The importance of hobbies

by Juliet Platt on July 6, 2010

in Work life balance

As a teenager of the 80s I grew up in an environment where hobbies weren’t cool. Spending time doing something you weren’t getting paid for seemed, then, to be a waste of energy. And the only things you really should be paying for in the cult of the me-generation were the latest fashions or gym memberships to make yourself look as good as possible.

Suffice to say, back then I would have put every hobby, from playing golf to stamp-collecting and doing jigsaws into the category of guaranteed dweeb-dom.

However, though I have yet to collect a stamp other than the ones that go in my passport when I arrive at my holiday destinations, I do now confess to being a keen golfer – and have even had an article published in The Lady magazine about the virtues of jigsaws, which grew so much in popularity during the 1930s Depression that people would race each other to complete the most complicated ones.

For me, the game of golf represents a great metaphor for business and life. To play the best shots requires a clear mind and total focus on the present moment. And a winning mindset includes graciousness and generosity in defeat, and the utmost honesty and integrityat all times.

Hobbies are now the new cool. They invariably offer a different environment from the one we’re used to work in, and more often than not they get us out of the house and put us in contact with like-minded people. This is not only good for our social life, it’s also good for our mental health.

When we reach a dead end in our career choices, or when life deals us a particularly difficult set of cards, having a hobby can provide a suitable distraction or help fill the void for a while. It might even spark ideas about how we can move forward, widening our network, making a career out of doing what we love or finding greater meaning in our lives.

So my advice is you haven’t got a hobby, find one. You’ll never know when you might need it.

PS Thinking out loud, it would be good if golf club membership were available on the NHS. Although given the latest swingeing cuts I guess the most we could hope for in that regard would be a few tatty jigsaws from the dustbowl.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: