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Engaging Hobby


Techniques Happiness > Engaging Hobby

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Take up a hobby. Do something in your spare time that interests you. Throw yourself into it, devoting yourself to the finer details of your activities.

There are many types of hobby you can choose, for example:

  • Physical exercise, such as walking or sports
  • Fine motor control, such as model-building or sewing
  • Social work, such as voluntary or charity activity
  • Practical activity, such as gardening or building
  • Intellectual development, such as reading or writing
  • Creative activity, such as painting or poetry
  • Collecting things, from antiques to beetles
  • Group interest, such as following a football team

In choosing a hobby, think about the things you naturally enjoy rather than what you think you should do. If you are introverted, avoid hobbies that require a lot of interaction with others. If you are not interested in fitness, avoid sports. If you like music, find the type of music you like best. And so on.

Avoid having lots of hobbies or leaping from one to the next. It is better to find one or two hobbies you can really engage with than to go in bursts of unsustainable enthusiasm.

If a hobby becomes boring or annoying, you may want to wonder why and address this. If the dissatisfaction persists, give it up (hobbies are supposed be fun!).


It is noticeable how many people are unhappy or bored at work but who find great pleasure and interest in activities outside the workplace. Whilst we must work to pay the bills, we have free choice in what we do with what time we have left, and many find a path to happiness through their choices here.

This is something that businesses could spend more time understanding. Whilst managers bemoan bad attitude and lack of engagement, they often do not realize that it is not the person but the context and the way they are managed that is affecting their motivation (and hence productivity).

The way to happiness is through passionate engagement. 'Having a go' can be useful to find out what you like, as you often do not know until you try, although there is a risk of half-hearted hobbies, perhaps where you are doing things because you envy those who seem to do it well or where you do something because it seems fashionable.

The best hobbies often have a steady progression of challenge so you are constantly learning and getting the buzz of achieving new levels of ability or other completion.

A related benefit of hobbies beyond the basic activity is in the social engagement and friends you can make when you meet up with others who share your interests.

See also

Achievable Challenge,

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