Finding your balance in life isn’t always easy. When you feel the scales tipping too hard in one direction, it can feel like you’re stuck in a rut. With the state of modern living, all too often those scales tip too heavily in favor of work and the important responsibilities we all carry. When that happens, it’s time to take a closer look at how you spend your time, and how much you dedicate to your passions.
Recognize the benefits:
First, we have to get rid of the stigma that some of us attach to our hobbies. It is true that in many cases, you don’t get an easily understandable return on your investment. Most people aren’t going to make money off of their passion. However, they are going to enjoy the benefits that can enrich their lives not just personally but professionally. People with hobbies tend to be more productive and more motivated in their work. They can learn plenty of transferable skills that can apply to their careers. Perhaps more importantly, it helps round you out as a person, gives you a broader perspective on life, and gives you the downtime that you need to get away from work every now and then.
Be willing to invest:
If you want the full benefits of finding a passion, whether it’s writing, backpacking, archery, or something entirely different, you have to be willing to give into it. Most passions require some kind of gear or tools that cost money, but the time it takes to learn the ins-and-outs of any hobby is the biggest investment that you have to make. This means taking a closer look at your schedule and physically penciling in time that you take away from other fields of your life to enjoy your hobby without any distraction. You have to create those boundaries and make a hard rule out of them, otherwise, it’s all too easy to find yourself sacrificing that “me time” for something that isn’t really worth it.
Find others who are into it:
To some people, a little isolation goes a long way in helping them enjoy their passions. Spending time alone in the wilderness or in your own garden can help you get away from the noise of your colleagues or family, which is perfectly fine. But, if you really want to get deeper into a hobby and commit to making it a passion, finding others who share your interest can be beneficial. Beyond all of the practical advice, discussion, and recommendations, finding others who share your hobby acts as a positive reinforcement. Seeing other people willing to commit to the same thing as you can help you get over the stigma that you might have against spending more time on you.
Make room for it (literally):
It’s another investment, but if you need physical space to enjoy a hobby, such as gardening, woodworking, or painting, then it’s worth making space for it. If you love movies, then you can create the perfect home entertainment space. If you paint, then think about using the garage or finishing the basement to give yourself a studio. A degree of separation is needed from the space where you practice your hobby and where you live the rest of your life. Otherwise, it’s too easy to let distractions pop in or to find your valuable hobby time spoiled because someone else is using that space.
Get your own retreat:
If you’re an outdoorsman who loves archery, horse riding, or simply walking the great outdoors, then it is worth considering making an investment into a property that allows you to indulge in it whenever you have the time. There is plenty of land for sale perfect for those who love their outdoor passions. It’s a big investment, but property can always be profitable, and it can be cheaper to keep returning to your own property rather than having to rent a lodge several times a year.
Get involved with the community:
We have already stated how finding others who share your passion can help you learn more about it and get more engaged with it. But if you’re already well versed in the passion of your choice and you are in a position to share, then you could become a more established voice in the community, as well. Think about starting a hobby podcast or a blog where you can discuss the finer points and give a little more insight, even helping new people find that passion. If you’re able to land sponsors or affiliate deals, you might even be able to monetize that passion.
Not all passions can be easily monetized. It depends on the market around you, any competition, and your own experience. If you have a long history in a particular field or talent, however, then you could make a side-gig or even a main career of teaching it to others. Whether it’s sports, martial arts, or knitting – consider starting a class to help newcomers find their feet. Beyond finding new people to share that joy with, teaching is also a learning experience, helping you consider your passion a lot more deeply so that you’re able to communicate it with others.
It might feel like a risk, investing time and money in something that your mind can easily rationalize as “just a hobby”. However, the benefits of finding your passion and giving yourself a reason to enjoy getting out of bed every morning are vital to helping you keep up those still important responsibilities.
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