Applying DIY Philosophy to Life

happy couple taking a coffee break during home improvement
  • Beginner

As we progress through life, we pick up bits of knowledge along the way. When we’re young, that information helps us maneuver life on our own, away from our parents. As adults, we’re still constantly learning from exposure to work, education, and hobbies. Sometimes we take a self-guided tour through Pinterest, YouTube, and other online or text references to gain knowledge and learn more about a specific topic.

In the DIY world, continued learning is both a necessity and a joy. Whether that means creating handmade gifts or building a shed from the ground up, the knowledge we gain from completing projects can bring us strength in other areas of our lives.

1. Resourcefulness

Anyone who has tried their hand at crafts, woodworking, or furniture making knows almost nothing goes as planned all the time. As we develop our skills, we’re constantly making adaptations. It’s like using a recipe the first time but then varying from it next time around when we find ourselves without a central ingredient. With a template of understanding, we become very resourceful when things don’t go as planned.

This resourcefulness serves us well when the restaurant we planned to visit is closed, or the zipper breaks on a coat, or we get lost without cell service, or you miss the bus. Resourcefulness means finding another solution when it may not readily appear. It's a skill you can learn, and DIY projects are a great way to nurture it.

ivy growing in a hanging upcycled planter

2. Independence

There is power in independence. While it’s important to stay open and vulnerable to some degree, independence leads to confidence in our own abilities. With this in mind, it makes sense that the more you accomplish on a DIY scale, the more independent you will feel.

By mastering or at least achieving basic skills, you will become increasingly independent in a range of home and automotive-related tasks. You’re likely already implementing the independence philosophy without even knowing it. For example, knowing you can change the oil in your car or replace a flat tire gives you the confidence to tackle road trips. Learning to make pasta and bread from scratch gives you options when the pantry is bare. Being able to cut your own firewood, clean your chimney, and know how to use a generator allows you to provide heat and power when the electricity is out.

There is no end to the DIY tasks that build upon a feeling of independence. Mending a fence or a chicken coop, locating a tripped circuit, replacing a light fixture, installing flooring, and constructing a dog house means not relying on someone else’s help.

By the way, if that homesteading angle caughty your eye, you can browse chicken coop designs here on Amazon.

3. Creativity

Creativity allows you to build on basic skills. Say you practice woodworking until you’re adept at precise cuts for molding. You can then adapt that same skill to make picture frames or trim out a planter box.

With a basic understanding of candle making, you can select a variety of jars, boxes, and containers that each result in a different shape. You can also get creative with colors and scents. The same goes for sign-making, basic furniture construction, welding, or brickwork. Whatever your learned DIY skills, the next step can take you on a creative journey.

cacti in a cement box with rocks

4. Patience

Life can be frustrating, and that's a familiar feeling associated with home improvement and workshop projects. However, it’s rewarding when you overcome obstacles such as supply shortages, mistakes in measuring, or material delays. The same philosophy rolls over into everyday situations that require patience.

When a home improvement project spirals while waiting on a permit or manufacturing issue, you learn how to better plan timelines. If a task takes four times longer than expected, determination and persistence take center stage. There is something intrinsically soothing that comes from working with your hands, and that ability to self-calm is a feeling you can tap into and apply to other aspects of your life.

So when the line at the post office is long, your debit card doesn’t work at the grocery store, or you run out of gas scurrying between kid carpools, your DIY background will allow you to roll with the obstacles in your way.

woman painting a radiator with calm focus

5. Control Your Surroundings

One of the richest gifts that comes from a DIY lifestyle is being able to create. While that feeds creativity and independence, it also gives life to a unique physical environment for yourself and your family. Hand-crafted furniture, pottery, or a customized motorcycle are a source of pride and conversation.

Plus, making your own goods means creating the exact look you want--a look you may not be able to find elsewhere. Your one-of-a-kind piece reflects your talents but also your personality. The overlap between your DIY skills and creating things for yourself allows you to design focal points for your interior design, functional pieces throughout the home, and gifts with your particular stamp of love.

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