January 21, 2016
As we get older, life tends to leave little time for hobbies. For me to be the best person I can be, a good husband, and an attentive soon-to-be dad, it’s important that I continue to dabble in activities that not only make me happy, but also challenge me. For entrepreneurs – whose days can be filled to the rim with company matters – it’s much more important to engage in activities to help keep them grounded.
Lately, it seems like the only leisurely activity is watching television or scrolling through Facebook. I remember the days when I couldn’t wait to get out of the house to see my friends in the neighborhood. We would climb trees, play tag and laugh all day. Hobbies allow us to live in the moment, it’s a combination of doing something we actually enjoy and also learning something new. It’s a perfect way to occupy our busy minds. There’s no dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
First, let’s start by defining a hobby. A hobby is a regular activity that is done for pure enjoyment. The key to any hobby worth pursuing is that it’s fun. It should never feel like a job. Investing in our happiness is more valuable than anything else. As humans, we have a desire to always learn and improve ourselves.
Here are some reasons why entrepreneurs need to pick up a hobby:
I’ve found that hobbies are a fantastic way to relieve stress. The reason behind this is that the brain has limited capacity. If you overload it with fun stuff, your brain doesn’t have room for any stressful thoughts. Distraction is a powerful tool when it comes to our seemingly endless worried thought patterns.
When you’re watching TV or staring at Facebook does your mind ever wander to a stressful place? The point is, learning something new requires a lot more brain power than vegging out and watching the real housewives of whatever.
In fact, a few years ago a study revealed that piano playing is the most effective activity in reducing stress – molding clay and calligraphy were not far behind. Try this awesome web app I found called OnlinePianist. Not only do they teach you how to play music in a simple way, but they have a huge selection of the latest hits on the radio.
Hobbies are also a great way to build self-esteem. There are factors out of our control in our personal and professional lives, to have an outlet with which you can make small improvements creates an immediate burst of self confidence.
Are there things you loved to do as a kid that you can still enjoy as an adult? Maybe you always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, or you loved climbing on things, maybe you always wanted to learn how to paint. Colorfy is a mobile app that’s gaining traction as a coloring book for adults. I can see myself getting better and I can attest that it’s addicting.
Start off slow with your new hobby. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve gone a little overboard. If we tell ourselves that we need to spend several hours a week, a lot of money and quite a bit of energy on our new activity, the task will seem daunting.
One of the benefits I’ve learned from taking time out of my schedule for hobbies is realizing just how much free time I actually have. An inordinate amount of time was spent on things that weren’t adding anything to my life. By taking the useless hours spent with eyes glazed over staring at a screen and transferring that to learning and creating new things, I’m investing in myself.
For example, if you want to learn a new language, start with a simple mobile app like Duolingo. Then, once you feel advanced enough you can buy books, read newspapers, or even speak to others in that language.
Make New Friends
Think about your day. If you’re job is reclusive and you spend little time conversing with others, you may want to think about a hobby that has a social aspect to it. There are plenty of hobbies that are formed around a class. This is a great way to not only meet people, but form relationships with people that have similar interests to you.
If you spend all day on your feet, speaking to several people, for example a sales job, you may want to try something more private.
Try an app like Gravy that helps you find local activities to be a part of. You can set your mood, time, and location to ensure an absolutely great time.
Explore Your Creativity
Hobbies open your mind to new possibilities. There are many great ideas that are formed when people are purely enjoying an activity they love. Every time I’ve thought of a good idea or a solution to a problem it has been when my mind was in a positive, yet active state.
Find the Hobby That’s Right for You
I personally love a combination of active/social hobbies and something a little more private and independent. My active hobbies include rock climbing with my buddies, wind surfing, or – my personal favorite – MMA. Perhaps the most rewarding hobby I’ve ventured into lately is learning piano. I tried to learn when I was younger but it didn’t really stick. Now, several years later, I’m ready to give it another try.
Have you tried any new hobbies lately?
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