We live in an age of convenience. Never before in history has a man or woman had more access to the things he or she may need or want. Not only are those things accessible, in most cases, they can be delivered right to your front door.
I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty neat. There is almost nothing that you can’t have if you are able to pay for it.
But, if you let it, convenience will steal three of the most essential things to you becoming a whole, healthy, and happy individual: creativity, experience, and independence.
The down side of having everything hand delivered to your doorstep is that you never have to imagine what you could or should do without.
When you have to do without the thing you want (or need) you are left only with two options: do without entirely, or come up with a new way to solve the problem.
The latter is where magic happens–it’s where innovation begins. When you need something and cannot immediately have it, you must expand your mind, your knowledge, your resolve, your resources. You must do things you may have never needed to do before with knowledge you are acquiring as you go, with materials you may even have to build yourself. With that combination, you may come up with the most unique and incredible ways to solve a problem that fill you with satisfaction and confidence like you never experienced before and may never experience again.
Creating something, anything, is one of the most satisfying experiences a human can have. The act of creating (and all the ups and downs of the process), is a life-force in and of itself that infects its creator with an unmistakeable sense of accomplishment, pride, and joy. It can lift people out of depression, help them find purpose, spread joy, and add contentment to your life that is unblemished. No one can steal from you the knowledge that you created something, and good or bad, it is yours!
In addition to not experiencing all of the wonders (and frustrations) of the creative process, when you rely on convenience, you rob yourself of the experience of simply putting your knowledge and creativity into practice.
You rob yourself of the simple life-experience of using tools, problem solving, evaluating the appropriateness of certain materials, information, or processes to a specific application, and so much more.
As the world gets more and more convenient, it is getting harder and harder to find people who have experience doing even the most basic of life skills. That inexperience then ultimately leaves people in need entirely dependant on those who have the skills necessary to meet sometimes very basic needs.
We need other people.
It’s a function of being a social creature.
It is rare, and nigh impossible for a man or woman to solely supply for all of their own needs.
That being said, the more dependant you are on others, the more anxiety you will likely feel about if–nay, when–those you are dependant upon are no longer available.
Convenience steals your independence by making you dependant on others for even your most basic of needs.
As you get older you may not remember what it was like last year when stores started to shut down due to the corona virus. People began to panic. That panic comes from a sudden realization that if what was convenient is no longer available, there is no alternative. No creativity, no knowledge, no experience, to fill that void.
That makes people afraid, helpless, and ultimately miserable.
Free yourself of that anxiety and fear by knowing that you can provide for yourself; by knowing that you have the creativity, the knowledge, and the experience necessary to do for yourself if the time comes.
As you grow older, it will be impossible not to get comfortable with convenience. Unless you decide to go out and become hermits living in caves somewhere, you will likely take full advantage of the conveniences of the world.
But do not go quietly into that night.
Fight it by building something.
Start from scratch and make something that, yes, you could buy. But build it anyway, and build it your way.
When you finish building one thing (or even if you don’t). Then build something else.
Make yourself expand your mind through your own creativity, applying the things you’ve learned through your life. If you don’t have all of the knowledge necessary, then learn what you are lacking.
Make mistakes. Make it uglier. Spend more money on it than it would cost you to buy it in a store or online. Acquire the experience of using a hammer, a saw, a shovel, a paint brush, a computer, a pen, one awkward moment at a time until it is something you can say you have done and can do.
There is little in the world that is more valuable to you throughout your life than that.
But most importantly… remember that you are far more capable than even you realize.
We all are.
You have within yourself the potential to build anything.
No. I mean it.
More than ever before, you have the access to the knowledge of the world at your fingertips. You can KNOW, NOW, all of the things that you would need to build a rocket, a house, a computer… anything you can imagine.
Don’t waste it. And don’t let convenience lull you into thinking there is nothing to gain by doing it yourself.
You have everything to gain!
With knowledge and the will to apply it, there is nothing you can’t do for yourself and those you love.
But you need to know you can. You need to try and fail and try again. You need practice and experience, and you can only get those by doing it.
So get out there and build something, my loves.
You can borrow my tools.
And don’t forget your eye pro.