Recently, I started a new side project and since I’m technically inclined. I got myself a Raspberry Pi 3 to play with. What I did with the Raspberry Pi is a story for another day. Instead, I found setting up my first Raspberry Pi to be a learning experience, so I thought I would share what I learned throughout the process. Here are five lessons I learnt from setting up my first Raspberry Pi.

#1 – Perseverance can solve anything

Admittedly, my experience in the past with Linux is limited, and my experience with Raspberry Pi’s are even more limited. However, even with my lack of knowledge, I still managed to complete what I wanted to with the Raspberry Pi by persevering.

Preserving with your side projects and work is one of the most effective ways to guaranteeing your success. By constantly working hard, we are providing ourselves with ample opportunities to become successful in life and succeed in our goals.

#2 – Time flies when you’re in The Flow

‘The Flow’ is a state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

By choosing challenges that interest us and, also matches our current skill level we enter a zone known as ‘The Flow’. I noticed when I was setting up my first Raspberry Pi that the time simply disappeared and before I knew it, I had spent hours and hours trying to solve one problem.

By doing something we enjoy, we don’t realise the length of time we are doing it for. This isn’t only true for side projects. This is a fact of life, no matter what we are doing, we need to get into The Flow as often as possible. When we’re in The Flow, along with time passing quicker, we also produce higher quality work in a shorter period.

#3 – Challenging side projects are catalysts

I mentioned before how important The Flow is. Well, to enter The Flow we need to be challenged by what we are facing. In my case, having limited knowledge and experience with Raspberry Pi’s provided me with the perfect challenge.

Not only does having a challenging side project help you enter The Flow, but it’s also super satisfying for us as individuals. Overcoming challenges and experiencing success, creates the thirst for more in the future.

By setting up my first Raspberry Pi and overcoming the challenges with it, I was motivated to challenge myself with more projects. So, I took on more challenges with my Raspberry Pi, inspired by what others had done and I tried to recreate their work myself.

It doesn’t have to be related to Raspberry Pis or even technology. It could be writing you challenge yourself with, but what’s important is we took on the challenge, we met the challenge and, we exceeded the challenge.

#4 – Impressive things don’t demand attention

Raspberry Pi’s are tiny, they’re advertised as being the size of a credit card. It’s incredible how they managed to make a computer that small and yet for its size, so powerful. But, yet on the outside, if you didn’t know what it was, you wouldn’t give it a second thought.

After thinking about it, this is true for a lot of things in life. Impressive things don’t demand attention they earn it. Many famous authors don’t demand people like their work instead people find it, and if it’s good, it gets attention. Nothing good ever came from demanding things.

Work hard, let your work speak for itself and, don’t demand people to like it.

#5 – Once you know the basics, anything is possible

I had limited knowledge and experience before setting up my first Raspberry Pi. But, now I know what to do: I can control the Pi via commands, I can set up servers, mount drives, update and install applications and, more. From these basics, I can go on build more impressive things using the basics I learnt.

Once you know the basics, anything is possible. You can’t write a novel without first learning how to write a sentence. You can’t do advanced equations in mathematics without first learning how to add, subtract, multiply and, divide. The basics are the foundation of the advanced topics.

You can achieve anything you want, but first, you need to learn how to do the basic exercises.


These lessons are all conclusions I came to after setting up my first Raspberry Pi, but that doesn’t mean that’s what you need to. However, if you are interested in purchasing a Raspberry Pi then check out the link below.

Side projects are platforms to define ourselves; no one controls them other than ourselves. All side projects are different, they all have different lessons to teach us. For me, my Raspberry Pi taught me the five lessons in this article, but for you, it could be completely different.

The important part is not what the lesson is, but rather that we are learning.

P.S. If you have any good lessons to share, then please do by tweeting them to me here.

Sign up to newsletter post image

Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed this article, then hit the share button below | It would mean a lot to me for others to be able to read this as well.

Say, hi on:

Medium Quora Twitter Instagram | Facebook

Buy a Raspberry Pi:

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

If you liked this, you might also like:

5 Lessons My First Black-tie Event Taught Me

3 Steps to Build a Better Future by First, Accepting the Past.

Three Attributes of Successful People. And, How You Can Have Them too.