When I first moved to New York City there was no money for the many things a new graduate wanted/needed. So, as discussed in a previous posting, I made a briefcase, and I refinished trash dressers. And discovered I enjoyed both of those tasks.
Those simple beginnings included a lot of mistakes, and a lot of learning. And resulted in two of my hobbies that I still enjoy today. A number of the skills I have developed resulted from my not having the money for things I wanted. So I took the time to develop the skills necessary to restore something into what I wanted, or I learned to make it. And, with each new project, and each new skill I built on my previous knowledge.
Funny that, back then learning meant going to the library for a book. Today, with the entire world at our fingertips it is so much easier. Yet, when I look around me, I don’t get the idea that people are really getting into doing things, and learning how to do things any more than in the past. In fact, I get the idea there is less of this going on.
I guess I should be careful with that overly broad statement - computer gaming is way up - as is social commentary and social networking. But, the skills and abilities I am talking about, the skills that give me a lot of satisfaction today, the skills that gave me options for new careers when I retired, not so much.
I know there are careers that can be built on social networking and gaming - don’t get me wrong - and if people can use these to reinvent themselves - fantastic. In fact, I hope that people who read this and who have found their second careers in these fields will communicate with me - so I can share their successes.
For myself, getting to this point in time has involved learning many skills that I can now use to not only save money (by doing things myself) but also generate the satisfaction that makes my retirement so rewarding.
The above really suggests that I am focusing this posting on younger people who have the years to develop a wide range of skills. But, honestly, it also applies to the people who have been able to retire and now have so much more free time - allowing them to develop skills. And start finding satisfaction in each task they conquer.
Tomorrow I am going to continue this thread by talking a bit about investing in yourself - a concept my wife introduced me to years ago.