It may seem like your hobbies don’t fit into this discussion, and you’re partially right. They don’t fit because they could be an entire discussion of their own. At the start of this we talked about music, art, and literature. Things we all enjoy because others have developed talents so well that we are willing to pay to listen, see, and read them. Hobbies are often described as things we like to do, but often they are things we have others do so we can enjoy ourselves. We like to listen to music others create. We like to watch movies others act in. We like to read books others write. We like to watch sports others play.
At some point, these hobbies will be hollow to you. Maybe they already are. You will know all of your favorite books and won’t be able to find another that gives you the same experience. Sports seasons will always end leaving you disappointed. Movies will all seem underwhelming. Why? Because consuming follows the law of diminishing returns. The value and enjoyment you get out of consuming things other people create will decrease over time. After a while, your brain will not be stimulated as it used to be.
Before we reach this point, we should pick up our hobbies and make them our own. This is the true challenge, the true hobby, and the way to really enjoy and appreciate something.
Instead of spending hours and hours listening to music, spend one hour a day or week learning an instrument and making your own music. Rather than just reading books, write one. Rather than just watching sports, play them or coach them.
If you take an active role in your hobbies and become an expert in them, you will find more enjoyment in life, more confidence in yourself, and (here’s the kicker) you will add value to those around you. Rather than just consume what is out there, you may create music for authors to listen to. You may play sports so well others enjoy watching you. You may write books so good musicians will read them. Those younger and less experienced than you can gain from the value you create.
If we never get to the point that we create value in our hobbies, we are doing our children, and countless others a disservice. We are a drain and nothing more in that particular arena.
I recently saw a t-shirt that said, “my hobby is internet”. Don’t let this be a commentary on your value. Don’t get lost in the amount of information that is out there and fool yourself into thinking that reading a bunch of articles like this or following other people’s lives is an accomplishment.
As one blogger put it, “There isn’t an article online that would make up for all the time you have wasted in life.” Ouch, but true.
Take charge. Manage your time, your effort, your investments. Create value and improve your life and the lives of others.