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Self-Reliance in a Time of Uncertainty

Posted by Eric Splitt on

I believe that everything happens for a reason. There is always a lesson to be learned. There is a silver lining. There is a light that creates each shadow.

In this time of social distancing and isolation, we have been given a lot of time to think and reflect. We find out what's most important to us. We learn what we can live without, and what we can't (i.e. toilet paper).

But there's one lesson I hope everyone gets out of this and that is the lesson of self-reliance and how important it is to our overall happiness and in some cases survival.

We live in a world where our coffee is made for us, our food is prepared for us and sometimes delivered to us, our homes are repaired for us and cleaned for us. Our kids are taught for us. Our dogs are walked for us. Our cars' oil and tires are changed for us. You name it and there is a business that will cater to you just about anything.


By having everything done for us, we have lost so much self-confidence. Even with the most basic of things. It leaves many people today feeling helpless. I'm not saying any of these services are inherently bad. I use many of them myself. But I don't use them out of a lack of self-confidence. I do it to gain time in my day doing things that fill me up. There is a big difference here. I believe we all have developed a sense of entitlement.

Now I've heard my share of millennial shaming in my day (born in 1981, one of the first-ever Millenials on this planet and proud of it.) The one thing I do agree with is that we ARE ALL living in a world of entitlement. If you don't believe me, just read the list above and think of how many other things we rely on others for.

The recent outbreak of coronavirus has isolated our communities and forced us to rely on ourselves for many things. There was a time in history where this was the norm. Where we were our only resource.

Necessity is the mother of invention and that is why these services exist. I think it's great and these services should exist. But I also believe that you need to earn your right to use these services (to a certain extent).

For example:
You shouldn't drive a car until you know how to change a tire.

You shouldn't get your oil changed until you have successfully done it yourself.

You shouldn't hire a personal chef until you have cooked your own meal.

You shouldn't call a handyman until you have fixed something in your home.

We all have a need for self-reliance in our life. I was fortunate enough to have parents that instilled this in me at a young age.

I can remember my first car was a Nissan Pulsar and the heater core blew and leaked onto the floorboards. Being a teenager I had no money for the $400 repair so I bought a repair manual and proceeded to disassemble the entire dashboard on my own. I eventually figured it out and fixed it myself.

That moment gave me so much self-confidence. Something that kids today are lacking. As parents, it is our responsibility to instill these values in our children. The best way I know how to do that is to model it for them. Teach them that when something goes wrong, it's okay to ask for help, but it's even better to be comfortable with the struggle. Enjoy the challenge because the reward of confidence is waiting on the other side.

The human brain is amazing at problem-solving. We are capable of much more that we know. DIY is in our DNA. But at some point, we stopped doing things ourselves. We got lazy. And we have taught our children to do the same.

So take this time of isolation and look around your home. What are those little nagging projects you've been meaning to finish? Start there. Before you call that plumber or handyman, try to fix it yourself. Some people do this to save money and that's great. But I think the bigger reward is the sense of pride you get from doing it yourself. Not only that, but your kids will see you in a different light. They will learn how to tackle the problems that life throws at them rather than crying for help.

Don't get me wrong. We need each other now more than ever. But for the sake of our own self-confidence and the lessons we teach our children, try to do things yourself. You never know, you just might learn something. And even if you don't, you will at least gain a new sense of respect for the experts whom you rely on.

So what if you are not good at problem-solving? I would encourage you to challenge yourself here. What I'm saying is don't waste this precious time we have right now before we go back to the hustle and bustle. Start a new hobby, learn a new skill, do something creative. You would be surprised at what you are capable of. Find that inner child and play more. I promise you will discover a level of happiness you have not felt in a long time.

I hope that this message encourages you and inspires you to DIY. If you don't know where to start, shoot us a message and we would be happy to point you in the right direction. We have all kinds of great DIY resources to get you started.

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