According to Wikipedia (just to flaunt my credibility from the start), a hobby is an “activity, interest, enthusiasm, or amateur pastime that is undertaken for pleasure or relaxation, typically done in one’s leisure time.” I like how the definition implies that the activity is life-giving. Along with the definition, the site provides over 250 ideas for hobbies that I’ll share from.
A friend of mine gave me advice recently in considering hobbies. He said there were three hobbies that I ought to try and have: a hobby that improves my health, a hobby that makes money, and a hobby that stimulates my mind.
A hobby that improves health
A vast majority of people (myself included) lack the discipline to continue exercising or eating wisely when we don’t enjoy it. A hobby, remember – something that is life-giving, that improves my health is exactly what I need. I think this could involve an activity that is physically active or a hobby that I haven’t found yet that forces me to make better eating choices.
From the Wikipedia list: disc golf, rollerskating, hiking, running (to each his own, I guess!)
A hobby that makes money
This could be the hardest one to find. Usually a hobby is associated with a cost, but how cool would it be to have a life-giving and money-making activity! For my friend, it was selling books on Amazon.com after he and his wife bought them at garage sales each weekend. He said he considered it a hobby and not a job because he could stop doing it at anytime if he got busy or didn’t feel like it. And the amount of income wasn’t the important part either, because worrying about the profitability would probably make it cease to be a hobby! Writing has been my new-found hobby that earns a little cash on the side. Charlie has talked about this concept when he discusses multiple streams of income. If one of those streams is something you can consider a hobby then you are in luck!
A hobby that stimulates the mind
It’s a goal of mine to stay a life-long learner and engage my brain in trying to know more and understand the world around me better. Reading is probably the most common hobby that would help expand my mind but there are others out there too!
From the Wikipedia list: reading, Sudoku, crosswords, computer programming
As I thought through each category, I realized that a hobby could fill multiple functions as I enjoy it. I also realized that there are other categories of hobbies that are important to me and probably other people as well – hobbies that serve others like volunteering and mentoring, hobbies that link family members together like a collection of some sort, or hobbies that provide outlets for creativity like photography and writing. And some hobbies can be just downright interesting I found out!
From the Wikipedia list: mushroom hunting, LARPing, rock stacking, amateur radio, ghost hunting.
What about you? What hobbies have you found that are life-giving and also make you healthier, wealthier, or wiser? How do you decide what hobbies to do?