Fundamentally, woodworking is about creating something for others. Sure sometimes we make things for ourselves, but by and large, woodworking is focused on somebody else. We make furniture for someone else to enjoy, we build picture frames to highlight somebody else's special memories, we make cabinets and bookcases to fit that particular space in someone else's hallway. A lot of woodworkers find that this element of woodworking--meeting other's needs--is a primary motivating factor.
I just had the great opportunity to work on a special project for a local family. Their uncle, the family woodworker, had been in the process of making walnut jewelry boxes for nieces and relations when he passed away last summer at age 76. I took on the job of completing his project for the family. It was a bit tricky to pick up in the middle of parts and pieces but today I finished off the set of six.
The build was challenging and there were woodworking details to attend to and problems to solve, but there was always the overwhelming sense of the underlying motivation of the project. Woodworking was intended to provide beautiful objects for his family and now those objects will embody a precious memory of a beloved uncle. It was an honor to be able to contribute to finishing the project.