Have you ever taken a look at your life and saw how utterly bland it was?
- You don?t go out much.
- You don?t have many friends. And the few that you do have are too busy to hang out with you.
- You don?t have the drive to do anything.
- You looked into hobbies you could try, but in the end, you couldn?t imagine yourself doing any of them.
- Put all that together, and you deduce that you don?t have a life.
Does this sound like you?
You wake up in the morning, put your clothes on, and go to college or work where you miserably do what you?re supposed to until it?s time to leave.
You might try to have a conversation with a colleague, but you have nothing to say. You don?t do anything mentionable. So, you say, ?How was your weekend?? or ?What did you think about???.
As you commute back home, you look at all the people around you who seem to actually enjoy their lives, and think, ?I have no hobbies and no interests. What?s wrong with me??
Once you?re at home, you change into your pajamas and browse the internet or watch TV to pass the time until it?s late enough for you to fall asleep.
And the next day? You do the exact same thing all over again.
You can relate, can?t you?
Wouldn?t it be nice to:
- have something to look forward to?
- feel like your life is worth something?
- be more interesting and not stutter when people ask you about your hobbies?
It IS possible!
And I?m going to show you how?
IS IT A HOBBY, AN INTEREST, OR JUST A PASTIME?
What do you do in your free time?
When you?re at home, bored out of your mind, or sitting on the bus waiting for your stop?
Maybe you play Candy Crush, scroll through Facebook, or look out the window.
But ask yourself, ?Do I really like doing those things? Are they fulfilling??
The answer is probably no.
Logically, the next question to ask yourself is, ?Why do I do them??
They aren?t especially fun or interesting. You wouldn?t choose to do them if you had something else to do.
So, tell me. Why do them?
To pass time.
Those aren?t your hobbies no matter how much time you spend doing them.
You watch TV, browse the internet, or play a video game.
But in truth:
Those are all pastimes. They don?t qualify as hobbies or interests.
Interests are topics that fascinate you. You?d gladly spend hours learning more about them.
You watch documentaries, read books, and listen to podcasts about your interests.
You could be interested in math or zoology, but those aren?t hobbies.
An interest isn?t a hobby.
Hobbies are activities that genuinely interest you.
You look forward to doing them. You learn different skills and techniques for your hobby and practice to perfect them.
So what?s the difference between an interest and a hobby?
A hobby is an activity that you enjoy doing. An interest, on the other hand, is just something that has captured your attention.
When was the last time you had something like that?
When you were a kid and your parents put in you after-school classes?
Or have you never had a hobby? Perhaps you feel like maybe you were born without the ?hobby gene??
WHY DON?T YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES OR INTERESTS?
This is the question you?ve been asking yourself ever since you noticed that you?re an incredibly boring person, living an incredibly boring life.
If this question has been gnawing at your insides for a while, don?t worry.
There is an answer.
There?s nothing wrong with you, and you weren?t born without a ?hobby gene?. There is no such thing.
So what is the cause?
1. You?re Depressed
Anyone who is or was once depressed will tell you they aren?t interested in anything.
Anguish, grief, and feeling worthless aren?t the only signs of depression. Losing interest in activities ? even ones you used to love doing ? is another part of being depressed.
Other signs you might be depressed:
- Always feeling tired
- Pessimism and feeling hopeless
- Not being able to focus or remember details
If you think you might have depression but aren?t sure, take this ?Am I Depressed?? quiz or consider seeing a therapist.
If you are depressed, here are two steps you can implement today to start yourself on the journey of improvement.
Nobody likes to exercise, but it?s impossible to refute its benefits.
Not only does exercise help alleviate depression, it prevents depression as well.
When you think of exercise, you imagine waking up early and driving to the gym every morning.
Let me tell you something:
You don?t have to do that.
To beat depression, you only need to exercise one hour per week, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
You read that right:
One hour of exercise per week. That?s less time than most people spend in the bathroom every week.
