Do you ever feel that being good at what you do — as a professional, a parent, a partner — takes up so much of your time and focus that it seems sometimes as if that’s all you are? Of course it’s important to strive to be the best we can at these aspects of life. But we also shouldn’t neglect our own passions and interests. Whether it’s painting, scuba diving, or swing dancing, hobbies can enrich our lives and bring us great satisfaction and rewards.
Some hobbies have the benefit of being educational and sociable at the same time, such as wine tasting. It’s fascinating to learn about a new subject in great detail — different soils and conditions that produce different grape varieties, and identifying the different flavours and aromas of wines. Not only do you learn a lot, you also become that valuable friend who’s an expert at something.
Other educational hobbies like learning a new language or a musical instrument can not only provide you with expert skills but bring a sense of achievement to your daily activities. Setting your mind to a goal, and being determined to achieve it can in turn boost confidence and make you feel more fulfilled.
There are a great variety of hobbies and interests out there — definitely something for everyone. It’s worth trying a few different things to see what sparks your passion. Or think back to when you were growing up. What kind of activities did you enjoy as a child? Did you spend hours running up and down a track, writing poetry, or sketching butterflies? Re-awakening these interests is often a way to get in touch with aspects of your personality that you’ve neglected and forgotten about over the years.
This said, try to avoid taking on too much. It’s better to start with one new element in your schedule, or one change to your life, as this will be easier to maintain in the long-term. After all, it can take a couple of months to form a new habit, so if you find it hard to stick at something, try starting one new hobby and building from there, rather than lots of different things at once.
You may or may not fall in love with a new hobby, but either way you’ll benefit from the experience of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, meeting new people, and improving your mind. And with a bit of luck, you’ll discover a passion that will sustain you for a lifetime.
Ginette Harper is interested in all aspects of mind and body wellness, and frequently blogs on topics from self-hypnosis to life coaching.
Image by Jennifer Rensel, used under Creative Commons license