Need Motivation

When I want to work on real world data , I can’t solve the problem .
How can I improve myself?

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Hi @mst.tahminajerinarju,

Staying motivated definitely is one of the biggest challenges in any field of work. I know I have had some grand personal projects that I’ve wanted to work on and then quickly realize I don’t even know where to start. I’ve read many books on the subject and the one that comes to mind here is called ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday. The obstacle is “I can’t solve the problem”, the driving force is that you want to solve the problem, the motivation then becomes the obstacle itself, and you keep trying to find a way to beat it.

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Hello @mst.tahminajerinarju,

First of all, you’ll probably have to clarify what kind of real-world problems you can’t solve. Just because you can’t solve a problem doesn’t mean you can’t solve all real-world problems or you’re innately incapable of problem-solving.

The most difficult thing about improving is not that difficult problems are difficult, but that difficult problems are difficult if you’re not ready for it. It doesn’t mean you can’t solve them, it’s just that you’ll to have build yourself up until you can solve them one day.

You’ll need to find a problem that’s difficult enough to frustrate you but not that difficult to the point that you excessively doubt yourself. Finding that sweet spot can be difficult and even with the abundance of resources online, no one can really tell you which real-world problem that is best for you.

Building that sense for spotting challenging yet doable problem is important because outside of formal education, most of us have to be responsible for finding ways to educate ourselves since we are not in an environment where people are feeding us well-calibrated and incrementally difficult set of problems. For example, when starting a new job, some employers can throw you into the deep end with minimal guidance; when that happens, either you succumb to the difficult problems by just gazing at the enormity of the problems, or you can try to break those problem down until they’re somewhat doable.

Furthermore, Dataquest and other learning resources can help us up to a point to teach us how to fly, but one day, once we’re out of the nest and we want to fly higher, all of us will have to teach ourselves concepts not covered by those courses.

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Maybe a simple algorithm is if you find a problem that is too difficult, try to find a similar problem that’s less difficult. Try to solve that. If you can solve that, feel free to find a more difficult problem; if you can’t solve that, then find another similar but less difficult problem.

When solving a problem, try to solve them on your own first and only look things up for references only and not for exact answers. This is not to say that you should do everything on your own; most of the time you can solve things on your own but you’ll have to push a bit before you get to that point. That’s another problem-sense that you can train yourself: do your best to solve a problem by yourself first before looking up other people’s solutions or ask people for help.

It’s not about pride or anything like that. It’s all a matter of stopping yourself from underestimating how much you are capable of; when we seek help too early, we have the tendency of developing the “if other people can solve it, why not just copy or ask them when there’s even a slight hint of frustration” mindset. Copying and not reinventing the wheel are very good things for various reasons, but they should be done cautiously and only when you have spend some time with the problem on your own.

The reverse of the algorithm is to find a very easy problem and incrementally build up your expertise from there.

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For motivation, once you can solve a problem, you’ll most of the time be automatically motivated to solve other increasingly more difficult problems. Follow the momentum until you reach the problem you initially want to solve.

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Say, if there’s a problem that you think is doable but you somehow can’t solve, it’s probably not a problem with your capability but it’s that you lack a critical perspective. Each one of us is a just a person with a single perspective and that blinds us a whole lot considering the multi-angled world we live in. Find a person you can talk to or maybe share your problems in this forum or somewhere else. After conversing with someone, most of the time you‘ll find yourself saying to yourself - “It’s actually quite simple. I just didn’t see it before this”. You’ll see that you’re perfectly capable of solving the problem, you just need someone to guide your sight a little.

Heck, if you don’t have anyone, even talking to yourself can be very useful e.g. rubber duck debugging.

Hopefully that helps.

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Hi @mst.tahminajerinarju,

I can relate. I agree with all the great advice and suggestions already provided.

I think this is normal. What really helped me is to stop and first ask what do I want to do? What is my goal? What questions do I want to answer.

If you are comfortable maybe you can share your real world problems you ran into and get some ideas from the community!

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