I was having my morning cup of coffee and was observing my husband get ready for his daily run. I actually found myself admiring him. Yes! A rare occasion, rarer than the sighting of the Blood Moon. He is passionate about running. You name a sport and he’s a master at it. He started learning body weight exercises and now you can ask him anything there is on the subject. His hobby includes astute knowledge about all things electronic and photography. The portraits clicked by him are the best I’ve seen. Okay! This isn’t about me sounding lovestruck. I am amazed at how many hobbies he has successfully developed.
Hobbies! What are they? Is hobby something one is naturally inclined to do. Some how I don’t believe that can be true, as many like me, will be naturally inclined to sleeping. Is hobby something you enjoy doing? That could be it, but does it also have to be constructive and productive? Because I might enjoy watching television. Watching Netflix seasons back to back. Many admire music and love listening to it. They profess that listening to music is their hobby. How is it different from watching television, unless you are creating or playing music? Again that takes us back to the question, does hobby need to be productive?
A dear friend suggested that it could be an expression of a dominant trait. That could partially define why we like somethings more than others and why we are good at certain things. Like my husband is very athletic and outdoorsy kind of person. Oh, I forgot to mention he plays the guitar too and can sing reasonably well. Everyone is bound to have a trait that dominates all others and turns into passion… Is it?
With this I also see a sea of youngsters without any hobby. I think most of them believe “internet” IS the hobby. This reminds me of Neil Postman’s book “Amusing Ourselves to Death” where he writes
People will come to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.Neil Postman
Also Aldous Huxley in “Brave New World” depicted a population “too amused by distraction, entertainment, leisure and laughter to realise they have been made powerless.”
Many do not try to build a hobby because they may have a fear of failing or the fear that they may the worst at it. Something that prevents me from joining Zumba classes, because I know I would make a quite a spectacle. So they give up even before they start.
What, then can be our take away on what qualifies as a hobby or on how we may develop one?
- Most common interests are dismissed as mundane; like reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Don’t bother, I’m sure it counts even if its not original.
- Even if you cook and try a new receipe in couple of weeks, I think it’s safe to qualify cooking as your hobby. I don’t think only churning a new dish every other day would qualify as a hobby.
- You may have an interest that is not popular, don’t dismiss it. Even if it’s playing video games which I think can qualify as a valid, (though not productive in tradition sense) use of time.
- Everyone cannot be an artist. You don’t need to be great at something to call it a hobby. So you like to paint. Go ahead and paint. If it relaxes and gives you pleasure its work as hobby is done.
- Lastly I don’t think that a hobby has to be the purpose of your life nor does it have to be your biggest passion. You like to do something and can take out time only couple of weeks for it, then that’s good enough!!
Even if you are doing random activities like reading a book, a blog, listening to podcasts, watching videos, I’m sure you will be able to connect a thread through all of these. A common theme that runs through them. You can work on pursuing those. Having said that, I believe it is perfectly okay to not have a specific hobby. Same repetitive activity to be done every time you are free may be too monotonous for some. If, however, you sense you like something go ahead and try it further. You may enjoy it more, once you get good at it. Each activity can have its own learning curve. Don’t give up if its too hard similarly don’t stay in it if it does not give you pleasure.
Finally a hobby, I think, should give pleasure. Don’t stress if you cannot follow it everyday. Wikipedia defines hobby as “ a regular activity done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time, not professionally and not for pay.”
Cambridge Dictionary says, “hobby is an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working.”
Focus on words pleasure, enjoyment, leisure, and list up hobbies you’ve had or would like to have.
Happy Hobby Hunting!!!