Since joining LumberJocks.com “1809 days ago”, I have learned a lot about woodworking and about woodworkers in general. Today, a thought popped into my head and I realized that woodworking also teaches some great skills for living life in general.
Imagine getting ready to work on some project and you pick up a piece of wood that is “flawed” in some way. As a woodworker, what do you do? Do you rant and rave and attack Mother Nature, the Creator, the trees, and the lumberyard for the terrible job they have done making the piece of wood that you want to use? Well, perhaps for a moment—but then you get down to business and you start to problem-solve:
- can you make the piece of wood work, as is, with a little tender loving care?
- can you incorporate the “flaw” into the project making it even more special than initially planned?
- can you salvage pieces of the wood to be used in a different manner than expected?
- can the wood be used for a different project all together, instead of this one?
- would the wood best be used as a heat source, for which you will also be grateful?
As a woodworker, you contemplate, you assess, you choose a plan of action, and you move forward, undaunted by a challenge that probably wasn’t the first time it appeared in your life and also will most likely not be the last time you are confronted with such a dilemma.
Woodworkers are problem-solvers. They are goal-oriented. They are creative thinkers, able to form and follow through with back-up plans. They are persistent. And they are positive thinkers: there is a way!
Most of us know at least one person who could benefit from some of these skills. They get stuck on the problem and continually rehash it and spread the gloom and doom to anyone who will listen. The phrase “misery loves company” comes to mind. Their problem-solving skills, for some reason, get stuck at thinking of new ways to see the “wrongs” that have been committed (typically “to” them), intent on validating their negative view of the situation. And along with this huge effort towards the negative they put little time and energy into trying to find solutions, back-up plans, and compromises. If only they could see that the “flaws” hold lots of wisdom, lessons and opportunities… opportunities to make lemonade out of the lemons and plain old boxes into pieces of art.
Thanks LumberJocks for being role-models of such a great way to live life!
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (http://www.execulink.com/~yohan)