Happy new year to all. I hope you have had some time off to relax, recharge, and refocus.
I want to start of this post with a question, one that I would be very curious to hear the responses in the comments, if you feel like sharing. This question has a two parts. First, do you find yourself very engaged or interested in a particular topic, subject, event, activity, or other “thing” that you just get hooked on, and a week, a month, a few months later, that same thing can barely hold your attention? Second, how often does this happen?
I’ve wanted to ask this question for a while because I am very curious if other people experience this phenomenon. For as long as I can remember, one thing or another has grabbed my attention, even for just a day or two, and wouldn’t let go… until it did. When I was younger, these were typically activities I had little experience with, but wanted to try or become more proficient. Snowboarding, paintballing, dirt biking, fishing, and hockey are just a few I can remember. Some of them were recurring, surfacing months or even a year later, and two weeks was probably the longest any of these held my attention at any one time. There was very little actual participation, however. Mostly I would read and learn information about the topic versus going out and trying it. By the time I had learned enough to commit to doing, I was already becoming disinterested.
As I’ve grown older, the topics have changed, and the number has diminished, but the “hobby hopping” has never stopped. Now, it is cycling, triathlons, investing, hiking, and more recently, blogging. The length of time each of these holds my attention has grown, as has the involvement, and I feel these are becoming fairly cyclical. When the weather begins to warm up, I enjoy being outside cycling or running. As the weather turns cooler, I stray more towards “survivalist” activities like hiking and camping. When I feel stressed about my finances, I look into investment opportunities in an attempt to reign in my spending and save more for the future.
Now, what does this all have to do with one’s passions? I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” “Awesome,” we think. “All I have to do is find something I love thinking about, working on, and doing all the time, and I’ll be set!” On the surface, that doesn’t seem like a fairly difficult proposition. Everyone has something they enjoy telling others about. But what about those of us that answered “yes” to my first question, those of us who tell people about something different every time we see them? How do we draw the line between passions and hobbies? Are we able to focus on just one thing? Or are we better off working a job that pays the bills and gives us enough free time to partake in the thing we are enjoying at that moment?
Honestly, I don’t have the answers. Part of the reason I’ve started this blog is to voice my experiences in the hopes that typing these things for myself and others to read will help my audience and me work through these thoughts and come to a productive end. The only advice I can give is do what makes you happy, whether that is the same thing you did yesterday and the day before, or something brand new.
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to leave your experience or advice in the comments.