Learning something new

When we are young, we learn lots of new things. And when I say new, I mean completely new. Something with which you have no previous experience… Like learning a new foreign language. Or a musical instrument.

Challenging. And sometimes frustrating. But most of all, it’s exciting.

As we get older, it’s rare that we are presented with these kind of monumental challenges. We forget what it’s like to struggle with vocabulary words in a new language. Or learn scales on a musical instrument.

I don’t think it’s that we become lazy… Instead, as we get older, we focus on things that like. Getting better at doing things that we already do well. It’s rare when we challenge ourselves to learn something completely different. Something radically outside our comfort zone…

Well, I’m there. Completely outside of my comfort zone. As part of my new focus for 2011, I’ve started the process of learning Objective C with the goal of releasing an iOS app. And while I’m familiar with the basic concepts of programming, I’m anything but comfortable. I’m a designer. I’m used to the visual side of things. I swear I’m using parts of my brain that I have used since high school calculus.

I’m working through books and tutorials. And I’m making progress. But, right now, I’m doing the programming equivalent of learning basic vocabulary or musical scales. Slow and simple progressions. And hopefully, before I know it, I’ll be doing the programming equivalent of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

I’m definitely challenged. And occasionally frustrated. But most of all, I’m excited to be learning something completely new. I’ll be posting more on the books and resources I’m using and other observations along the way. But for now, back to work…