Also, the same study said that the exercise required is low intensity. You could take a walk or enroll in a yoga class.
Exercising the sense out of depression doesn?t seem so hard now, does it?
The sun shines a little bit dimmer every day it doesn?t get to see your dazzling face.
When you?re out in the sun, your brain releases important hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine, that put a smile on your face and shower you with relaxation and calmness.
(Feeling Lost? Here?s what you should do.)
2. You Don?t Have The Time
Sleep, work, back to sleep.
When you?re stretched thin by all the things you have to do, any thought of hobbies is pushed aside by more urgent matters.
Think about your day. Could you not have a hobby because you are preoccupied by all the other things you are doing?
Balance is important. I?m sure you have plenty of tasks to do for work, but you should never neglect the other aspects of your life. Here?s a guide to balancing your busy life.
3. You Haven?t Tried Enough Activities
You read through a list of hobbies, but nothing peaks your interest, so you close that tab and give up on ever having a hobby.
The thing with hobbies is that you will never really know until you try.
For example, I never really cared for photography. My sister once tried to learn it but gave up soon after.
?I can take decent pictures with my smartphone. Why would I learn photography??, I thought.
But a few months ago, I was scrolling through Skillshare where I found a 16-hour Photography Masterclass and thought, ?Why not??
I didn?t know how much I?d like photography until I actually tried it.
It was much more challenging than I thought ? and much more fun as well.
Now, I practice photography whenever I can. Yesterday, I was at a wedding, watching the photographer and thinking of techniques she could use to take better pictures.
Did I think photography would be something I enjoyed?
Heck no! And I would have never figured that out if I hadn?t tried it.
What are some opportunities you can take to try something new?
Don?t just discard an idea with the pretext of ?I don?t like that.? Try it first and then decide.
4. You Make Too Many Excuses
What?s stopping you from having a hobby?
Not enough money? No friends to support you? No training near you?
All of those reasons are nonsense. They?re all things you tell yourself to not get up and do something.
You tell yourself these things because you?re lazy or you need to fix your mindset.
There are plenty of hobbies that don?t require you to spend a penny. Upcycling, for example: you take old stuff that you already have and make it better.
Don?t have any friends?
There are thousands of people who enjoy the hobbies you do. There are over 7 billion people on this planet right now, and over 3 billion of them are online. I think you might be able to find a few to ?friend?.
These people will motivate you to get better and help pick you up when you fall. They can guide you in the right direction and share their joys, successes, pitfalls, and warnings.
Even hobbies that aren?t social, such as reading or, again, upcycling, have blogs and forums where you can meet people who enjoy doing what you do.
You may not have any friends to support you in the beginning, but as you practice your hobby, you?ll find plenty.
If you?re not sure how to start because of the lack of training facilities near you, Google it.
Sign up for Skillshare, borrow a book from your library, or ask someone who knows the practice to mentor you.
(Learn how to beat your excuses and do what needs done here.)
5. You Think You Have To Be Born With It
There are just some things that you have to be born with in order to master. Drawing and singing, for example, right?
So many people pass on exceptional opportunities to learn a new skill with the presumption that you have to be born with the right set of genes to be an artist, singer, or stand-up comedian.
?The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.?? Thomas A. Edison
For instance, I was definitely not born an artist, as you can see by looking at any of my older drawings.
I definitely wasn?t born with talent.
But I didn?t give up. I drew almost every day. I learned from my mistakes. I kept going. I kept overcoming new obstacles and learning new techniques. And I practiced ? a lot!
Today, I can proudly say that my hard work paid off. I?m certainly not the best artist out there, but I tried and succeed in teaching myself how to draw.
My hard work paid off
What would you be able to do if you believed that hard work, not factors out of your control, determined your success?
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE NO HOBBIES?
So far, we?ve looked at what hobbies are and what might be stopping you from having a hobby of your own.
Now, it?s time to take the necessary steps for you to find a hobby. A hobby that you?ll look forward to doing in your free time.
1. Revisit Activities You Used to Like
As time changes, so do you. But there are always some things that stay the same.
Looking into your past gives you a starting point to begin your search for a hobby.
Chances are you had some kind of hobby when you were younger. That hobby could still be something you enjoy doing, or it can guide you to explore similar options.
See if the hobbies you used to have can translate into your adult life. If you liked dressing up your dolls, fashion might be your thing. You could consider sewing classes.
Or perhaps you were always outside experiencing nature, looking at weird bugs, and collecting smooth rocks. In that case, you might enjoy hiking or bird-watching.
If you had a hobby, such as playing the piano, you could try that again, and see if you still enjoy it as much as you used to.
You might not have had a hobby as a child, and that?s fine. There are still other options. Same goes if you are no longer interested in that things you liked as a kid.
2. Get A Mentor
How many people do you know who have hobbies? Any of your family members, friends, or neighbors?
Make a list of all the people you know who have hobbies and what their hobbies are.
Ask anyone who?s not on your list if they have any hobbies. They might have a hobby you aren?t aware of.
After you have completed your list, give each person?s hobby a rating. The highest rated are the ones you?d like to try the most.
Tell the highest-rated people that you?re exploring different hobbies and ask if they would mentor you in their hobby for a day.
You never know, it might become your hobby, too.
3. What Do You Spend Your Money On ? Even If You Shouldn?t?
We all have that one thing that we can?t resist buying ? even if we can?t afford it at the moment.
For me, it?s books and courses. I love to learn. For you, it might be music, comics, or jewelry.
The items you buy could lead you to your hobby.
If it?s music, try learning an instrument.
Comics? You could try to make your own comics or take on creative writing.
Even jewelry can turn into a hobby. Ever hear of jewelry-making?
The things you buy are linked to things you already like. So, allowing your purchases to inspire your hobby is a terrific idea.
4. Go Window Shopping
It takes more than looking at a list of hobbies to determine the right hobby for you.
If you haven?t been able to find any interesting options yet, jump in your car and drive to nearby hobby shops.
Visit crafts stores, sports stores, and music stores and see if anything grabs your attention.
If you find yourself drawn to the embroidery section, that?s definitely something you should try.
5. Try New Things
You can read lists of hobbies all week and still never find a hobby unless you actually turn off your computer and try those hobbies out.
Doing the activity is the only way to decide if it?s right for you.
Take Fred as an example.
Fred walked into the sports section, and a basketball immediately caught his eye. He thought that?d be fun, so he went to a sports center and gave it a go.
After a week of training, he realized he wasn?t enjoying it as much as he thought he would.
So, he called it quits and found a new hobby. This time, it was gardening.
His garden was overridden by weeds and pests, so he thought gardening would be a productive and enjoyable activity.
Turns out, he loved seeing flowers that he had planted grow and bloom.
Gardening wasn?t his first choice, but he didn?t give up on his search for a hobby after the first experiment failed.
He tried something else and finally found what he liked.
Your journey will be somewhat similar to Fred?s. You?ll try one thing, and it won?t enthrall you.
What do you do next?
You find something else to try.
Soon enough, you?ll find something you love to do.
However, be sure that you?re giving each activity your best and not quitting too soon. Let yourself really get a feel for the activity before jumping to the next.
Too many people jump from one thing to another and complain that they aren?t interested in anything. They moved on without giving the activity a real chance to fascinate them.
HOBBIES ARE MORE THAN JUST FUN WAYS TO PASS TIME
Finding a hobby or interest can dramatically improve your life. And in today?s stressful life, that?s a necessity.
You?ll have a way to wind down after a nerve-wracking day, bond with people like you, and become more interesting.
Luckily, you?re not born with or without a hobby. At any point in life, you can take the steps to find a hobby that suits your personality.
Revisit an activity you used to like. Explore your options. Get a mentor.
Do something today that will make your life better tomorrow.
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Originally published at ShutUpAndAchieve.com on October 12, 2019.