For the past year or so, I've been instituting little changes in my life, making plans, trying things, some with success, some with failure. I've taken up woodworking when I'm home to try to slow the loss of dexterity that time and past abuse has inflicted on my hands. It's working. I still can't really write with a pen, but OTOH, I can cut on a curve without my woodwork looking like I'm having ministrokes every time I sit at the bench. So, success, mostly. I tried looking into a radical change of employment- it failed, this time, although in the process, it gave me greater appreciation for my current job, so that's positive. Failure, but I'm fortunate enough not to be afraid to fall on my face. Better to try and fail than to fail to try, right?
Bought my dream home. Major positive. 5 years of planning and preparation for that one.
I've been working within the sphere of my existing competences. Doing things that I know I can do, mostly. And that's good, and safe, but barring that moment I turned the key in the door of my new house, there hasn't been the thrill of accomplishment lately. I am stretching my very limited talent slowly, I guess, instead of making an inspired leap of faith and taking a generational leap in acquiring new skills. Playing it a little too safe, basically. For a guy who can work a 100-hour week, and often does, having more skills to utilize in the course of those hours is a massive positive.
I've also been backing off of social media. Sure, I still just get vicious as hell for shits' n' gigs at times, but there's little point to it. Even here, I'm backing off. My career didn't arc the way I expected. I'm reaching the limit of my core competencies until I make a massive leap forward, whether that's at my workbench or at my desk or out on deck. Oh, I still shoot my mouth off, and can still use sarcasm like a scythe, but I don't have the skills to form an experience-based opinion on many cutting-edge issues anymore, and that makes for poor blog fodder.
So, with a couple of projects lined up at home, like building a rolling torsion-box table for myself, and a little woodcarving idea I want to try, I've been looking ahead at some of the work I want to do, and that is going to mean some composite work. I can fiberglass, but the project I have in mind, I need to use carbon fiber, which is a different animal. I've been watching Youtube videos to pick up some tips, and got into seeing people make carbon fiber parts for airplanes, which is how I learned who Mark Patey is.
If you don't know him, Mark Patey is an entrepreneur who grew up in the middle of 10 siblings, dirt poor, and is now a multimillionaire and among other things, a motivational speaker. I got to know who is was through his hobby- he and his twin brother engineer, design and build custom airplanes for fun, and carry a few world records. They own a pharmaceutical company, a couple of factories, and an engineering firm. Both have just a high-school education, having started as carpenters at age 15 and picking up the gearhead bug in high school, tinkering with shitbox cars, and moving into racing cars, boats and planes as their business grew.
Inspirational guy, and I am NOT someone who frigging watches motivational speeches, which I avoid, as I have no shortage of motivation. I ALWAYS have shit to do, shit I want to do, and shit I dream of doing. But, after watching these guys work, and seeing the energy and happiness they bring through the door, I watched one of Mark's speeches, and it was awesome. Here it is.
He looks funny to me in a suit. After watching probably 20 hours of him and his brother covered in dirt and dust making stuff, I forgot that he's a CEO on top of being a Maker, one of those guys who is a master of most of the trades.
I feel that he hit the nail on the head, and articulated a great point about the devastation caused by entitlement. I am certainly someone who believes more in working hard and earning my own rewards than waiting to be awarded them. The criticisms here in the video apply to me as well, in part. There have certainly been times where I felt that my presence and availability was sufficient to earn my paycheck. The fact that down deep, I know that this is not so was easier to stifle with time. However, that attitude was also responsible for a certain amount of stagnation in my life, too, and last year when I decided to push out a little and see if the world had anything new for me again, I realized that the entitlement attitude wasn't fair or healthy... but I wasn't able to articulate the thought anywhere near as clear as Mark Patey does. Check the video out.