At some point in our lives, we might have times when we begin to ‘stagnate’ from an intellectual perspective; Such times lead to introspective questions such as “Am I putting my abilities/time to good use?” or “What should I do next?”
Feeling a sense of ‘boredom’ is a crucial part of the human existence – It is boredom that encourages and nurtures a coupole of other classic human traits, namely, our creativity and resourcefullness. The evolutionary importance of the sensation of boredom is critical – If we were never bored, we would never need to ask questions or play a game. We would not have any past time activity, because we wouldnt need one (we arent bored, so why have a ‘past time’ ? ). Boredom leads to playfulness – ever watched a crow/raven play ‘slide down the slippery roof’ ? What links humans and ravens/crows? Its our intelligence and our liability to get bored.
This brings us back to the original question at hand – What can one do if one is feeling stagnant about one’s current state of affairs intellectually?
Explore a new Hobby ! Learn a new skill ! Travel around locally on foot/visit new places !
In my case, I have been honing/practicing newly cultivated hobbies (Latin Dancing, Rock Climbing & Photography) and these have provided some good challenges. But I was itching for more mental stimulation, and this has lead me to look into learning a modern Programming Language.
To many of us (including me..) the idea of learning a programming language is immensely daunting; “I could never create a website/app, its so complicated!” but the allure is great (“I’d love to be able to make a shiny website/app !!”). I’ve taken a peak into the current state of things and its is shocking to see the amount of information available today, guiding anyone looking to learn, with well structured programs and free online learning tools.
As an example, I’ll reference two specific web-based programs I have found to be especially useful for the most simplest/widely used programing tools :-
a) CodeCademy (Great for HTML/CSS, Ruby & Python – arguably the best free resource out there)
If you need to know the basics of building out your own Blog or Portfolio website, CodeCademy is simply amazing in its simplicity and value. Tons of simple walkthroughs and guides that’ll teach you HTML & CSS. If you add in Ruby, you would be qualified enough to create the most complex, the most beautiful of websites! Yes 🙂 !
b) Khan Academy (Great for a ridiculously vast array of topics, including HTML/CSS, Ruby & Python)
Khan Academy is one of the oldest & most widely respected free online learning tools available today. You can teach yourself a humongous amount of stuff from Khan Academy. With our current look at Programming languages, there’s enough stuff in Khan Academy to teach you/motivate you and get you competent quickly in a wide variety of languages.
That’s it! I will keep this series of updates on HTML/CSS and programming and hopefully some of you find this useful and get encouraged and take it up yourself 😉