This step by step process starts after the child has grown to be able to understand the concepts of life planning and is ready to start thinking about how to accomplish personal goals.  We assume a good age to start talking about these goals with kids is somewhere between 9 -12 years old.  Until this age, Toys for Tiny Artisans' wish is to provide the spark for this desire through construction toys and children's books geared toward the industry. 

The following is an excerpt from my book (soon to be published) The Artisan Philosophy

 Words for the Youth

Today is October 16th, 2023 and I turned 61 today.  I woke up this morning with a desire to share something with the youth of this world.  As I stare out of the window of my tiny shack deep in the woods of East Tennessee and realize that it took over 40 years to reach just a portion of my dreams,  I feel the need to inspire you, the youth of the world to develop a dream/s and the process to realize them.  

My goal for this chapter, though randomly placed somewhere in the book, is to help you develop a process for creating and implementing a/your dream/s.  Current society and technology is creating an atmosphere of stagnation of dream building.   Accomplishing your dreams is a process and your dreams will remain dreams until you realize the physical world has tools and materials at your disposal to implement them.

Admittedly some of my dreams came true then slipped through the cracks somehow based on my own personal failures.  But you must learn to eat failure for breakfast and move on.  Life is short and there is no time to dwell on your failures.   I have been married and divorced twice now and this may seem like a failure, and it is to an extent, but I gained three children who I love and adore greatly. They have become three beautiful humans who are contributing to this world and now have their own dreams which are coming to fruition, hopefully because of how they were raised.  You will find the road to your dreams is bumpy but with the proper attitude and tools you can conquer the worst potholes.  Just avoid the pot on the way :)

myoldtextbook 600The first step and my first challenge is to cut your screen time in half starting now. after reading my book anyway,  Go outside, find some clean air,  breathe in deeply then slowly turn around and observe nature.   You have an extra challenge on your hands if there is no greenery to observe.   During this time of reflection, create a dream if you don't already have one.  This is not as hard as it may seem.  Ask yourself what you want to be or accomplish in life and without any self doubt, what comes to mind first.  Do this several times and take a poll of your consciousness.  Eventually the answer/s will become obvious.  Don’t let fear or self doubt/loathing prevent you from being honest with yourself.  This is your inner monologue and no one else can judge this.

The second step is to write down, and outline the steps needed to accomplish your dream.  When I was a young teen, I always knew I wanted to be a builder.  I would dream of designing and building great buildings.  There was nothing more satisfying to me than to think some day I could make an impact on the world through the buildings I left behind.  I would daydream, which caused me to not have such good grades in school,  about what I needed to do to accomplish this dream.  I assumed I would need some education and training before I could become a basic contractor.  I am not going to claim I had the entire plan completed in my head, but heading into high school. I sought out opportunities that would start the educational process for my dream.  This led to me attending a building trades school while I was in high school, spending half the day in each.  I speak about this more completely in other parts of the book but this was my first step.  The important note here is that I developed a plan, and started implementing it by the time I entered high school. I would challenge you to do the same, if you have been lucky enough to read this book at this age. I am assuming I am also speaking to parents who will inspire their school aged children.

This process applies to anything you want to do in life.  I became a builder so this was my plan. Your dream may be to become the best doctor or lawyer or fireman or scientist or artist or cook. The main thing is the development of a plan to accomplish your dreams.

The thirmyoldtextbook 600d step is digging the ditches and putting in the apprenticeship time.  When I first started in construction,  I already knew how to build a house because we had built two houses in my building trade school and I graduated top of my class.  But guess what?  The first contractor I worked for put me out in the dirt raking rocks out of the chert ridden soil so we could sew grass seed.  I was a bit disheartened knowing I could be laying out the walls for the framing crew and at the time I had a hard time swallowing my pride, but now looking back, I realize the value of putting in the work required to get to the good stuff.  I realize that being the grunt on the job was a right of passage and part of the traditions of the industry.  Every industry will have these traditions and you grind through this period knowing there is light at the end of that tunnel.

The fourth step is realizing when you have completed your industry’s traditional period of ditch digging.  In the construction industry it is around twelve to twenty four months depending on how you progress and the effort you show.  The trick is to learn your craft quickly alongside ditch digging.  Impress those who are responsible for advancing you in your field.   I did this by jumping in and helping out with tasks needed to be done when someone was away for the day.  Maybe the saw man was sick that day and I offered to take the task for the day.  Anything to insert my skill into the process early.  After a few years, I was heading the framing crew and soon moved on to the next step.  You will want to have a decent understanding of your industry before moving on to the next step.  Thankfully the construction industry is not rocket science and I was able to advance at a decent pace.  

The fifth step is taking that leap from working for someone to becoming a resource yourself.  This is one of the toughest steps to wrap your mind around and to implement.  Your whole life you have been told what to do from your parents, to teachers, to job bosses and it has become an accepted scenario in your psyche.  It’s a bold step but be brave, you can do it.   The prep for this step will be completed in the previous phase.  Prep work includes researching and gaining knowledge about what is required for your industry.  In my industry, it was licensing and basic knowledge of business but your industry may require more education and experience prior to taking this leap.  But in any case, I want this to be a goal for you.  Life is too short to spend it helping others reach their dreams only to have put yours on the back burner.   

artisan mentoring younger apprentThe sixth step is to become the best in your industry. No compromises.  The best way to leave a mark on this Earth is to be remembered for what type of person you were and how well you carried out your dream. This serves as the basis for the next step.  

The seventh step and one of the most important, because it will insure the continuance of the Artisan Philosophy,  is to mentor the next generation.  The most satisfying thing about becoming the best in your industry is that you have earned the right to teach others and help mentor them to continue the life cycle of an artisan.  Being an artisan is not about building pieces of fine woodwork, it is a life philosophy.   It is imperative that we bring back the old ways of apprenticeship and mentoring.   I believe human existence is dependent on this.  I believe we were given this physical world by our creator for the very purpose of enjoying it and to enjoy it is not to be lazy in mind and body.  To enjoy it is to help maintain it for future generations. 

The final step is not numbered.  It is the end of the cycle of life for an artisan.  But this is not the end, only the beginning.  Because your whole life was planned and implemented to be the best human you could be, you now stand as an example for other humans.  Your legacy lives on through your work and the memories the living have of you.  This is The Artisan Philosophy in a nutshell.  There are secrets that await you as you progress :)