Learn by doing ...

Step 1 may be figuring out what kind of learner you are. There are plenty of free tests online. I took this one and was not surprised at all to find that I'm more Tactile (kinetic) than an audio or visual learner. I learn by doing. Depending on what you're trying to figure out this can become incredibly expensive in terms of time and/or resources. But don't sweat the mistakes as they can be great teachers.

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One of the greatest teachers ...

Failure can teach us a great deal about our own resiliance, creativity, and self-awareness. By learning from our mistakes we become stronger, smarter, and more resiliant. Here's a few quotes on failure to hopefully keep you motivated ...

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

“If at first you don't succeed, find out why.”

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

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Don't go it alone

If we're going to be learning new things you can bet we're going to fall on our faces from time to time. It'd be wise to have someone there to help you back to your feet. Not to mention there's great benefit in working with someone who may bring a different point of view. I've explained to my kids that Google can certainly tell me how to change the oil in my car, but a person who's done it a time or two will tell me where to place the oil pan when you open up the drain plug for the first time to save yourself a mess.

I currently work on a team full of folks smarter than myself. That's why I'm shocked when I say or suggest something that they think is a good idea. Remember, iron sharpens iron, we make each other better by working together.

King Solomon, considered to be one of the wisest men of the Ancient Near East (and possibly the world) had this to say about working in teams:

9Two people are better than one, because they can reap more benefit from their labor. 10For if they fall, one will help his companion up, but pity the person who falls down and has no one to help him up. 11Furthermore, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm, but how can one person keep warm by himself? 12Although an assailant may overpower one person, two can withstand him. Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NET

(PSA: thankfully I live in a country where I do not have to worry about laying down and warming myself with my colleagues)

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Improved Horizons

You know how to do your best learning. You know how to figure things out. You've got one, or two, or twenty individuals you can connect with and sharpen each other's skills. You're now a lean, mean, problem-solving machine. So what's next?

Well, if you're not dead, move on to the next problem. While this site will be where I focus on solving problems that tend to be digital in nature, there are bigger problems out there. Problems of the human condition. If you get tired of working in code, try working on your heart and improving the hearts around you.

Starting at a place of admitting that we don't know everything, that's called humility. Knowing that we get more done by working together in community than on our own, that's called wisdom. Finally, while working in that community we'll learn that we're more alike than we are different which, in a small way, is the beginning of love.

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