There are no good or bad hobbies, or cool or uncool hobbies. As I wrote earlier, it is a matter of perspective. Rockstars are born in every domain, whether you think that is cool or uncool. An effective hobby is something that is practiced for at least half an hour every day. That is non-negotiable. There is some jazz about doing something for 21 days and then it automatically becomes a part of your schedule. 21 days or not, squeezing anything into your schedule needs commitments repeated over time to make it ‘muscled up’ in your memory. The most ideal situation is when you feel a little queasy when the day threatens to end without an indulgence in your hobby.

There are famous hobbies like reading books, watching movies and the much more Indian – watching cricket. The problem however, with hobbies involving reading and watching is that, in the absence of say, new books, or new cricket matches or new movies, we tend to think that there is no more scope for our hobby for that dry period of time. We must realize that it is not true. I hope I have successfully indicated before, your hobby may be the most interesting thing to you, but it is only serious, almost professional indulgence that will lead to effective results. Watching a match listlessly while talking over the phone and munching popcorn while thinking of the next days’ spreadsheets is no kind of indulgence and will not be effective as a hobby.

Hobbies Part 2 PLIS! Have an Effective Hobby – Part II

A serious indulgence makes sure that we are outside our comfort zone while hobby-ing. It is not easy. It almost sounds like a second profession. But I believe that is how effective hobbies add value and become more than just that one line in the resume. More holistic indulgence can be quantified as research or digging into the stuff even after it’s over. So you like watching movies. Why wait till the next release? Why not grab some dvds and catch some classics? Why not look at imdb and find what reviews are coming in for the movie you watched? Why not write about how you felt after watching it?

‘Oh but you are making me work again.’ ‘Pshaw! That’s so nerdy’ are some knee-jerk reactions to these arguments. But as the clichéd old adage goes, you choose between adding years to your life or life to your years. Hobbies are great at adding more confidence to your persona and that happens only if we are good at what we say our hobby is. And being good warrants departure from the couch. Let me tempt you to be more indulgent hobbyists by stating that a number of colleagues of yours truly have cracked some pretty high profile interviews by being able to impress the interviewer on the seriousness of their hobbies and their passion for it.

On the question of passion, the biggest enemy is assuming that passion is somewhat personal and cannot be engineered. The former is true and the latter, gibberish. Great passion often masks the years of grueling effort that went into creating the perfect act that we see and judge to be ‘in-born’. It does seem a little formidable that we are talking about passion and the ‘how’ of it, when all that you probably wanted was to get those nagging stress levels down! I am just digging deeper into all this to prove that it is easy and methodical to acquire and nurture an amazing hobby that has far reaching contributions in your and your families’ lives than just helping you take the edge off on one instance.

How do you pick your hobby? The important factor is not to conduct a market research of top-trending hobbies and creae a cost-value analysis of them but just – picking! Just look around your life for opportunities. The best starting point for a hobby to drive change into life is taking up a course on the matter immediately. Ah I see those groans coming again. ‘You crazy, asking me to take up a course, when I barely have time to catch my favourite shows at night?’

Again, growth vs comfort comes into play here. What to pick can be immediately taken from the first thing you would do if you had to work to earn. To rephrase, answer this question, ‘If you could not have the job you currently have and needed to earn, what would you do?’ The answer to this should be the thing you choose to read up on and take the course on. Of course, if you already had a hobby before but lost touch going ahead, you already know what hobby you should be going in for. In whichever case, the idea is to build a complete life around that hobby and not just leave it to wither when you feel too burdened.

Now that you have picked up a hobby, taken the course, learnt it, and are indulging regularly, what next? After a while when you know your stuff and you are in the hobby zone for a month or so, it is best to involve others in your hobby. Maybe invite people over for dinner that you cook, go to a live cricket match, or perform at an open mic! The confidence that you gain from projecting something that you learnt in front of people is immense. I would go on to even say that this adds to your identity and strength of your overall personality. As a side-note, some folks draw good inspiration from blogging about their hobby like blogging your progress as you lose weight gradually (BTW, that’s something on my mind too!).

To recapitulate, the steps are: Pick Learn Indulge Share (PLIS). The PLIS system of hobby-ing is really productive and goes a long way to help you harbor and exhibit more positive energies everywhere. If you go haywire somewhere and find yourself in the wrong hobby, trace your steps back like a boss! There is nothing wrong about a wrong pick. Don’t people pick wrong jobs all the time? Learning can happen not just through a course but through a friend, sibling or offspring! Indulgence can be decided depending on time schedules. Procuring the raw materials for the hobby in little spurts helps save more time for the indulgence. Sharing with your close ones first may be a good idea. In certain situations throwing yourself completely in alien territory and going forth with a fresh everything into a new hobby can be greatly exhilarating.

Hobbies can mend, create, empower, enhance, strengthen, identify and enrich. A simple choice to have a new friend for life can get us this immense opportunity. So when am I going to see you next in the gym I am joining today? Am I invited to your concert in that pub? Can I come over to see you bake that amazing cake? PLIS, dear sire and madam, pick and choose!

(Photo: Pixabay)

By |December 19th, 2014|Team|0 Comments

About the Author:

 PLIS! Have an Effective Hobby – Part II
Abhishek Mishra works as a Solution Architect at e-Zest in the Presales division. He proposes technology stacks best suited to client requirements. As a part of the development team in the TABit project, he is responsible for advancing the framework-level changes in the project. Having recently begun his journey with e-Zest, Abhishek loves to share his knowledge thorough his blogs. Other than his passion for learning new technologies, hobbies like playing a string or two on the guitar and writing fictionalized accounts of real-life events fills his leisure time.

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