I’ve been reading and studying an amazing book called Flow and it’s been re-affirming something I’ve been very passionate about lately. Through my book Execute, and the great mission we have at Treehouse, I’ve been driven and convicted about bringing to light the importance of becoming a “builder” of digital products in order to find true happiness.

After reading this great book, I feel supported and verified in this mission.

Why it is Important to Build Things

It’s no secret that the Industrial Age, and all of our systems that were put into place to support it, are crumbling. School systems on all levels are coming under fire because they are no longer effective or even relevant. The internet has heightened the fact that there are many more forms of intelligence and learning in addition to the ones that are currently being taught.

We all learn differently yet we’re confined to a static form of classroom learning that’s leaving us unfulfilled and unprepared for the changing times. These systems taught us to follow the rules and to learn a single set of skills that could help fill a spot in a factory line or corporate office.

If we don’t learn the tools to build our own products, both digital and physical, we will all be fighting for the dwindling jobs left over from the industrial mindset. Those that aren’t prepared could find themselves fighting for less and less wages, with more and more heartache. The future is here and it doesn’t need people that just simply follow the rules. It needs people that can not only think of new ideas and ways to create value, but it needs the people that have the skills to see them through.

The Future is Bright for the Skilled

I have known multiple people in the last few months, that decided to design or build a single product and now they’re getting offers daily from companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. There’s something very interesting about the difference of looking for a job before you build something and after. The individuals with the discipline to learn and see a digital application through are so few and far between, that companies are actively seeking them out. You can make a resume and beg for a job, or you can create something of value and have them knock on your door.

The funny thing is, that when you decide to build something, you’ll most likely have so much fun and solve such an interesting problem, that you won’t even need a job anymore. You’d now have the skills, small group of supporters and drive you need to “write your own book”.

How to Make Happiness Sauce

According to author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a person feels happiest when they’re in a state of “flow”. Flow can be obtained by working at the height of the intersection between where one’s skill meets a great challenge. In other words people are happiest when they’re using the skills they’ve worked to refine to solve problems that challenge their abilities. So here’s a quick recipe for making happiness sauce:

  • Learn the language of the web.
  • Get basic understanding of style and programming.
  • Find an unsolved challenge.
  • Apply your new skill set.
  • Learn the rest because you have to.
  • Get a small group of people that share the same problems.
  • Build on that group’s passion and feedback.
  • Work your ass off.
  • Let simmer and improve.

Create Your Own Happiness

To me it seems that the center of being as happy as we can be is honing our skill set in order to create solutions to the challenges we face in our everyday lives. In other words, happiness is making what you wish existed.

“Happiness is making what you wish existed!” – Execute Book

The secret to happiness is learning and mastering the skills you need to build things you wish you had. Be open to identifying new challenges and be ready to match them with your skills. Only then will you have flow, and only then will you find the fulfillment and happiness you seek.

Create your own happiness.

Happy building.