“Legendary innovators like Franklin, Snow, and Darwin all possess some common intellectual qualities—a certain quickness of mind, unbounded curiosity—but they also share one other defining attribute. They have a lot of hobbies.”
– Steven Johnson
Personally, I love listening to podcasts. They are a great source of entertainment and knowledge. In the past, people used to listen to radio broadcasts—nowadays, the norm is podcasts. Basically, they are an episodic series of digital audio files that you can listen to through various streaming services, like Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Podbean to name a few. They have become incredibly popular in the last few years, and, it turns out, I have found myself hooked on them as well.
What makes podcasts fundamentally different from radio broadcasts, however, is that anyone can start their own podcast from their home with some easily accessible equipment. From there, setting up your podcast on a streaming service is simple and accessible.
There are a lot of great podcasts to listen to out there, and you can easily find a podcast on almost any subject or topic that you’d be interested in. Do you like food and want to listen to some good recipes and cooking tips? There are many cooking podcasts that you can find. Do you like listening to horror and paranormal stories? There are podcasts for them as well. Do you want to listen to people discussing the most popular TV shows? Guess what? You can find podcasts for that as well.
The other day, I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast, and he was having an interview with Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and a few other companies. Elon was there as a guest, and this was right after the birth of his child, X Æ A-12. In the interview, Elon said that too many smart people were working in the fields of law and finance, and that more people should be making new things. Now, for me, this was one of those statements that completely changed my perspective on life. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I was working at See’s Candies as a consultant, while I listened to the podcast. I do love their chocolate – as do many other people, from what I have seen. After I returned home that day, I decided to start doing more with my life. I wanted to start making things as well. Soon after, staying back at home because of the pandemic, I had nothing better to do as well, so I thought I’d start a hobby. With the availability of the internet, I started taking online classes in a variety of subjects that I had always been interested in, but either never had the time or the motivation to pursue.
I started going through popular sites that offered such resources, such as Udemy, Coursera, etc. Over time, I had completed close to 200 online courses on various subjects that interested me, like aromatherapy, face care, and even some technical courses like SQL and computer coding courses. What I found the most interesting, however, was cosmetics formulation.
With the pandemic raging on, I thought this was a skill that would serve me well too. I found sites like the Skin Institute and Organic Skincare Formulation that specialized in providing courses related to that topic, and I completed courses on them. The latter even had a Facebook support group that had a very helpful and inspirational environment that I used to remain engaged with the subject and learn how other people had applied their knowledge in the field.
Subsequently, I began experimenting. I started producing my own cosmetic items such as soaps, candles, face creams, face serums, hair serums, massage oils, bath bombs, household cleaners, etc., all by myself. With such items disappearing from the store shelves at an incredible rate, we found ourselves not having to face a lot of those inconveniences that the pandemic had brought on. For an added benefit, you can make these products with your children. Remember, all of these social distancing and isolating requirements have been harder on kids because they don’t even fully grasp the situation. They simply can’t understand why they aren’t able to go out and see their friends. Instead, they’ve been forced to remain at home, where they likely spend more time on their electronic devices – and this is something that every parent should try to limit. While keeping them busy during the day with fun online classes in things like Rubik’s cube solving, chess, sewing, STEM, you can engage with them later on during the day with a fun hobby.
Additionally, because I would make these products on my own, I knew that there were no harmful chemicals added into them, unlike many of the branded products that are sold in stores. With a baby in the house, it was a great step in my opinion, and worth all the effort that I had put into my learning experience. Once you go chemical free in your household, it becomes an obsession, and having a baby in the house makes huge difference as well. We don’t want our little one crawling on a floor cleaned by chemicals, or worse, a floor that wasn’t properly washed.
For me, this has definitely become a great hobby, as I am personally quite captivated my interest in it as well, making your own cosmetic products is not something that is interesting to you, I’m sure that there is something else you can enjoy equally. A hobby is really important to have because it allows you to spend time working towards something that you are really passionate about without having to care too much about getting immediate results. A hobby is supposed to be an activity that gives you pleasure, not because you are going to get paid for it or receive any special recognition for it. Since you are doing it at your own pace, for your own enjoyment, it is important that you find something you would really enjoy. Also, you don’t have to pick something that is already closely related with the kind of work you do. If you work with numbers every other day of the week, you could try making creative designs on paper.
You can find yourself getting a hobby such as planting, baking, sewing, reading, doing yoga, or meditation, just to name a few. While putting so much effort into a hobby may sound like a luxury, it will keep your mind focused on positivity and keep you and your loved ones busy.
A good hobby keeps your creative mind active and provides you with a sense of satisfaction when you find yourself being productive at something other than your regular job. Most importantly, it will keep you busy through those bouts of boredom and isolation. Staying idle in times like these can be very detrimental to your physical and mental health. Without doing anything, your body becomes sedentary and your mind starts harboring negative thoughts that you will find no use of. Anything that engages your body and your mind in being productive and manages to help you relax at the same time will be a great fit. Why I keep emphasizing on getting a hobby is because it has the ability to keep your mind on positivity and keep you and your loved ones busy.
In case you haven’t already found a hobby for yourself, start by writing out a long list of things that interest you, even slightly. Start from the top of the list and experiment with them one-by-one. Look out for the ones that really play to your strengths and natural inclinations. Also, consider how challenging and how stressful engaging in that activity could be. Evaluate each of the hobbies on your list against these factors until you find one that you really like and decide to stick with it until you have found one that you really like and decide to stick with it.
A hobby is really important to have because it allows you to spend time working towards something that you are really passionate about without having to care too much about getting immediate results.
A hobby also has the ability to build your confidence. This is because in taking on a new hobby, you are challenging yourself to learn something new and an increase in knowledge has always been a great confidence booster. During times when you feel overwhelmed with the negativity that abounds in the world and your immediate surroundings, working on your new hobby will help you redirect your focus to your present surroundings and be so immersed in completing one task that you gradually begin to forget all your worries. There have also been situations where people turn their new-found hobbies into new career paths. Several people discover how good they have become in what they used to regard as a hobby and decide to monetize it, thereby creating another stream of income. And an extra stream of income is always a great idea especially with the kind of economy and unemployment rate the pandemic left behind.