In my first year programming course in Pascal at IIT Kanpur, I learned a few life lessons — some of which I regretted for a long time.
In the first few weeks of the course, I paid little attention to the lectures. But as the dreaded mid-semester exam approached, one morning, I sat down with the textbook.
I rapidly read through the first 7-8 chapters with intense focus, and by evening, I was writing code — admittedly, not great code, but I was getting the assignments done.
I was thrilled, thinking, ‘Wow! It takes just one day to learn programming.’
Now, it is true that even a few hours of focus can spell magic. But knowing the syntax is not the same as being a good coder.
Also, I learned another wrong lesson.
Having supposedly ‘learned’ Pascal in one day, I was tempted to learn anything in a day-long blitz. With that mindset, as soon as you start, your mind goes, ‘When will this get over?’
You obsess over the destination, not the journey. You work hard for a day or two, and then quit.
The fact is, worthwhile things take months and years of consistency, not a day-long spike.
Don’t be a superman – just enjoy the journey, stay consistent, and you can conquer any mountain.
I wish this was the lesson I had learned from that Pascal course.