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Starting Small: Tips for Self Motivation for New Beginnings
April 13, 2022

Table of Contents

Keep Going

I cannot stop thinking about this tweet from @VisualizeValue and how incredible it is for self motivation:

"This is Pointless"

How many times have you felt like this?

I think back to when I was having difficulty in my first year undergraduate DSP courses. “These classes are too hard! How am I even supposed to use all of this weird math? This is pointless.”

Then I graduated and began working on my masters degree. “Doing research is too hard! I want to build real world systems. This is pointless.”

Then I graduated and went into industry. “I don’t know enough to build real systems! This is pointless.”

Then I built some real systems and went back to get my PhD. “This journal paper will never get published! This is pointless.”

And then the journal paper was accepted and I graduated.

And on.

And on.

And on.

Self Motivation

How do you combat the “pointless” feeling?

The first step is to look back down the mountain to see how far you’ve come.

Self Motivation: Looking back down the mountain
Self Motivation: Looking back down the mountain

It’s too easy to look up the mountain to see how far you have to go. So focus on what you have accomplished and use that as motivation to propel yourself to new heights.

The second step is to write down your work accomplished and your successes.

Putting all of the information in one location allows your brain to focus on the successes without any distraction. I use a physical journal and I make a new bullet point each time I accomplish something and I call that a success.

Self Motivation: My accomplishment log used to be empty. Now it is full of things I have accomplished. It is worn and dirty because I use it everyday.
Self Motivation: My accomplishment log used to be empty. Now it is full of things I have accomplished. It is worn and dirty because I use it everyday.

A success can be:

  • Writing new blog post
  • Creating a YouTube channel
  • Installing a new piece of software
  • Sending a tweet

Your success may be:

  • Starting to write new code
  • Applying for an internship
  • Removing a bug from your code
  • Giving a presentation

Each of these successes are a small step in your journey up the mountain. So do yourself a favor and appreciate them.


Stay on the path laid out for you. Endurance is key, and using self motivation will keep you energized over the long haul. Remember to look back down the mountain to see how far you have come and enjoy your previous successes.

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God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer's; He makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:19
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together. A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. Ecclesiastes 3:1,5
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2
Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was pinched off from a piece of clay. Job 33:6
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name! Psalm 100:4
Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord! Psalm 134:2
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-39
Then He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live." Ezekiel 37:4-5
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. Proverbs 11:4
The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:2-3
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding." Daniel 2:20-21
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
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