lovingly concise & recursively functional guide for unblocking creative practice & flow, thank you. 🙏🏿

💭Thoughts => If mastery of the creative/orderly-mind could be "decoupled" from mastery of the emotional/chaotic-mind, then we'd never need feel the existential anguish of spinning on a stagnant passion project; we'd just had memorized learning heuristics & practices from Vulcan school. _how then do you think can we unify the pragmatic & concrete fork of the Beginners path least taken to mastery with the emotional-spiritual fork? In other words, because our vocation deeply couples to our existential identity, how can we begin to co-create our professional branding with our spiritual identity?

AJ's photo

This was awesome!

Ruth Ikegah's photo

Awesome tips, Thanks Tapas Adhikary

Tapas Adhikary's photo

☝ UI/UX Enthusiast | 💻 Work @MicroFocus | ✍️ Blogger | 👨‍🏫 Mentor | 🎤 Speaker | 🍟 Foodie

Thank You!

Victoria Lo's photo

Thanks for this amazing piece :)

Tapas Adhikary's photo

☝ UI/UX Enthusiast | 💻 Work @MicroFocus | ✍️ Blogger | 👨‍🏫 Mentor | 🎤 Speaker | 🍟 Foodie

Thank You!

NELSON MICHAEL's photo

this is awesome and helpful.

Tapas Adhikary's photo

☝ UI/UX Enthusiast | 💻 Work @MicroFocus | ✍️ Blogger | 👨‍🏫 Mentor | 🎤 Speaker | 🍟 Foodie

Thank you NELSON MICHAEL! Glad that it was helpful.

Edidiong Asikpo's photo

I absolutely love this Tapas Adhikary. Thank you for sharing.

Tapas Adhikary's photo

☝ UI/UX Enthusiast | 💻 Work @MicroFocus | ✍️ Blogger | 👨‍🏫 Mentor | 🎤 Speaker | 🍟 Foodie

Edidiong Asikpo, Thank you very much!