How To Learn
I like this excerpt. It reassures me and gives me a sense that I can ground myself and proceed. This is written by a professor who teaches programming. (excerpted here with respect, but without permission).
How to Learn
I have all sorts of people come to my class: the bright and the not so bright, the motivated and the lazy, the experienced and the novice. Regardless, the people who get the most from the class are always the ones who remain focused on the topic at hand.
The first trick to maintaining focus is to get enough sleep. I suggest ten hours of sleep each night while you are studying new ideas. Before dismissing this idea, try it. You will wake up refreshed and ready to learn. Caffeine is not a substitute for sleep.
The second trick is to stop thinking about yourself. While learning something new, many students will think, "Damn, this is hard for me. I wonder if I am stupid." Because stupidity is such an unthinkably terrible thing in our culture, the students will then spend hours constructing arguments that explain why they are intelligent yet are having difficulties. The moment you start down this path, you have lost your focus.
I used to have a boss named Rock. Rock had earned a degree in astrophysics from Cal Tech and had never had a job where us used his knowledge of the heavens. Once I asked him if he regretted getting the degree. "My absurd degree in astrophysics has proved to be very valuable," he said, "Some things in this world are just hard. When I am struggling with something, I sometimes think 'Damn, this is hard. I wonder if I am stupid,' and then I remember that I have a degree in astrophysics from Cal Tech. I must not be stupid."
Before going any further, assure yourself that you are not stupid and that some things are just hard. Armed with this silly affirmation and a well-rested mind, you are ready to conquer Cocoa.
Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X