Author Topic: Developing life skills at 28. (Home repair, car repair, self defense, etc.)  (Read 3565 times)

Emergo

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I'm a single guy wanting to be wellrounded so that when I have a family I can be really useful. I want to be mentally healthy, have hobbies that are healthy, and generally be good at many things.

What would you guys recommend?

Bracken_Joy

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A lot depends on your environment. Are you physically able to dive into tasks? Access to tools, workshops, home projects, mentors? There are a lot of different approaches, depending on your circumstances. =)

Metric Mouse

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http://www.artofmanliness.com/

Should get you started.

Emergo

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A lot depends on your environment. Are you physically able to dive into tasks? Access to tools, workshops, home projects, mentors? There are a lot of different approaches, depending on your circumstances. =)

None of the above lol. What tool set would be mustachian and good quality at the same time?

Metric Mouse

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A lot depends on your environment. Are you physically able to dive into tasks? Access to tools, workshops, home projects, mentors? There are a lot of different approaches, depending on your circumstances. =)

None of the above lol. What tool set would be mustachian and good quality at the same time?

Buy tools as you need them. It's slow going at first, but why would one aquire a set of drywall knives or a torque wrench if they never have need for such things?

sparkytheop

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Are you near a school that offers trade type classes?  Woodshop, welding, electronics...? 

You could volunteer for something like Habitat for Humanity and learn some things there. 

When a repair need comes up, search for videos on youtube and the like.  Talk to the guys at the local hardware store and see if they can give you some advice (there are some great guys at our small hardware store that have helped me out with plumbing when I bring in parts of a weird fixture).  They've even given me their cellphone to call if I needed a part after the regular store hours.

shelivesthedream

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http://www.artofmanliness.com/

Should get you started.

Genuinely +1 to this. I'm a woman but I love the Art of Manliness philosophy. I'm not interested in all of it, but by and large that's the kind of person I want to be and it seems to jive pretty well with you wanting to be a well-rounded, useful guy.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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No one can do everything at once, so I'd say, brainstorm a list of all of the things you'd like to learn, then choose the one or two that are most appealing. How much you end up enjoying those will probably help you choose where to go next. If you take a course on car repair and another on tech troubleshooting, you might find that you have a natural talent or preference for one.

Also, what would be most useful in your life today? How about in the next year? You might need addition skills down the road, but you might as well get started with something that will be helpful right away.

I love your approach!

Bracken_Joy

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My local community college offers classes in auto repair, wood working, etc. If you have no tools, no specific projects in mind, and no mentor, that could be a good way to go.

I also do love art of manliness =)

ketchup

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Wait for something to break (car, house, bike, appliance, computer, whatever you've got) and learn how to fix it yourself.  Buy whatever tools needed to solve that particular problem.  Only buy "quality" tools for ones you know will be universally useful.  For one-off tools, buy the el cheapo one, and if you use it enough to break it or get annoyed at how crappy it is, then go buy the "good" one.

Manufacture some routine reasonably-simple maintenance to do on something you have, and then apply the same process.  Replace a bike tire.  Change your oil.  Reseed that part your back yard that looks lousy.  Dust out your computer.  Paint a bedroom.  Make some really good chili.

FLBiker

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For me, it's much easier to learn skills I actually need.  And even if you don't "need" home improvement skills right now (I didn't own a home until I was 35) there's plenty of other things.  Car and computer repair are good skills to have.  Personally, though, if I look back over the past 10 years (I'm 40), I gained a lot of skills -- home repair stuff, work stuff, outdoors stuff, etc.  The most valuable, though, has been developing a meditation practice.  Starting to get a handle on my own mind has been really beneficial.

caracarn

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I agree with those who say just learn to handle things as they come up.  I recently had a vacuum cleaner that suddenly lost about 50% of it's suction.  I looked at all the usual suspects....nothing.  Still did not suck.  At this point most people will find a repair place like Sears or Best Buy and pay someone else to handle it.  I started digging around on the internet and found a video on how to disassemble my vacuum and found that at some point we had sucked up enough little pieces of gravel and they had gotten stock in various places.  Once I took that all out and re-assembled (took three tries to get everything to fit right) it worked like new.  Spent about two hours, but now I can do it in 15 minutes and it was at zero cost.  My dad did a lot of his own home repairs so I picked up a lot of little things as I grew up helping him.  Changing outlets and switches, putting in light fixtures, replacing termocouplings in furnaces, changing my oil (not so easy to do anymore with disposal issues).  My thoughts are the guy who I would pay to do this work was able to learn it so why can't I?  The only thing I tend to be a little wary of is anything having to do with natural gas.  That I still leave to a pro as saving some money is not worth the chance to really get hurt or dead if you mess up.  Plumbing and electrical I usually do myself, unless it's some massive work and I need a lot of tools or time.  We just took an above ground pool out (had someone come and do that) but I'll be fixing up the open part of the deck in the spring to get a railing up and stuff.  Again, never did it before, but I've got a table saw, hammer, drill and know how to use them so I know I can get it done.  Will it be as quick or as good as if someone who does it every day did it, probably not, but it will be good enough and will probably save at least $1,000.

Basic home and car repair are the most useful things I have found.  From that you can learn skills to make some things if you find joy in that.

sobezen

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I recommend learning a skill/hobby that becomes a positive part of your on-going lifestyle.  Personally I am learning more skills that involve my health, safety, and communication skills.  For my health I am learning more about nutrition, internal medical theory/practices from Asia, cooking, yoga, and martial arts not only for self defense but for philosophy and oneness.  For safety I am learning survival skills involving water purification, fire, first aid, land navigation, marksmanship, in addition to martial arts.   Lastly, for communication I am focusing on toastmasters for public speaking, ham radio, and sign language.  I feel many of these life skills useful will remain relevant regardless of my age and would help others if shared too.  Your mileage may vary.