We’re used to thinking of DIY as being all about skill and proficiency. It’s about being able to wield a tool with confidence and know that you’re taking the right steps towards perfection. Or, is it? If it’s all about being right, how do you learn how to master your tools in the first place?
Well, it’s a pervasive fallacy, but a fallacy all the same. Everybody has to start somewhere and the joy, the sheer joy of DIY is in diving headfirst into the unknown. There is no way to be sure that those shelves you’re building will sit straight or that door you’re trying to hang will fit, but isn’t that kind of the point? DIY is awesome because it’s a commitment to a work in progress.
I’m going to talk a little about why DIY rules and why you should always be excited about taking on your own small and large scale projects.
The first lesson to be learned is that you should never be afraid to get it wrong. The way I see it, there are four key benefits to having a go, even if you know you might mess it up.
A Closer Connection to Your World
We all live in closed off and isolated little boxes. Our food couldn’t be further from the farm. Our water, clothing, gadgets and entertainment are all delivered to us in neat, easily accessible packages. We have, in many ways, lost our connection to the world. However, DIY is a cool way to get this back. By building things with your own hands, you gain a greater appreciation for the essentials (and the non-essentials) that fill your existence.
More Knowledge and Awareness
Another reason why DIY rules is because it allows you to learn. Rather than buying a piece of furniture at the homeware store and giving no thought to how it was made, you can deconstruct the individual pieces and start to understand how much skill goes into our possessions. While I’m not suggesting that you go completely native and start forging all of your kitchen cutlery, it’ll remind you that there’s artistry in all things.
The Chance to Get Crafty
Working with the hands – building, crafting and making – is very good for the brain. It involves problem-solving and critical thinking. You have to be able to look at a situation from lots of different angles. So, I recommend DIY as a fun way to keep your mind active as well, particularly as you get older. Don’t get too comfortable. Never hesitate to learn new things and pursue new experiences. Even doctors can tell you why DIY rules; gradual manual work lowers the blood pressure and the heart rate.
It Helps You Meet New People
Becoming a hobbyist or a crafter is a great idea for many reasons, not least because it can put you in touch with like-minded groups, societies, and communities. Whether you’re into building guitars, toy trains, or sheds, there’s a community out there for you. Get online, do some research, and see if you can find some new friends that share your passion. There might be meets, conventions, exhibitions, or even opportunities to sell the items that you’ve built.