I remember being in the 3rd year of university and attending a course about networking. You know what I mean, TCP/IP, UDP, packets, network topologies, etc. The course instructor just published a good book on the topic and most of his students, including me, bought it. He was pleased that his book was popular and selling well but he had a word of warning for us.
He said: Start reading it today. Do not wait until tomorrow, or next week, or next month. You are taking the networking course now, so the time cannot be better. Anything that you read in the book will improve your computer education and also help with the course’s end exam. And after finishing the book, you can put it aside and move on to the next one, and then on to the next one. Read it now because next week you will be interested in more and more books. You don’t want this book to be just a part of a pile of books that no one ever reads and that simply collects dust.
This advice seemed logical, but I did not read the book. I kept it for a while on the bookshelf and then threw it away. But “do it today” stayed with me. What is the big deal with “do it today“?
Tomorrow, next week and next month do not exist now. Every day that we live is today. If you’re thinking about going to the gym today, or taking your dog to the beach or improving your relationship with your kid or wife, today is the moment to do it. There are no distractions in “today”, so just focus on what’s important to you and simply step into it. Do not delay, do not leave it for tomorrow or next week.
Remember the Rocky 3 movie? Rocky just lost his world boxing title to Clubber Lang, and Apollo, his old rival, tries to get him back to training. But Rocky is not into it yet:
Apollo: [in the ring sparring with Rocky]
He’s hooking! He’s hooking! DAMN, ROCK! COME ON! What’s the matter with you?!
Rocky: Tomorrow. Let’s do it tomorrow.
Apollo: THERE IS NO TOMORROW!! THERE IS NO TOMORROW!! THERE IS NO TOMORROW!!
Delay usually brings even more delay and eventually resignation. So, act as if there is no tomorrow and do it today.
You may think that I am going off-topic, because what does this have to do with learning programming or test automation?
The manual tester trade slowly goes away with the advent of test automation. The manual testers are pressed by their companies, by their teams and by the job market, to diversify their skills and learn programming. Still, most of them keep delaying the moment of getting started. They might say:
I will do it tomorrow.
I don’t have the motivation yet.
I haven’t found the perfect book or online course.
I may do it after I change my job.
I will do it when I find a company willing to train me.
So they keep delaying till tomorrow until one day they are out of a job. Now, with bills that need to be paid, they have the motivation to do it. Today, now, this moment! But it is a bit too late to have any effect on their current unemployment. They wish they would have started a year ago when they thought for about 15 minutes of starting their Java learning and then just postponed it.
I agree with James Altucher who says that there are two ways of going: Go up and improve, or go down. There is no staying on the same spot. If you choose to do nothing hoping that tomorrow you will be as good as today, you will not be. Technology changes and if you don’t change at the same rate or at all, what you know today will be of less value tomorrow, and of even less value next week.
Hopefully this article will inspire you to start TODAY! 😉