Creativity, Lessons for my crew, Purpose

Learning the Hard Way

Our first house. Can you remember your first house? Maybe not the one you first lived in, but the first one you owned and really made your own. You could choose all the paint colors and maybe a few decorative tweaks you wanted to make as you moved into your first real home!?

I can remember those days and the little house that Crystal and I fell in love with. We didn’t think we would be able to buy it, we’d never done this before and it was all so exciting and scary at the same time.
You know they say this is the biggest financial decision of your life- so don’t screw it up!

I remember how excited we were when we started painting through every room of that house making it our own. We didn’t have much residual money at the time so we couldn’t afford to do any more than just paint, but we had so many aspirations of what we’d eventually make this home into.

One of the biggest things we wanted to do was a simple upgrade the kitchen oven.

That doesn’t sound that hard. Not that big of a deal at all really.

For those of you who know Crystal personally, you know she’s a genius at finding deals. And this case was no less. She found a brand new stove online for just $150. It was gas, which was what we wanted, it was cheap, which was what we needed and so we bought it.

We picked it up, brought it home and for the next year it stayed right there, in the garage.

Why?

Because we didn’t have a gas line to our house.

I am a DIYer to the max. Nothing is too hard. I thank my lovely wife for helping me learn that ability. She is crazy on all levels when it comes to what we can do but have never done before. But this gas line had me stumped! It was scary. Everyone I talked to about it told me to stay away from it, don’t touch it, leave it alone and to the pros. It was too risky to attempt on my own. And so because of fear, I did what ever DIYer with a project too big does…Nothing! 😉

Finally, Crystal, in all her wisdom, called a local propane company and asked them to come quote us on what it would cost to install a propane line to our stove along with a tank.

I was mortified when they responded that it would be a measly, $300 all included.

I hung my head in defeat to my lovely wife because she had once again showed me that I had just learned the hard way.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people use that line or a rendition thereof, you just had to learn it the hard way, blah blah blah.

Here’s my qeustion though, what way is learning the easy way? And how come no one every talks about that way first?

My theory is that, although we’d love to discover it and take it more regularly, there is no easy way to learn.

Think about it, when was the last time you learned something easy?

You’re probably thinking through a few things right now that you did and they were easier than you thought they would be, but I’m not talking about doing, I’m talking about learning.

I can think of so many instances of projects I wanted to get into and yet before I even started I was paralyzed with the concept of what it was going to take to get it done. The learning part.

Because of this lust for DIY projects, we’ve had to learn a boat load of stuff and don’t you know, when you’re involved in stuff like that, you should have learned it before you had to do it and now you’re learning the hard way. You’re learning it the moment when it needs to be done!

That’s when that fateful voice creeps up in the back of your brain telling you, you should have learned this years ago and how stupid you are for not knowing it.
I think it’s the same voice Steven Pressfield talks about in his genius work, The War of Art as he describes the resistance and its stronghold over your mind and mentality.

Is there any easy way? Well, yes, I do believe there is.

The easy way starts with admitting that what you’re up against may easily be over your head. The hard way for me to learn was that there are some things I simply cannot do and unfortunately, it was just my wife who paid for that by having to wait a whole year for me to admit it.

However, at the same time, I’ve also learned that there are a great many things I can do, I just need to put my shoulder down and try.
Youtube is a super valuable resource when it comes to learning some things from other people about things you need to do yourself.
Maybe the easy way to learn is simply by watching someone else do it first before you attempt it yourself.

Whatever it is, I do know this, the hardest way, it avoidance.
Just don’t avoid it. Shoulder down, determination up, I’m going to try this, but know when to call someone else when I’m over my head.

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