Don’t lose the joy - Woodshop News

Don’t lose the joy

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The question that often comes to my mind is, "Why do we make things?" My stock is answer is that it satisfies something within us.

What exactly is subject to debate but there is no question that we gain from the process.

Our level of satisfaction with what we have made is a whole different issue. The process is what we derive the most satisfaction from. The end result may not be anything like what we envisioned.

Ego also comes into the picture. When it does, it takes away the joy of the making. When you hear a virtuoso violinist, it resonates and makes some of us think, "I want to do that." So you get a violin and start making sounds that conjure up images of a cat getting its tail stepped on. Not what you wanted at all. But if you stick with it, after a while, it gets better. Maybe never as good as the virtuoso but that's not the point. The learning curve is part of the process.

Those moments when the light goes on, when you hit the sweet spot, that's where the real joy is. There are many devoted chess players who know they will never achieve grandmaster status. So it is with everything. It is in our nature to compare ourselves to others. That's fine. It gives us something to strive for. The downside is that we can lose the joy if we become too dependent on being "the best" or even being better than another.

Bettering ourselves is the challenge we were given and that is all that really matters. The learning curve should last a lifetime.

D.D.

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