The Human Spirit
Last week I stretched my mind a bit. Not with anything complicated or complex, but with something (two things, actually), that I previously thought, or told myself, I could not do: I built a few things out of wood. Four shelves to be exact. Two for our kitchen (stained and fancy looking), and two floor to ceiling units for in the garage. I used a miter saw, wood glue, clamps, drill bits, a stud finder, and lots of screws.
And they all turned out great, much to my surprise :-)
I determined what I wanted to do, acquired the tools to get it done, did some research, and set aside time to build. I had a few false starts, bad cuts, and steps to undo and then do again, but in the end it all worked out.
The point has less to do with what I built, or even that I built something, and more to do with the human spirit. I was reminded that as a human-being I am only limited by what I allow to be a limit. As long as I set my mind to something, and take the steps to do whatever it is that I want to do, there is a 99% chance of success (completion). The 1% is any roadblock I refuse to overcome.
Armed with determination, patience, a mind ready to learn, and Duck Duck Go1, there is nothing that I cannot do. There is nothing that we cannot do. We may fail in whatever it is we are setting out to do, but nothing can stop us from trying.
Armed with the confidence of successfully completing my first two “wood working” projects, I am making a list of things that I want to build over the next few months to a year, and I’ll see where it goes from there. Some are big projects/ideas, others are small. I will build on what I have learned, acquire new skills (and more tools) along the way, and will chip through my list - learning and growing through the process.
This is something that we, as humans, are pretty darn good at. Coming up with an idea, defining ways to fail and ultimately to succeed, and then leveling up from there, always looking for ways to do and be better.
Quick examples that this mindset2 applied to when the dreams and ideas were just words on a page:
- Accomplishing flight
- Combustible engine
- Printing press
- The “smartphone”
- your next personal accomplishment
i.e. the ability to research - this could also be a trip to the local library or talking to someone who has done the thing that I want to do↩︎
I am by no means comparing my small wood working accomplishments to this list of great life-altering accomplishments. That said, in the arena of becoming better humans the only thing that matters is the “personal best”.↩︎