Sleep is for the weak.
If it’s not making money, it’s just a hobby.
Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.
Our culture has become a place where rest is categorized with laziness. And therefore anything that we do for joy and peace instead of production is ruled unessential.
As we come to terms with this mentality we’re all starting to feel the fault in this logic. Sure, we can launch a business in three months running on half the sleep we should be getting. Or we can knock out a first draft of a book, ignoring our friends. So it’s not to say there’s no reward for this method. However, if all we do is hustle, we’re bound to burn out. And we know it.
But does trying to take a nap make you feel immeasurably guilty? Are you able to put your phone away and keep it away? Will a lack of production lead to hours of anxiety?
The problem with rest is it feels so opposing to hustle that it can fail to give us the break we need. That’s why we need our hobbies.
A Bridge Between Hustle and Rest
Indulging in our hobbies gives us something of an active rest for our mind. Just like with physical activity, it isn’t wise to push your body to the max and then immediately dive face-first into the couch.
You need a cool-down period. Walking, stretching, swimming. Something to give your muscles time to go from fully engaged, to moderate usage, to rest.
Your brain needs the same.
Instead of going from hours of email straight to Netflix, indulging in a hobby can help you maintain the need to feel productive while giving your mind some time to chill.
Cooking dinner with your family while listening to music. Getting in a quick Pilates class. Meeting your co-workers for appetizers. These are all good segues from work to rest that not only feel productive but also relieve your mind of work.
It Triggers Creativity
How many times when you’re in a rut at work does stepping away suddenly open your mind? Let’s be honest, it happens just about every time.
When you’re sitting there grinding trying to solve a problem, it feels elusive. When you give yourself permission to step away, doors begin to unlock.
So it’s not only important that we have hobbies, but that we regularly tend to them. If your top goal is to succeed in your career, then your secondary goal should be to provide time for ideas to spark.
There’s nothing wrong with someone wanting to be successful. It is necessary though, to give yourself room to expand and grow in order to succeed.
Hobbies Can Become Business
How many small business owners do you know who got their start by indulging in an activity that was purely for fun? Sure, there are Shark Tank ideas and venture capitalist funded projects that are started purely for the sake of profit. But there are also tons of companies that operate today because the founder followed a passion.
Perhaps you’re in the scenario where you are surviving at a 9-to-5, desperate to escape. What is the plan for escape? What are your dreams beyond this point?
Without exploring a hobby, it’s hard to find a path that leads to the next step. Even if your hobby is simply confined to reading about a topic that interests you, it’s a start. Education can be as relaxing as painting if it is driving you towards something you enjoy.
On the flipside, if your work is already a passion project, you still need a break. Loving what you do doesn’t mean it is the only thing you should be doing. We have to assume even gelato shop owners need to indulge their energy elsewhere from time to time. Dinner with a friend could spark an idea for a new frozen treat flavor. Odds are that any diversion towards a hobby will lead to inspiration in your work.
And even if the hobby doesn’t offer your business anything other than a clear head and an energized mind, isn’t that enough of a reason to pursue it?
What do you do for a hobby?