Entitlement got you down? Some do-it-yourself ideas for you, or someone you love, to develop self esteem

It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.
-Napoleon Hill

I learned that a local Texas church just sent their youth group to Latin America so that they could "help" the poor locals by repairing the sidewalk of their church.  However, I learned it was one of the village contractors that actually repaired the sidewalk, but that the teenagers were allowed to help with some of the tasks, like mixing the cement.  I notice that the sidewalks in front of their own church, here in Texas, are not in good repair.

Here at our home, our children are replacing the rusted-iron fence around our swimming pool.  I first had the job quoted by a couple of local contractors, both Latin Americans, and they each came in at more than $7,500.  Instead of hiring one of them, I purchased a little MIG welder package for my teenage sons ($750), gas, tank, cart, and wire ($400), and new steel fencing ($700).  We already own a grinder, but I did buy some more cutting and grinding wheels ($60).  They are almost done, and I will soon need to buy the paint and thinner for them to finish the job ($70).  

I have not given our boys any instruction, mostly because I do not know how to weld, but also because there is a massive amount of good instruction available for free on youtube.  Mainly, I do not want to steal from them the chance to develop self esteem by doing for them what they can do for themselves.  I did tell them that I reserve the right to personally inspect every weld, and that they would need to redo any that did not look absolutely perfect.  They know their father well enough to not bring up the fact that I have no qualifications to judge a weld.

They have been spending many hours a day on this project. I have heard rumors of procrastination, argument, negotiation, foul language, mistakes, and threats.  I have seen actual evidence of failure, determination, improvement, success, productivity, craftsmanship, pride, and increased self-esteem.  The work I have inspected looks great, and the boys are now clearly enjoying the project.  Yesterday, I was thanked for giving them the opportunity to learn how to weld. 

Here are some do-it-yourself ideas for you, or someone you love, to develop self esteem.  

Grow something edible

Prepare a meal from scratch

Host a dinner party at home


Negotiate for and buy some used tools at a pawn shop

Change the oil, oil filter, air filter, and fuel filter on your vehicle

Check the antifreeze, power steering fluid, brake fluid, washer fluid, and transmission fluid

Rotate the tires on your vehicle (far better to learn in your garage than by fixing a flat on the roadside)

Visit AutoZone and have them download the diagnosis for that check engine light you ignore, for free, then consult youtube on how to address the diagnosis


Repair some damaged drywall in the home and then paint it

Replace the cartridge of a leaky faucet

Replace or repair a broken light fixture

Replace the 1/2" screws holding in your one-kick door hinges and locks with 3" stainless steel screws


Sew a missing button on a garment

Launder and press some cotton shirts and pants

Measure and hem some pants to length


Sharpen your knives

Clean your pistol, rifle, and shotgun

Install Malwarebytes or a similar program on your PC

Install additional memory


Meet with one of your elected representatives

Write an article about the meeting, and submit it to ZeroHedge or your local newspaper


Write your own healthy menu and shopping list

Make your own huarache sandals for trail running

Write your own fitness goals and exercise plan

Learn yoga and practice it 


Make your own monthly budget and follow it

Write your own savings goals, and a plan to achieve them

Get out of debt  (It is OK to get help if you need it)


I hope readers will add their own do-it-yourself ideas and experiences in the comment section.  


Peace, liberty, and prosperity,



VWAndy Fri, 07/07/2017 - 15:49 Permalink

 A do it yourself solar system with 12v battery and controler to run AC converter might be pretty handy on a little cart. A nice little power suply. See if you can make toast with it?

SubjectivObject Stuck on Zero Sat, 07/08/2017 - 12:33 Permalink

My problem with contractors is that I cannot pay them the money to get the work quality I need.So I do pretty much everything myself.I have attempted on many occasions to get extended family or friends kids involved, but lazy and distracted does not begin to describe.  Well yes, there are sweat, dust, and mosquitos to deal with.One kid walking by with a broke down bike, I helped him figure out how to get the chain out of spokes, the derailer/cable adjusted, and the chain back on, tires pumped, and the father came back later and told me not to talk to his kid.

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

Lucretius VWAndy Sat, 07/08/2017 - 12:02 Permalink

Mmmmmm TOAST!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0NdwzdOLkEI actually put up 180 watts of panels on an auto tracking array and put a DC pump in my 250' well to fill a 1500 gallon storage tank. Worked great for years!  My experience with well drillers have been ALL flakes!  It was all second hand materials, other than the tank, $700.00, which I stacked up 5' on 25-30 railroad ties so that water will flow even w/o a pressure pump. The little pump in the hole put out 1gpm or 60 gph X 10+ hours a day of sun +600 gallons per day in my tank for FREE! More than enough for two people, and I used an RV type pressure pump (12V, and a deep cycle/marine battery for night time) to pressurize the pressure tank and my entire property. Saved my tremendous $ and had the satisfaction of DOING for myself! I just finished re casing an old 1970's well for a neighbor. I used my 1950 Dodge w/ a 25' boom. I paid $500.00 for it and it has saved me many thousands, and made me even more! Yes, it looks like something from the Beverly Hillbillies, but it works, and when people see me out there working, they stop and ask for a calling card... (I do not have a "card" and I'm not licensed, just helping my neighbor ;-D) it generates work! And yes, I MAKE my tooling.

