While Nick Offerman is a comedian best known for his role as Ron Swanson in Parks and Rec, his Netflix special, American Ham, holds a surprising amount of wisdom. Mainly because Nick Offerman is a funny man by nature, not by affect. He isn’t fooling anyone while up on stage. He’s just being himself and that’s why his comedic efforts come across as thoughtful as well as humorous.
There’s one specific part of his comedic shtick I’m the most curious about, and it’s not because it’s funny–remember that wisdom?
Nick Offerman believes strongly in craft. I touched on this a little yesterday, but only in regards to routine. A craft is like an extreme hobby. Mr. Offerman believes everyone should have a craft, or an extreme hobby that is just for them.
A craft is something you love. That you lose yourself in. That you do everyday or nearly everyday. It’s a discipline. It’s a thing you master. It is a mastery. For Nick, it’s carving. He makes canoes in his spare time–awesome canoes and chairs and other wooden things. He’s so good at it that Ron Swanson’s character adapted the craft.
I like this piece of wisdom. Maybe I like it because it legitimizes my obsession with writing. Or maybe because it puts emphasis on the worth of dedication. I think the dedication you have to a craft, whether it’s woodworking, writing, playing music, baking–keeps people on a straight and narrow path, one that helps them be more focused and present in the rest of their lives. And, perhaps, that’s what a dedicated craft does more than anything else, it redirects our focus. It slows our minds in this technological age. In this consumer culture in which we are programmed to think buying equals accomplishment. But, in truth, it doesn’t at all. True accomplishment is something you create through a long process of dedication. A true sense of accomplishment isn’t instant. It is the culmination of your efforts. Of your dedication. True accomplishment is something you earn–you don’t buy it.