“If our condition were truly happy, we would not seek diversion from it in order to make ourselves happy.”~ Blaise Pascal
There is more to life than work and maintaining a healthy social life. Everyone engages in a number of activities that don’t seem to accomplish anything. Call them hobbies, interests, or time wasters, once fact remains. We all need something in our life that we engage in for no other reason than for the joy of it. Whether it be running marathons, or saving the world from the threat of a Dragon invasion, these activities are just as important as any of the other doors we must open in our lives. However, considering we only have a finite amount of time available its important we develop a way to prioritize these escapes from the daily grind. Fortunately, there are number of factors to consider when determining what hobbies are most important.
Does this fulfill other needs in our life as well? This may seem counter intuitive, as we do this to fulfill a specific requirement in our lives. Upon closer examination, it makes sense to consider how the things we do for fun fit into our life’s other needs. Take the marathon running example. This satisfies both a need to engage in an activity that brings personal enjoyment and improves one’s physical health. Now, if faced with deciding between that and another activity one finds a similar level of enjoyment from (e.g. playing video games) the latter can be eliminated based upon its inability to accomplish any secondary goal. Though, for some not passing out from exhaustion may be a compelling case for going with the video game option. The key is identifying how each activity fits into our larger happiness.
Does this activity incorporate others in my life? There is something to be said for inclusivity. Sure, sometimes we need our personal space, and having others encroach upon the sanctity of the time we set aside for our diversions is the last thing we want. However, if there is a way to combine our social lives with these pursuits in an enjoyable way that frees up more of our time, but also avoids the perils of indecisive planning that often plagues social groups. Like dancing? Hit the club with friends. Like to sit in a dark room playing World of Warcraft? Convince your friends to join the dark side and join you in the digital abyss. The point is to identify those hobbies you can incorporate your friends into and take the steps needed to do so.
Do you truly enjoy this activity? Seems like common sense that one should enjoy the more frivolous activities. Yet, many of us engage in a number of past times that really do not bring us any excitement. As we get older we all change. Our interests evolve. Maybe there was a time when playing hours and hours of Dance Dance Revolution was the most exciting activity in the world, but just because we enjoyed it once does not mean we should continue to dedicate precious time to it. (Well unless we a training to become DDR champion of the world, but that’s a post for another time). It is important to remember that we need a certain element of fun in our lives and our hobbies should reflect that.
The key to opening our third door is determining what is worth “wasting” time on and dedicating to it. The more elements in our life they incorporate the easier it will be. While, having others involved will free up more time and improve the qualities of one’s social life as well. In the end, it comes down to doing what we enjoy and identifying when something is no longer worth the time. After all, choosing our own adventure is what makes life worth living.