How to Hone Your Hobby?

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When I ask most people what they do for a hobby, the common answer is “I used to do this (some hobby) earlier but now I don’t have time.” While the trappings of urban society can get the better of you, the importance of a hobby in your life can hardly be over emphasized. A hobby can make changes to each day upping your happiness quotient. Now that is something hard to beat right?

Hobby Matters

Life has become very mechanical in today’s era. But in order to have a peaceful life one must always make time for something they love to do. This will give you immense amount of happiness and make you feel young too. M Balaji, CEO, Clarks Exotica Convention Resort and Spa, Bangalore explains, “my hobby is cooking, this is something I love to do, it is more like a therapy to me which helps me beat stress. I have made it a habit that I need to cook during the weekends. Because of this habit a more stronger bond is been formed with my family as they feel very special whenever I cook for them, especially my wife, as she is a housewife and the kitchen has always been her department.” Hobbies help you experience a diversity of emotions in a safe way, and that ultimately leads to one’s growth as an overall human being. Sandeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Shree – The Indian Avatar explains, “for me, amazing things have happened, every time I have done something I love. My hobbies give me a better perspective professionally and personally. I mostly enjoy outdoor pursuits. Every time I have gone trekking or travelling I have been able to find answers to problems that have been rattling my mind for some time.  There have also been instances when I am not really thinking about anything in particular and a few ideas pop into my head that I have later adopted in my business strategies.”

Hone Your Hobby

Spending any amount of time in the day or week, doing something you really want to do, creates a good feeling, makes you a happier, productive, more creative and most probably nicer person. Jacqueline Kapur, Co-Founder & President, Ayesha Accessories says, “my hobby are horses, but more than a hobby I want to call it the love of my life, my sanctuary of sanity, my emotional balance, my passion and the biggest influence on my interaction with other living beings, may they be four or two legged.  I ride since I am 4 years old and throughout my life I have never stopped, except for one year, when I lived in Tokyo. One of the first things I did, when I arrived 28 years ago in India was getting my own horse here. Her name is Habibi and she is an old lady now, but still very much with me even now. I get up every morning at 6 and start my day with the horses. There is nothing better than an early morning in nature doing the thing I love doing most. The rest of the day, whatever it may bring seems easier to handle with a great positive energy activity in the morning.”

Add spice to your life

Your life has different kinds of activities some being exhilarating, scary, boring, depressing, renewing, educating and more. Secondly, constant attention to performance, sometimes even in irrelevant activities, is the social and economic is reality of our lives. “I have often experienced this in my life, especially in the early years. Here is where hobbies can help – by definition, hobbies provide you with a playground where stubbing your toes is not subject to shame, guilt or pressure of any sort. Then, in that space, a hobby helps you experience the “present”. It helps you live your current reality without any self-judgment, and you are free from the burdens of the past and the expectations of the future – at least for the time being. This state is a very nourishing state. And that is why you see people experiencing positive feelings when engaging in their hobby. Note that I said “engage”, and not “practice”. My hobbies have liberated me mentally – I have developed a capacity to laugh off my mistakes, and have learnt to get up and start moving again whenever I suffer a fall,” adds Vijay Narsapur, VP and Global Head of Customer Service, HRO and Digital Practices, Infosys Ltd. Soham Thacker, Co-Founder, FixPocket advices, “hobbies help reduce or eradicate boredom. They give you something to do when you find yourself with nothing to fill your time. They also give you an activity that you can look forward to and get excited about. No matter what type of hobby you choose, you will definitely be exposed to new ideas. Hobbies help you grow in various ways, including exposing you to new opinions and to new ways to look at life.”

Make Time

If the hobby is important to you, you have to make the time for it. Learning to get proficient in one’s hobby is a serious, but an exceptionally rewarding task, and one has to put in the time. Rajni Daswani, Director – Brand Experience and Employee engagement at SoCheers says, “in most of our busy lives, we hardly find time to do what we like doing. Technology makes it more difficult because working hours are not 9-5, Monday to Friday anymore. Since work doesn’t ever leave us, the importance of taking out actual time for yourself has grown over the last few years. And that’s where cultivating a hobby fits in. Adopting a hobby is like a therapy for your mind. It helps reduces stress, makes a person enthusiastic to look forward for upcoming challenges. When I realised how much this would help me, I tried to mix it with things that I was already committed to. Like take for instance, while commuting between meetings or travelling for work, I fit in a good read – be it the thousands of bookmarks on my mobile browser or the latest book I’ve been trying to finish. Sometimes in the middle of a stressful work day, I just pop into a cafe nearby to read, draw, or do any other solitary activity and then take up the work again. Take up a class or a coach/trainer to make sure you are taking that time off to follow through your hobby. Taking out the time to do something you love adds up eventually and pays in the long run.” Asif Memon, Director of Olivia Cosmetics adds, “you have to prioritize. Ascertain that you incorporate them in your to-do-list so that it is on top of our mind and make time for it whenever possible.  If you want to regularize, sign up for a class or private lessons for hobbies you especially care about. This way you will have to remove some time from your busy schedule and attend the sessions.”

Advantage You

Researchers had discovered that people who engaged in artistic activities, such as painting, drawing and sculpting, in both middle and old age were 73% less likely to have memory and thinking problems, such as mild cognitive impairment, that lead to dementia. Dr. P D Lakdawala, Psychiatrist, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai adds, “hobbies are of a great help in reducing the fatigue levels that set in because of doing the same kind of work over and over. Hobby helps in reducing the stress as well as the monotony that routine life brings. However, hobby has to be an activity which leads to pleasure. If a person is enjoying some activity other than regular work, it can lead to a lot of positive changes in his or her life. There are people who develop hobbies periodically like a person I know who goes to Lonavala once in 15 days to indulge in some gardening. It rejuvenates him even if it’s not daily since he is very busy otherwise. People can take short vacations once in a while and go hiking or attend musical concerts. Hobbies help in preventing further psychological problems. The burn out levels can be reduced to a great extent. Hobbies especially benefit if people are coming out of mental diseases like depression.” Let your hobbies balance out your life; create, write, read, play, paint, run, cook. As Warren Buffett said, “Whatever you like to do, make it a hobby and whatever the world likes to do, make it a business.”

This story appeared in the Jan-2018 issue of Smartlife Magazine here:

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