DIY and Optimizing our Brains
In today's day and age, we can have almost any resource we need right at our fingertips, and delivered to our door almost instantly. Yes, I love priming as much as the next shopaholic, but thanks to the incredible luxuries of convenience we have in this society, I think we forget how much we’re capable of.
Hungry? Order food online. Don’t want to think about where you’re going (even though you could probably figure it out if you tried) there’s an app for that. I have a friend who instead of washing his underwear, would just buy new ones when he needed to. I’m not here to say we’re getting lazy as a society, because we’re not. We’re using our minds in novel and abstract ways, and creating incredible things at a rapid rate. But the fact of the matter is we’re forgetting, or never learning how to do simple tasks- like doing our laundry and cooking.
Here’s the thing- a lot of times these conveniences are incredible and life saving. Ever been stuck in bed with a *cough* hangover *cough* and needed pizza delivered right then and there? For sure, me neither. Wink, wink. With the rise of companies that take on freelance employees that work on their own time, doing deliveries or driving people around, it gives many an opportunity to create a new source of income, while being able to set their own hours. Essentially creating a market of freelancers. Which is incredible, and an integral part of how our economy is growing and restructuring.
But where does supporting freelancers and small businesses intersect with convenience for convenience’s sake? When does it stop being a way to support our busy lives, and start being merely an act of laziness? I’m not here to judge or deem what is lazy or not. But I want to shed light on just how capable we are as humans.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. The structures we live in did not go up overnight. The computer I’m writing this on came from cumulative years and years of research and development. That turmeric kimchi in your fridge? Even that took time to ferment. Everything we see beneath, around, and above us that’s man made- it all took time. And it’s all still growing, still developing. We are so capable, so intelligent, yet we take our conveniences for granted, and forget how much we can do on our own.
Outsourcing is an agreement that allows companies to delegate tasks to external resources. This helps save time, and in turn, increase profit. In fact as a copywriter, this is often what I do. I write copy for my client’s websites, email lists, and more so they can focus on what they love to do. I have a housecleaner come to my home, because there’s no way I can get it as sparkly clean as they do. I utilize an accountant, because frankly, that’s not something I can do myself. Understanding the process of registering a business in California? Did it myself. Making a waste free tasty cashew cheeze? All me. We need to target where our resources are, and how they can be used to our advantage. At the same time, it’s easy to forget that we are fully capable of learning almost any skill we set our mind to.
When we perform novel tasks that push us outside our comfort zone, we become smarter and more efficient. Our brains are capable of creating new neural pathways with just a little bit of work. This can be through puzzles, taking on a task that seems outside your comfort zone, learning a new language, and even meditation. Especially mediation.
The more we expand the possibility of what’s possible for us personally, the more efficient we become. This is incredibly valuable to our society and economy.
One of the most damaging aspects of our complacency, or downright laziness, is the environment. As much as I support innovations, many of the products we consume are incredibly wasteful. Massive amounts of packaging and pollutants from production are harming our planet at a rapid rate.
Learning how to do things yourself can include picking up the slack where you may have previously relied on using a wasteful product. Making your own nut mylk for example is incredibly fast and easy. Figuring out ways you can use what food you have at home instead of ordering take out in styrofoam and plastic. Bring your own cute bamboo cutlery set when you go out.
Other things we can do ourselves? Take control of our mental and physical health by spending more time in nature and with loved ones. See something on pinterest you want? Try and make it yourself! Problem solving can be downright annoying at times, but once you get in the flow of it, it becomes addicting. Instead of giving up when frustration hits, move through it and force your brain to try something new.
Look at toddlers learning how to talk- you can see the wheels turning. You know in their eyes that they have a clear idea of what they want to communicate. Yet it takes months, maybe years, of perseverance for those connections to be made. As much as we want to help as parents and caretakers, they have to do it themselves.
These seem like such small tasks, but they really add up. Not only are they better for the planet, but it feels good to do things yourself. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
I get it- we’re busy. Learning new things, doing things for ourselves. It all takes time. It also takes a level of discernment, so we can decide for ourselves what is worthy of dedicating our time towards. But when we weave these changes into our daily lives, they eventually become second nature. The planet will thank you, your brain will thank you, and you will find a new level of autonomy and self reliance. Sound good? Then get to it.