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Larry Schwall
Larry Schwall

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Constructive Thinking and Coding

When it comes to coding, a lot of times we find ourselves negatively thinking about our learning process. Sometimes we may learn slow...or sometimes we may learn fast! But at the end of the day, we still question ourselves time and time again when it comes to the unknown. How do I positively absorb the information? How come I can't learn it as fast as this other person? Why am I dumb? Why can't I learn?

The truth is: you can. You can set your mind to achieve anything you want. You've learned something everyday since you have been born...even if that lesson or tid-bit of knowledge was small. YOU LEARNED!

So hopefully from this post, you learn where your weaknesses may lie when approaching a difficult situation or even difficult code.

In this blog, we are going to do a quick test. Then explain how to look at code a bit differently.


Disclaimer: This test and explanations were taken from: Constructive Thinking Test

How to take the test

Rate on a scale from 1 to 5. *
*1 definitely false
-> 3 undecided -> 5 definitely true
| try to avoid using 3 |


  1. When something unfortunate happens to me, it reminds me of all the other things wrong in my life, which adds to my unhappiness.

  2. I think about how I will deal with threatening events ahead of time, but I don’t worry needlessly.

  3. When I am faced with a difficult task, I think encouraging thoughts that help me to do my best.

  4. If I were accepted at an important job interview, I would feel very good and think that I would always be able to get a good job.

  5. I think there are many wrong ways, but only one right way, to do almost anything.

  6. I have found that talking about successes that I am looking forward to can keep them from happening.

  7. I believe if I think terrible thoughts about someone, it can affect that person’s well-being.


Question 1 addresses a general form of destructive thinking. If you rate yourself a 5 on this item, it suggests that you may partially create your own misfortune, allowing yourself to be overly influenced by the occurrence of one disturbing event. In general, destructive thinking involves automatically coming up with interpretations of situations that prevent you from adapting and coping with them.

Question 2 explores emotional coping, or the ability to calm yourself down by helping yourself to feel better. If you’re strong in this area, you’ve figured out ways to avoid worrying and instead to focus on the positive. By seeing situations as challenging rather than fear-provoking, you’ll be able to conquer them more effectively. A 5 on this item means you're good at self-soothing your way to success.

Question 3 conveys behavioral coping, also called “problem-focused.” This item taps your ability to get yourself through the tough times by concentrating on what must be done, building your feelings of self-confidence to give you a boost, so a 5 is a positive score. To be strong in this area, you almost have to be able to launch those action-oriented thoughts automatically.

Question 4 demonstrates naïve optimism, the tendency to overgeneralize in a positive way from one good event to all related events in general. A 5 means that you tend to jump to conclusions too quickly, assuming that one positive outcome will guarantee all future outcomes to be positive, also.

Question 5 expresses categorical thinking, in which you view everything in black and white terms. One of the qualities of maturity is the ability to understand that what’s wrong and right (within bounds) may vary according to the situational context. Scoring 5 on this item means that you’ll have more difficulty adapting when the situation demands that you take a less extreme position.

Question 6 indicates personal superstitiousness, or the belief that your life is influenced by extraneous factors. If you scored a 5 on this item, it means that you cling to private superstitions that no one necessarily shares vs. the general superstitions (e.g. avoiding black cats) that few of us take seriously.

Question 7 emphasizes esoteric thinking, or the belief that you can magically influence outcomes through. For example, your thoughts reflect the quality of esoteric thinking. Here a 5 suggests that you hold illogical beliefs about cause and effect. If you’re high on this tendency, you may also believe in scientifically dubious phenomena, such as ghosts.

How does it relate to coding?

When it comes to coding, you may find yourself stressed or overwhelmed. You can begin --like I do over and over again-- contemplate whether or not you are meant to be a coder. BUT! You are.

In conclusion, using the test, you can spot your weaknesses in thinking and how you look at coding in general .

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