I came across this image (from a Julia Evans tweet) last night and I was thinking about it a lot today. Although it’s about software debugging it’s applicable to hard problems of any kind.
In my daily work, I am constantly encountering things that are happening for which I have no idea why, and I’m expected to know. So I have to figure it out, and there is always a sense of apprehension that it’s going to be hard, and it’s certainly uncomfortable and mentally challenging to work through it. But inevitably I always figure it out, whatever it is (usually with the help of others, which is another lesson in and of itself). And after that struggle, the reward is learning something new. It’s always worth it.
So, instead of letting that little feeling of dread seep in when I encounter the next hard thing I don’t know what to do with, I’m going to smile and say “Good! I’m going to learn something”!