How do you react to the following idea?
Putting on old clothes so it doesn’t matter if they get dirty. Scrubbing the floor while sitting on your knees or weeding the garden in the hot sun, or lugging boxes around. What about working with your hands, hammering, drilling, cutting steel. How do you feel about getting paint splatter all over you because you need to save dollars and it’s cheaper to do things yourself?
The reason why I’m addressing all the above hard manual labor tasks is because we as a society are getting lazy. Technology is advancing, automation is becoming more common, and there is a whole horde of people making a living from the internet with information products. Hundreds of thousands of students graduate each year with degrees in accounting and engineering, yet few of them know how to work with a hammer and a saw.
America went from being the largest creditor nation (meaning other countries owed America money) in the world a couple of decades ago, to the largest debtor nation (meaning America ows other countrys a LOT of money). One of the big reasons contributing to this shift is the fact that America went from being a country of manufacturing to a country of services (IT, Banking etc). The manufacturing was cheaper in Asia, and thus outsourced or moved away from America.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking anyone who makes a living from providing services or through the internet. I myself am one of those people. I just would like to remind you that we need physically manufactured goods. We need bricks, doors, windows, cars and computers to have a world in which we can live the way we do.. In order to get those, we need factories and hard labor (together with automation). Everything we have (the houses we live in, the cars we drive) was created with hard physical work. It did not appear by writing a blog post or selling someone a lifetime subscription to stock market analysis.
I was always brought up not to be afraid of hard work and getting my hands dirty. I was taught how to use tools, fix things myself, clean my own house, wash my own clothes. Not because my parents needed my child-labor, but because they wanted to teach me to do almost anything with my own two hands. If I ever find myself without income or I have to start over, I know I can use my hands. It wouldn’t matter to me what kind of work I would need to do to make a living, work is work.
I have seen many people who are afraid of getting dirty, breaking out a sweat or working hard.
Again, this post is not to knock anyone down. Just a little reminder that you are born with two hands, you have the potential to build and create anything you want. Do not be scared of putting on old clothes and getting dirty and tired. Sometimes it’s neccessary.
Do Things Properly:
Do not do anything half-assed. Do it properly.
Chances are that doing something properly will take more effort, time or money. This is the reason why many people look for an easy way out, something cheaper or a quick-fix, just to be able to avoid that initial surplus of effort. What they do not see is that they have to do the same quick fix over 5 times because it doesn’t hold up. This is when the quick fix turns into double the effort / time / price of doing it properly the first time. (Which initially seems like more work)
Since the people who really do things propery are far and few between, it really makes an impression if you are one of those few people who does things properly. You get noticed for doing a good job.
I remember a story about a woodworker carving wooden ballustrades in the basement of a cathedral. He was one of many working on the cathedral but he took pride in his work. His supervisor asked him why he was paying so much attention to the back of the ballustrade that nobody was going to see anyways. The carpenter replied “That may be true, nobody sees it, but God sees it”.
In a way it’s a good kind of satisfaction you get from knowing that you did the best possible job that you could do. It may have taken more time, it may have taken more effort, but it’s done properly.
To Sum Up:
No matter how much technology advances and no matter how many ways the are to make money without producing physical goods, not everyone can make a living this way. We need people to produce goods, we need factories, we need builders and craftsmen. There is nothing wrong with hard work, or getting a little grease or paint on you. It is not something to be ashamed of, rather something to be proud of.
This is especially for those of you who don’t really want to work hard, or have never worked hard. Do not be afraid of it. It will not kill you. Do not be afraid to get dirty, tired or put in time. The rewards are worth it. Most likely you will feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement. You can see what you have done that day (mowed a lawn, cleaned a house, built part of a wall). Sometimes the best way to get something done is to do it yourself.
Have a Rockin’ day