I’ve been doing a lot of furniture building recently, so much in fact that I think I might be an IKEA addict. All those tiny screws, the hammering away disturbing neighbors, pieces connecting together and obviously the empowering feeling of having built something with my own two hands make me giddy at the prospect of buying something new.

As I was screwing (get your mind out of the gutter) some shelves together last night it got me thinking… Could I assemble this bookcase without the instructions manual? Would I know which pieces go where, in which order? Would it stay upright and keep all my books on it? Or would I completely miss two joints and the whole thing would collapse on my head?

I think we approach most of our problems this way. We start thinking about what we know, whether we have the right information, whether we need help navigating the issue. It would be great if we had a tiny little book with all the answers and step-by-step instructions, would it?

But our life is not a piece of furniture. It doesn’t have to be a certain way. It definitely isn’t the same as another thousand lives and it there is no right way to “assemble” it. It can be a different color and shape, bigger or smaller, functional or minimalist. There is no wrong way for it to look or a wrong way to build it.

Some people live their lives by their built-in instruction manual. Only sticking to what they know, what they’ve heard. Not taking risks, not wanting more. And I guess that is their business and I have no right to judge that.

But I strongly believe that we were given the freedom to do things our way and we should take it. We should mould our pieces and screws in a chaotic mess that works for us. So what that someone else won’t be able to sit in our chair? They should build their own.

Have a eudemonic week!

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