There is a strong relationship between perfecting a skill and freedom. Many people don’t see it, but it’s there, and it’s important. In fact it’s so important that if we fail to master a skill, then we will fail to unlock some of our biggest opportunities.

This is something that I learnt very early on.

Making Money

I’m not particularly bright and I’m often astounded at some of the stupid things do. This definitely was the case when I was in high school. At the time I knew there was a strong possibility that I wouldn’t get entrance into my preferred university degree because my marks just weren’t good enough.

Luckily though by this time I had learned to paint and draw because I was absolutely obsessed comic books, art and beautiful things in general. With this skill I was able to land a mural painting job when I was seventeen with an awesome company called Wallscapes.

These guys produced some amazing works of art, and I was thrilled to be able to add to what they created.

Being completely lost, dazed and confused as a kid was not fun. However, being able to find some small degree direction because I had solid skill was quite liberating. It was then that I realized that having a skill was important. It gave you another option, another way out and the potential to make some money out of it. It provided a way to Freedom. A lesson that I’ve taken to heart to this day.

Work Ethic begets Freedom

Perfecting a skill takes time. It’s effort. It takes money, blood, sweat and tears.

You go through periods wondering whether you’re good enough. You go through periods thinking you’re the greatest who has ever lived.

All through this, you are grinding. You are working yourself to the bone. You’re spending hours through the night trying to get things right and make your work solid.

With all this effort that goes into perfecting your craft, at some point you begin realize that you can actually work harder than the rest. You begin to realize that your work ethic is higher than those around you.

The realization is that you grind harder, and reward is that you get more opportunities. The pay is higher, the vision bolder and the freedom is sweeter.

Mastering your craft brings with it a set of characteristics that can never be taken away from you. This is why perfecting a skill is important; it imbues you with attributes that will ensure you succeed no matter what. It brings you Freedom.

The realization is that you grind harder, and reward is that you get more opportunities.
Bodhgayashanthi Sanctuary Mural – Skill is just as good as ever.

Fallback

The working environment today is very weird. Half the jobs that exists today weren’t around twenty ago. I just recently saw a job title “Head of Growth” – what the hell does that mean? I’ve got no idea, yet there it is. In fact, if I think about it, I myself have had at least seven different types of jobs over my career. That’s crazy! The technology moved at such a pace that I kept evolving into new and different roles; and most of those titles don’t exist anymore.

It makes me realize that jobs in this day in age are fleeting, and the titles that accompany them are just as fleeting.

It’s weird to look back at a career and just see adaptation to change rather than growth and development. Yet through all those changes my ability to draw and all its extensions (animation, design, etc) has grown steadily.

This is the one skill which still brings in value slowly but surely. It provides a fallback should anything ever happen to my main sources of income. This is because I am good at my skill. I have largely perfected it and therefore my performance in this space is high.

Having this type of fallback brings with it broader freedoms.

Conclusion

In a world of constant change where it’s difficult for us to get our bearings, having skill that is useful, that will always be relevant and that we are a master of sets us apart. It’s gives us safety and it gives us security. We should all strive to be Great at a skill!

Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash