The construction industry, which is were I earn the bread and butter for my family, is going through a rough patch. Economic uncertainty, carbon-tax, normal end of financial year slow down among other factors have contributed to this. As a result I, along with hundreds of others was retrenched due to lack of work. I have have managed to find work, several jobs in fact, over the past six months, steel-fixer/concreting/form-worker/pipe-fitter/farm-hand/machine operator. All of which have been temporary, contracted to perform a specific task. One such contract was for two days but I ended up with six weeks work. How? Whenever I finished one task I quickly found more work that needed to be done even if it was not in my “scope of work”. The foreman approached me and told me to keep coming in until further notice. One day he asked me if I could assemble a network of pipes and valves. My reply? “Sure”. Now this was being a bit liberal with the truth, yes I can read plans and can use a spanner, but assembling all of this from scratch? It was a bit of a stretch but as you can see below it all came together.
I not writing about this to tell you all what a clever boy I am but to share with you some thoughts about being self-reliant.
reliance on one’s own abilities, decisions, etc.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins
When searching for further explanations and others thoughts on the notion of self-reliance you will find lots of rhetoric about standing on your own, not being anyone’s bitch (OK they probably don’t say exactly that) and relying on ones own resources rather than those of others. All of which is cool with me. I am all for it and pretty much live my life that way.
So you understand your own skill set, your tool-box, your strengths and weaknesses and you can use them to move through life. Relying not on others but yourself as master of your own destiny.
I have a question. “If, when faced with a problem that you realise is far beyond you, you seek help does this mean that you are not being self-reliant?
I have an answer too.
In your tool box you have a favorite hammer(or whatever tool you wish it is a symbol for what you excel at. Everyone has something they just rock at) this hammer has gotten you through all kinds of problems, but now you need to undo a nut. Bash it with your hammer and you will wreck the nut, no two ways about it, your hammer won’t work. So you understand you limitations and having prepared for such an eventuality, you have in your tool-box a very special tool.
That tool is a network of friends, family and associates. Now rather than just asking for help or paying someone to fix said problem you go on a journey with that person, you labour for them, pass them a screw driver, clean the grease off, do all the little things all the while learning a new skill, casting a new tool. Displaying adaptability and remaining self-reliant.
While not exactly on topic this video I found of Mike Rowe and his speech to congress, contains a message that is gold. Enjoy your day.