Greatness begets bureaucracy, and bureaucracy is conservative. A DIY (do it yourself) ethos is skeptical or openly defiant of established pathways to success, relying instead on the power of the individual to come up with smart, new solutions. The internet has unleashed an explosion of DIY creativity in every field, and holds the potential for much, much more. A teenager with a cellphone can get three million views on YouTube. A college kid with a computer program can build a company with a $50 billion potential IPO. With industries and economies worldwide in a state of flux, a creative, courageous, self-reliant approach to life is more necessary than ever.
Even for those in more established, degree-based professions like medicine would do well to take a page from the playbook of self-made men and women like artistic polymath Henry Rollins, comedian Margaret Cho, and neurologist/author Oliver Sacks. DIY living is living courageously and generously – acknowledging your vulnerabilities and taking risks that allow you – and encourage the rest of us – to become bigger, better, and more broad-minded humans. It’s the antithesis of and the antidote to selfishness and all its related evils.