Beginner, Not Bad

In order to get good at anything, one must accept being bad at it for a while. Being bad at things, but still doing them to learn and improve is an essential skill. It is skill that I now try very hard to cultivate in myself. To get meta, I used to be very bad at being bad. Being incompetent would make me unhappy and be very discouraging. When I viewed my self worth as a function of my ability, it was devastating to have no idea what I was doing. By the time I wrote this, I had successfully divorced my self identity from the outputs of life.

My self identity realigned around life’s inputs. Learning became an essential input. In addition, I saw myself progress from being bad to functional at a few skills. That was encouraging. School, internships, family, friends, works, etc. force us to be bad at things, but still do them. After a while, I saw how much growth was possible. Instead of thinking of myself as bad, I thought of myself as a beginner. Being a beginner means a very high rate of learning.

Learning  is a core value for me. My goal is to make sure I learn something new every day. What attracted me to data science was the vast, ever growing, amount of information in the field. Every night, after work, there is always something new to learn about data science. Cooking (my favorite hobby) also offers me the opportunity to constantly learn new techniques.

I’ve struggled with severe should pain the last 18 months. After trying everything else, I gave yoga a shot. There are few more uncomfortable experience than an inflexible person trying yoga for the first time in NOLA heat without a water bottle. It bruised my pride, but helped my shoulders. I’ve stuck with it for the last month. My shoulders are the best they’ve ever been since the pain started. My posture and ability to hold yoga poses have improved. Even so, I still fall pretty often.

I’m not bad at yoga; I’m just a beginner.

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