Learn to make something with your hands. Gaining practical skills isn’t just for those who want a shot at surviving the inevitable zombie/viral/enviro/socio-pocalypse(s)…
1. Having A Skill Is Cool
Let’s face it – being able to build or fix something is an enviable asset these days, and not just for economic reasons. Making your own beer or crafting your own furniture has become the new black thanks to the bearded & bespectacled hipster crowd. At the very least, don’t you wish you could be The Guy Who Makes His Own Furniture?
2. Making is Meditation
Anyone who has ever focused on a task for any reasonable length of time can tell you how much time can fly when you’re really in the zone. In fact there are many forms of repetitive or creative meditations, such as the creation of a Mandala, used to calm, focus, and strengthen the mind.
3. Follow Through is Satisfying
It is completely and utterly satisfying to see our plans actually come to fruition. Ever wanted to pat yourself on teh back for a job well done? You should champ? Our plans mean nothing if we don’t take the steps to actually bring them to life, and whether we are successful or not, we learn something in the process. Planting a seed is not as satisfying as pulling up that first veggie from your garden. Stick with it – follow through!
4. Practice Perseverance
So you’ve got a plan to build your new cabinets, or maybe you’ve designed a froc that you can’t wait to put on and show off. Unfortunately, making something from nothing often comes with a lot of trial and error, so getting back on the horse each time your cabinets don’t measure up or your froc falls apart is key. Learn to Fail Up!
5. It Means More
It should come as to surprise that something you make with your own two hands means a lot more than something bought in a store. Sure, your first few batches of home brew might not be top shelf, but your care and attention will make every sip more delicious.
6. You Can Teach Someone Else
If you have kids, or plan on having them, of course having a skill that you can teach them is valuable, and something that can bring you closer. Even if you’re not in a family way, teaching other people is a pretty amazing feeling. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for life.”
7. Learn The “Old” Ways
I clearly recall my grandfather’s basement being off limits due to the fact that his woodworking shop was down there. My father built our entire pool & sundeck with his own two hands. My mother weaved rugs and knit sweaters with wool she dyed and spun herself. When did our generation miss out on this amazing stuff? My goal for 2015: learn how to can my own food. Time to get real and learn to do the things that have kept us going for centuries – our over processed and under skilled insta-culture just isn’t sustainable.
8. Critical Thinking – Yes Please
Ever thought of carpenters as mathematicians? Or mechanics as engineers? Sewing is mostly geometry, and cooking is all chemistry. When we make something, we keep our minds sharp with experimentation, problem solving, and decision-making, and we do so much more than just build shelves, fix cars, make clothes, or cook food.
9. Creative Thinking – Don’t Mind If I Do
Creative Thinking is often the catalyst for critical thinking. We know what we want to make, so how do we do it? The two just go hand in hand – so let your creativity flow! Make time for yourself to experiment and try new things. Expose yourself to as many different experiences as possible – you never know when something will inspire you to build!
10. Personal Satisfaction
When the new shelves are hung, the new froc is worn, or the new recipe enjoyed and devoured, the satisfying challenge of making something with your hands has turned into the warm glow of accomplishment. Whether you’re happy that you might have a shot at survival in our future dystopian society (half kidding), or whether you just feel darn proud for being independent and skilled, you deserve to be. You earned it!