In reply to by VWAndy

new game Lucretius Sat, 07/08/2017 - 14:06 Permalink

HH you struck a cord with me. big tyme do it yourselfer doing some "impossible tasks" that most would consider "crazy".as a son of an engineer(lol big tyme), i can say i got the "anything can be done" if one puts there mind to it's relentless pursuit.the challenge becomes How to, alternatives, cost, ect. but in actually doing it takes many twists and turns and many with high levels of danger.the danger is truely the challenge of not being injured.i assess my carefullness and methods by how much blood was lost doing a project.clods are always drawing their own blood...

In reply to by Lucretius

nidaar Fri, 07/07/2017 - 15:55 Permalink

Excellent, here are some more:* Paint window frames of your home (best to do in summer)* Change the filters of your AC* Pull weeds growing from cracks of cement around the house* Write (or update) your autobiography 

StaySunny3000 nidaar Sat, 07/08/2017 - 10:55 Permalink

Clean your room!Love this post; it is so true, and the suggestions are all excellent as well.  Find a way to lighten someone's load or solve a vexing problem, and a dopamine rush is the payoff.  I wish the SJWs would consider easing off on the ideology and start applying liberal amounts of elbow grease to problems in their local communities; even the Black Panthers used to provide breakfast for poor kids at one time.  They might find that conservatives would take them much more seriously.

In reply to by nidaar

LyLo Stud Duck Sat, 07/08/2017 - 09:42 Permalink

Well, I'm pretty sure I'd rather be flayed alive than do yoga.  So that shit is right out.  (Typically cynical enough?)Also on a more serious note, have you played in the woods yet this week?  Month?  Year?  For the love of all that is good in this world, everyone please remember to take time (soon, if possible) to get out into whatever wilderness is available to you.  If for whatever reason you can't do most of the suggestions listed by people (health, time, whatever), just remember to get yourself out into your natural habitat once in a while.

In reply to by Stud Duck

logicalman Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:16 Permalink

Get fit.Do stuff just because you think it's cool. (fire eating is an odd skill to pass on to your kids, but everyone thinks that's cool)Push yourself, physically, to the point of exhaustion.Learn to forage for food.Learn to shoot - a gun - a bow - a slingshot - a rock sling.Learn to make a bow, a rock sling.Get rid of your TV and cell phone.Just a few suggestions.https://s25.postimg.org/5csuge4pb/Fire_Eating_1.jpghttps://s25.postimg…  

. . . _ _ _ . . . Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:24 Permalink

Great article. Agree 100%. Thanks and kudos HH.I would add, on a slightly more selfish note, learn to sponge-bathe an old person, wipe their butt, and change their diaper.That day will surely come, and other than a hot nurse, I'd be more comfortable if it were my kids taking care of me. No retirement home for this old bastard.After all, we did it for them.

PeeramidIdeologies Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:23 Permalink

I gain the greatest respect for people when they step up to attempt a new endeavour. I can't recall a time that I have tried, succeed or fail, to learn a new skill that I haven't walked away satisfied with myself and the new information I had in hand. It is amazing the plasticity of the human mind and it's capacity to learn, grow, and cross-contaminate ideas.

My lastest experiment has been high density gardening. I caught a whiff of it on YouTube not long ago and had to give it a try. Low and behold the seedlings of certain species are clearly out-pacing their spaced out brethren. We are just getting into the heat of our growing season here but I'm very interested to see how the yields turn out.

Nice share HH

GeezerGeek Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:27 Permalink

When looking for used tools, I heartily recommend getting some that don't require electricity if you're working with wood. I was lucky enough to inherit some of those tools from my grandfather, including several braces, saws, and a drill. This last gets frequent use, as it a) can go anywhere without needing to run an extension cord and b) doesn't have to have a battery recharged. When the power goes out for extended times (hurricanes where I'm from) muscle-powered tools are great.

MrSteve GeezerGeek Fri, 07/07/2017 - 20:52 Permalink

Sharpening bits for the hand brace is a rare art these days, along with sharpening drill bits. Hand-powered grain grinders are another gem. Stone-ground mills won't have products available as transporting "commercial" quantities of grain could be problematic in times of social chaos. The mill wheels will still turn, but growing vast fields of grain won't be happening. History shows an Illinois stone grinding mill (overshot wheel)took one of seven bags of grain as their fee, some 14%.

In reply to by GeezerGeek

frank further Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:52 Permalink

"Visit AutoZone and have them download the diagnosis for that check engine light you ignore, for free, then consult youtube on how to address the diagnosis"Interesting.  But how did AutoZone know what the code was?

Dukes RafterManFMJ Sat, 07/08/2017 - 08:09 Permalink

Amazon, eBay, everywhere.
Just make sure you get the correct type for your device. It will say in the description.
Typically, wifi for Apple and Bluetooth for android.

I use the "DashCommand" app ($10) and found it plenty robust for my needs.

The reader module and app will essentially pay for itself with your first repair. Well worth purchasing.
You can turn off/reset your check engine light at will. Be sure to learn your vehicles drive cycles to properly reset your readiness monitors if your state requires reading them annually, etc.

In reply to by RafterManFMJ

jmack Fri, 07/07/2017 - 19:10 Permalink

Go on a fast.   In the last day of a 5 day fast and aside from habit based cravings, i havent had any hunger that chugging a bottle of water has not satiated.  Good skill to have in your pocket should shtf and you have to hoof it between stashes or your traps go empty for a few days.