Teaching yourself hard things, part 2
Fri May 10, 2019 · 251 words

Read part 1

On top of the difficulty of pinpointing your #1 learning bottleneck, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for figuring it out.

But first, if you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering who am I and why should you pay attention to what I’m about to show you…

I’m Ray Li, and I’m a Senior Engineer at Microsoft.

When I first joined the workforce over 15 years ago, I was drowning in work and life. I couldn’t keep up.

I wanted to find the time to improve my skills and stay informed, but there just wasn’t enough time to learn everything I wanted.

I wanted to keep up with tech trends, but I had no idea how to identify the right trends.

I wanted to quickly get competent in new technologies, get up-to-speed on new projects and retain what I learned, but I didn’t know the best techniques and strategies.

So I floundered.

Work created havoc in my life, and in return, life would often find a way to affect my work. I made a ton of mistakes. I started losing patches of hair, my doctor told me I shouldn’t weigh so much at such a young age and my performance reviews at work seemed to just mirror my failings elsewhere.

In short, I was drowning, and I had no idea how to swim.

And at that moment…

When things were pretty much at their lowest, I realized having no idea how to swim isn’t the problem – it’s the answer.

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