You’re a high-achiever in your professional career. But what about your personal life? How good are you at finding passion inside but also outside of work? How wisely are you investing your me-time?
Taking up a hobby you enjoy can significantly reduce stress levels. And perhaps contrary to your instincts, it can actually improve your work productivity to up to 30%, as new research suggests.
Yet, you might be wondering: How do I find my hobby or passion?
It’s not an easy pursuit, we’ll give you that. But it’s worth giving it a shot. It can give you a fresh perspective and fire you up for achievements you wouldn’t have dreamt of before.
Below are 6 straightforward steps that will help you get there.
1. Rummage Through Your Childhood Memories to Retrieve a Hobby You Love
You’ve given it a go, tried a few hobbies on and off but nothing seems to stick. By now, you’re sick and tired of ventures going wrong or those that ended before they started.
Finally, you’ve officially diagnosed yourself as one of those ‘struggling to find a hobby’ people. And that’s about where your pursuit concluded.
Think about the hobbies that made you tick before adulthood.
When you were a child, what were your absolute favourite activities? Do a little ‘time-machine travel’ and hopefully, you’ll be able to rekindle the joy you once felt when engaging in these activities.
- If you were constantly mistaking a deodorant or any tube-shaped object for a microphone, then you might want to try joining a choir or taking up singing lessons.
- If you were systematically pestering your parents to watch every single one of your ‘evening shows’, you should think about checking out a local acting troupe.
- If your parents were desperate about having to paint the walls every single year because you used them for your creative outlet, joining an art class might be your thing.
Just browse through your memories, and you’ll most likely find some inspiration.
2. Transform Your Everyday Passions Into a Hobby
Now, if you’re still in the dark and have no idea which hobby to pursue, here’s another idea. Think about the regular activities that take up your usual leisure time.
Shortlist them on a piece of paper and decide on a priority order. It can be your favourite pastime or just something you do to unwind after a long day at work.
Leverage the potential of these activities to make you a happy and fulfilled individual. Identify them and turn them into a full-fledged hobby.
Analyse how you love to spend your time and then tweak the activity a little bit to make it fit into a hobby category.
- Nothing relaxes you more than prepping dinner for your friends? Why not sign up for a Japanese cooking class, for instance.
- Do you grab each and every opportunity to go hiking? Join a local mountaineering club.
- Are you a film freak reciting one-liners right off the top of your head? Sign up for a local creative writing group.
- Is your most favourite activity caring for your pet? Think about volunteering for an animal rescue team.
- You relish watching dance shows and keep raving about their performance for days? Signing up for dance classes might be a great fit for you.
See how simple it is? Before you know it, you’ll have a well-thought-out strategy to help you find that hobby that will blow your mind.
3. Put Yourself To the Test – Find a Hobby That Suits You
So far we’ve been focusing on hobby ideas that are sort of already available to you. Either ideas from your childhood or those you filter out from more mundane activities.
Another great tool that can help you wrap your head around what your future hobby might be is to complete a personality assessment.
So, if you’ve been asking yourself “How do I pick up new hobbies?”, this method will hopefully get you a straightforward answer.
A personality assessment can help you figure out a hobby that resonates with your personality.
Yes, you can come up with something that wasn’t on your radar at all. That’s exactly what you’ve been hoping for? Great! Now, let’s dive right in and look at the personality tests you can take:
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This test will help you figure out your personality type.
To illustrate, a passionate, social and altruistic ENFJ type can size up volunteering for a cause. And a more logic INTP type can take up learning to programme on their off-hour.
- ‘Who Am I?’ This personality assessment abandons the traditional question-answer form.
To complete the test you are required to pick between a set of pictures that will ultimately say a lot about you. Use these insights to figure out a hobby that suits you.
These targeted hobby tests can also fast-track your quest of finding a hobby that will be a perfect fit.
Finally, ask three questions.
Running this simple test can get you on track to your true passion. Just answer the questions honestly:
“What would I preferably be doing if I never ever had to think about money again?”
“What topic could I read hundreds of books about without getting jaded?”
“Which non-monetised activity could I do for five years with no track of time?”
4. Conduct Field Research to Narrow Down Your Possibilities
Similarly, you can do a little field research that will get you closer to a hobby that you’ll relish every minute of.
A simple walk around a book or crafts store can get you on the right track.
Too many ideas popping up in your head? This ‘visual research’ can help you narrow down the possibilities. Take a writing pad with you and take notes.
How you act in a department store is a tell-tale sign of your unrecognised passions. It’s easy to crack the code.
- Do you always happen to get lost in a confectionery department? Perhaps you can venture out into creating your own food crafts.
- No one can lure you out of the music merchandise aisles? Think about taking up guitar lessons.
- Whenever you’re out shopping you’re hopelessly glued to the jewellery section? Try making your own DIY jewellery.
- Wherever do you happen to be you end up looking at fine art paintings? Try painting yourself.
- Are you always skimming through 500-page cookbooks? Cooking might be a hobby for you. Or even starting your own cooking blog.
It’s simple. Your shopping receipts might unravel the mystery of your deep-buried interests perhaps more easily than anything else.
5. You’re a Desperate Workaholic? A Productive Hobby Might Be Your Thing
Do you happen to be one of those people that are always on the go? The ones that find it hard to focus on anything that goes beyond their list of daily to-do tasks?
If an activity has no purpose, then why pursue it, right? Well, not exactly.
If you keep yourself constantly on high alert, you’re running the risk of finding your energy downright depleted when push comes to shove. And the last thing you want is your energy abandoning you when you need it most, don’t you agree?
People from all walks of life need at least some sort of downtime occasionally. You need something to help you manage your daily cognitive load so you spare yourself an eventual burnout.
A hobby can serve this purpose. And as mentioned earlier, pursuing a hobby can step-up your productivity too.
So a heads-up to workaholics! Why deprive yourself of a hobby entirely when you can find ones that can make you a more productive person?
Starting a productive hobby will make you better at your work. To give you an idea, taking improvisation classes can enhance your managerial and interpersonal skills.
It can make you better at coming up with ideas on the go. And make you the most suitable candidate for making in-house presentations at your company.
To top it off, exploring and diving into productive hobbies can help you come up with ideas for potential future businesses.
6. Try Random Hobbies Until It Feels Right
Finally, if you’re still clueless about what hobby could be a good fit, it’s perfectly legit to get random with your search. Go test the waters, try out any random idea that sounds like it could be up your alley.
It might be the best way to see what works for you. Take the plunge and see how it feels. If it feels wrong, forget about it and forge ahead.
To begin, create your personal list by writing down ideas off the top of your head. Think of anything that gets you going — whether it’s scuba diving, decoupage or garage sale-ing. Then go for it.
Then again, it doesn’t have to be a hobby in a conventional sense at all. Probe into real life experience and find whatever suits you. If it’s becoming an Airbnb host then so be it.
Below are some more ideas for experiential ways to find a hobby you love:
- Join clubs, organisations or groups
- Sign up to Meetup.com to explore new interests and join local groups in interesting initiatives.
- Join discussions and explore possibilities within a group of like-minded people online.
Over to You
In a nutshell, taking up a hobby is not only an ideal way for busy professionals to relax. It’s also a useful tool to gain a diverse set of skills and knowledge that will step-up both your personal and professional life.
When you’re not busy making your company a better and safer place, a hobby is absolutely worthy of your pursuit.
It might take some time, but remember, it’s meant to be a fun process! Experiment, meet people and explore the world of your talents and capabilities.