Have we lost touch with the idea of making things well?

I have to work and probably so do you. But in trying to make a living, do you think we’ve lost touch with the idea of making things well? 

I have other questions too:

  • Is work just a means to an end?
  • Have we lost touch with the idea of doing a job well for its own sake?
  • Should I have to sacrifice my creativity on the altar of economic pragmatism?

What I need… perhaps what we all need is a template for living. This sounds complicated, but it’s not.

But it’s not easy either. Here’s one solution:

“Do a good job.

For its own sake.”

That’s it..!

You see, doing a job well for its own sake IS a kind of template for living. You have to flip a switch inside your head to do it, but when you do you’ll see that work ISN’T just a means to an end.

Instead of just working to live, I think we need to bring back craftsmanship.

Why don’t we approach our work, tasks, and job as a craft and pursue mastery with sincerity and intention?

It doesn’t matter if mastery is an unobtainable goal. Screw the goal…!

Craftsmanship and mastery aspirational… This is about the process and the journey. That’s where you’re going to find meaning. 

And one of the reasons why you find meaning is that when you learn to build, make or create you learn to think. To really think. 

And I don’t mean just thinking with your head. 

Thinking with your head is not enough. It’s not really thinking. We’ve had enough of that. What you need instead is to learn how to connect your head and your hands.

This is how you literally MAKE meaning.

You see, building, making and creating ARE thinking. But the reverse isn’t true. And more than that… Your mind doesn’t just engage once the work is completed. 

The process of building, making and creating contains thinking and feeling. You can’t separate them.

Anyway, the desire to do a job well for its own sake is a basic human urge. This is what skilled craft and craftsmanship are about.

And along the way, if we work to get a better understanding of how we make things, then we can achieve a better understanding of ourselves.

But wait… there’s a hidden agenda. You might have spotted it. 

Do you want to master yourslef? Of course, you do. That’s why you’re reading this. Then understand this truth: making, building, creating is the path to self-mastery.


  • Get in touch with the idea of making things well.
  • Work hard and take pride in what you do.
  • Do a good job even when you’re not financially rewarded for it.
  • Learn new skills then practice and repeat (and practice and repeat).
  • Become engaged in the work for its own sake.

The satisfactions of your work are their own reward. This… all of this is what I’m calling The Way of the Craftsman.

It’s a way of enormous motivation and inspiration. And it’s for all humans including you. 

Now, start with yourself and set an example.

  • Do you feel overwhelmed by how to get going?
  • Looking for a new hobby or wanna learn a new skill?
  • Not sure where to start?
  • Unsure of what your craft is?

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Buy my new eBook using this link to get the pre-order discount of 50%…!
  2. Join me and others in learning the fundamentals of Leatherwork in the Smith Bros Ultimate Leatherwork Fundamentals Mentorship.
  3. Check out all my various projects here.
  4. Sign up to my email newsletter.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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