From the moment you’re born, everyone tells you how to live your life.
They tell you to “do what you love” and “make the most of your life.” But at the same time, they urge you to never settle and to push yourself towards greatness. While these are all great pieces of advice, though, they contradict each other and may leave us feeling confused. The way I see it, though, there’s so much more to life than starting a “good” career that earns you tons of money. Our hobbies are just as important to our wellbeing.
We may not do our hobbies well enough to build them into a career, but they bring us peace and happiness, which is just as good. After all, sometimes it’s nice to enjoy our favorite activities for leisure, not as a way to make money.
For instance, I love to sing, write, and paint as a hobby.
These creative projects help me feel calm, inspired, and present. I also love that I can engage in my favorite hobbies without rules, deadlines, or expectations. If any of these hobbies were my career, I’d feel pressure to succeed, which would make them far less fun.
With that said, it’s completely fine to build your career off of your passions – as long as you’re sure that you won’t lose your spark. If you love animals, feel free to become a veterinarian. If you enjoy running the show, start your own business. And if you love cooking for large groups, go get that culinary degree and rock running your own restaurant. But if you have any inkling at all that one of your favorite things to do, like cooking for instance, would no longer be as fun if you add deadlines to the equation, don’t be afraid to keep it as a hobby.
Society has trained us to be money-hungry at times, but that shouldn’t be the only purpose of your favorite activities. Your interests aren’t meant to be a routine schedule (unless, of course, it brings you peace to schedule time for your hobbies). Please don’t make the mistake of wearing yourself so thin trying to turn your hobby into a career that your favorite hobby becomes a chore.
There’s a very fine line between our career path and our passion projects.
We need to hold onto those small pieces of heaven that we feel when we pursue our hobbies for fun, like singing in the shower or rock climbing with our friends. Let your favorite things, like volunteering once per month or painting your heart out on Sunday mornings, be your muse, not your life’s work.
Let yourself find a career that you enjoy, but also hold space in your life for the activities that you love, like yoga, sculpting, skating, or even sex. Take pride in the things that you love to do, even if you aren’t the best at them. Keep your favorite activities in your back pocket for when you need self-care the most. You’ll need your hobbies when your career becomes a chore, so don’t overwork yourself on your hobbies until they feel like chores, too. Always remember that your hobbies should be your refuge, not your hustle.