LearnThe Shift


Josh Long
writes on September 20, 2012

Humans are interesting creatures.

We have this innate yearning to build things. It’s what separates us from other species. It’s in our DNA. We love to make things, express ourselves through art, write the perfect song, compose the perfect story. We love to dream up new things and to project ourselves into them with passion, purpose, and sweat.

The problem has been that over the last 50 years the industrial age pushed us into the factories and we lost the sense of who we really are. We started putting in small pieces of the puzzle for larger corporations and we forgot about the fulfillment of making something whole and on our own. We lost our creativity and traded it in for a manual on “following the rules”.

Now that our factories are gone and the internet has changed the way we live our lives, there’s a shift happening that is allowing us to return to our “making” roots as human beings. For the first time in over 50 years, we have the opportunity to take back what we hold to be sacred… we get to make things again.

Everyone has ideas.

But there’s always a point where your inspiration and excitement for your ideas hit the wall of not knowing how to make them happen. The road is too uncertain, the idea costs too much to make and you don’t know where to start. Then slowly your ideas start to die.

We’re on the brink of a new movement. One where you not only make your own ideas, but one where you make all of the rules. No longer do we have to own a factory to have our ideas made and every day more people are making the shift from 9-5 work to a life of creativity, purpose, fulfillment, and self-reliance.

But there’s a big problem and void in making this movement happen.

The process for making this shift to becoming a “maker” is too hard, too vague, and too frustrating. How do you know if your idea has merit? Where do you go to have a prototype made? Where do you find a guide on which technologies to use? Where can you have your product or ideas built and how do you know who to trust?

Where can you go to bounce ideas off of other educated and creative “makers”? What website or community can you turn to that has already done what you’ve set out to do and is readily available to help you learn from their mistakes and insights?

After all, many of us can’t afford a second run at our ideas, and we only have so much of the extra time it takes to build things we want to build.

So what is the solution for the “shift” in your own life? How do you go from someone that struggles to make sense of the changing economy or someone that struggles to carry their ideas to fruition, into someone that controls their own destiny? How do you shift your life from an unfulfilled, purpose-less life of taking orders, into a life of making your own path… your own rules?

You become a maker.

Becoming a Maker

If you want to do something on your own terms and that is fulfilling in your life, then you have to make a conscious commitment to becoming a maker.

This commitment begins with educating yourself. You have to decide to learn about your options. You have to know all of the available tools and technologies that are at your disposal. Then, and only then, can you decide on the right strategies to learn for you.

The next step, once you know your path and what tools you will use to get yourself there, is to master those tools. Use them every day. Look to improve on them and sharpen them.

Then it’s time to get to work. Then it’s time to ship. Then it’s time to tweak, improve, iterate, measure, and ship again. Repeat this until you have shed all remains of your previous life as a cog that follows orders.

Becoming a maker, taking and making the shift, is going to alleviate eighty percent of the dissatisfaction you feel in your gut. It’s your own human nature that bugs you when you’re not creating. You have an urge to build or you wouldn’t be here reading this now.

The way to lead a solid life of self-reliance and happiness is to improve your own ability to call your own shots.

You garner this ability to control your own life by becoming a maker, and you become a maker by deciding to start learning your new tools and technologies today.


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