Why Every Man Should Make Time For Hands-On Pursuits in His Life

Unless you work a manual, blue-collar job, there's a strong likelihood that you're one of that growing number of modern men who spend just about all of their time in front of screens, engaged in knowledge work, and digital forms of entertainment.

It's certainly the case that there are plenty of great jobs out there that require you to spend most of your time at work interacting with a computer – and that's not a criticism of those jobs. But, when you spend too much of your time engaging with the world in this kind of ethereal way, you're missing out on something.

Have you ever wanted to look up more details about the automotive industry, and learn how to fix a car with your own hands? Or, to undergo an ambitious DIY project and put together a new shed on your own?

Here are a few reasons why every man should make time for hands-on pursuits in his life.

1.Because engaging with the world physically is an ancient and primeval part of who we all are

Human beings have been on this planet for a long time now, relatively speaking, and only for a small fraction of a small fraction of the time, have we live the kind of disconnected and luxurious modern lives that we now enjoy.

What that means, among other things, is that there is a deep part of our psyche – especially as men – that calls on us to engage physically with the world, like we always have done throughout history.

If you feel like you're somehow "disconnected" from yourself in life, getting your hands dirty and working on some physical project can be a good place to start setting things right.

2. Because it helps to provide a bit of internal balance

All kinds of cultures around the world have developed complex mythologies over time, to emphasise the importance of balance for emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

Think about the yin-yang symbol of Taoism. It's all about harmony.

If you spend all of your time in front of a screen, or even reading books, you're creating a certain imbalance in your life. To restore balance, get physically active and do things that involve you engaging directly with the world around you.

Build things. Pick things up. Hike up a mountain.

3. Because it's a great way of making your leisure time productive, and doing something that you can be proud of

One of the problems with knowledge work, is that it often doesn't leave you with a tangible end product at the end of the day that you can hold, look at, and feel satisfied with.

When you do physical things with your leisure time, however – and especially when you build things through DIY – you get the timeless satisfaction of seeing your work pay off before your very eyes.

After you've been working at it for a while, you'll have a whole new thing sitting in front of you that didn't exist before, and that you know you have brought into the world. That seems like a pretty worthwhile way of spending a few lazy afternoons.