The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - NEWS - With ed­i­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­[email protected]

Hack­ing your way to suc­cess

By now, we’re all pretty much fa­mil­iar with the term “hack­ing”.

Ap­plied to ev­ery­thing from re­design­ing a piece of fur­ni­ture to make some­thing new to maybe just swap­ping one set of han­dles for an­other, it’s one of those ex­pres­sions that’s bor­der­ing on overuse.

Apart from sound­ing like it was in­vented this cen­tury (any­one fa­mil­iar with the “make do and mend” ap­proach will find this laugh­able), it’s such a catchall term, it runs the risk of throw­ing master crafts­man­ship into the same bracket as a bit of slightly dodgy DIY.

In this age of Face­book and In­sta­gram where fil­ters can make al­most any­thing look good, it can be hard to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the very clever “hack” and the truly aw­ful “fix up”.

In­deed, I’ve seen some in­cred­i­bly clever things done with Ikea ba­sics such as its clas­sic Billy book­case or Moppe mini draw­ers, which are sup­plied in raw tim­ber pre­cisely so that you can cus­tomise them your­self.

But if cre­at­ing a beau­ti­ful win­dow cov­er­ing was truly as sim­ple as at­tach­ing a quilt cover to a curtain rod with rope, the curtain-mak­ing in­dus­try would not ex­ist.

Be­cause the re­al­ity is that with­out an ac­tual skill set — whether it’s sewing, paint­ing, wood­work­ing or some­thing else — hacks can look a bit rub­bish and quickly fail to meet your func­tional re­quire­ments. It takes time, skill and pa­tience to get the job done right so that those cur­tains open and close beau­ti­fully and don’t fall down on top of you in the mid­dle of the night.

There’s a well-known say­ing called the Seren­ity prayer which goes along the lines of “to ac­cept the things I can­not change, courage to change the things I can, and wis­dom to know the dif­fer­ence.”

This could eas­ily ap­ply to hack­ing too.

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