How I decided to have a better life

And what I did to head in the right direction

It has been a while since I last wrote a blog post on Medium. A lot has happened since then, and today I decided to write about it. There is a lot to write, so I will divide it into multiple posts, each being specifically about the topic I want to focus on.

First, here is a (non-exhaustive) list of what I have done since my last post:

  • reviewed everything I learned at Launch School
  • almost decided to stop Launch School
  • accepted the fact that Launch School is the right path for me
  • developed/improved my learning skills
  • got back into working out (after an injury that lasted 5 months)
  • dove into what my life’s purpose is
  • started meditating
  • started journaling
  • found an apartment in New York City
  • moved to New York City

As you can see, I sort of had a life crisis. In order to explain why, I need to give you some context.

# Launch School

It all started with Launch School. I studied full-time for two months straight — from mid-April 2016 until mid-June 2016 — and then had to go back to France during the summer. It became really hard for me to work because I was traveling with my girlfriend across Europe and I was spending time with my family that I hadn’t seen in a while. I managed to work a few days here and there but it was not enough. 
I spent three months in Europe total, during which I probably managed to work approximately 40 hours (a week worth of work). As you can imagine, since I am currently learning to become a Software Engineer, I forgot almost everything I had previously learned. 
I knew that by picking Launch School I needed to adopt a mastery-based approach instead of a time-based approach. Even though I believed I was in the right mindset, my mind was time-oriented. The reason why I was unable to notice it was due to the fact that during Launch School’s program, students have to pass assessments so they can move on to the next course. I passed all these assessments and did well on all of them. I thought that as long as I was doing well on assessments I could just pace through the courses as fast as I could. I was wrong.

# The Realization

It was not until the beginning of November 2016 — one and a half months after studying full time again — that I realized I had the wrong approach. While I was waiting for my interview assessment for the second front-end course of the program, I decided to look back and review some Ruby from the back-end courses. The shock was brutal. I had forgotten probably 80% of what I had learned: I felt pretty demoralised. The fact that almost everything I had done was for nothing left me wounded.
Some of you might think that I had the fundamentals down… It’s true (to some extent) I had a few of the fundamentals still fresh because I was able to review them with JavaScript and my problem solving was not all gone. Regardless, it was a hard hit and I had to put a lot of effort into accepting what happened and turn my mistake into a lesson I could learn from.

Once I decided to build a new learning method for myself, everything changed. But it was not without difficulties. As I stated above, I almost decided to stop Launch School. After spending so much time looking for/going through a program that would fit my needs, I was ready to throw it all away and find a new program that would fit my “new needs.” 
I was simply trying to escape from the truth, escape from the fact that yes, becoming a Software Engineer would indeed be hard. Yes, it would take a lot of time. Yes, I would have to change some things about myself. And this is when my life changed.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Albert Einstein

In the end, this realization triggered a series of reflections that led me to pursuing the goal of having a better life and striving to become the best version of myself.

See you on my next post! It will be about what I did to change my learning methods and the role it played towards my overall life change.