How many people do you know that have a hobby? A good old fashioned hobby that doesn’t benefit, directly or indirectly, your job or fitness? It seems that hobbies have become subsumed by our broader technology-centric culture where consumption is a substitute for doing something.
You can argue that hobbies were in prior generations simply a way to fill time and with better options, hobbies have become in today’s parlance: disrupted. Jaya Saxena in the New York Times writes:
For many of us, expectations of an “always-on” working life have made hobbies a thing of the past, relegated to mere memories of what we used to do in our free time. Worse still, many hobbies have morphed into the dreaded side hustle or as paths to career development, turning the things we ostensibly do for fun into … more work.
Hobbies in this light are not work-adjacent. They are something different. Something aspirational. Work, and money, are supposed to not only fulfill our more basic of needs, but they are also there to help us fill our higher needs as well. Josh Pigford at baremetrics talks about the crucial role hobbies play for him and his business, in large part because they have nothing to do with business. He writes:
I’d also argue it will make you a better, well-rounded human being. When you’re done with that business or have moved on to other things, what’s left is that you’ll still be an interesting person and not just the shell of your former business.
Well all need the opportunity to rest, recharge and renew. The beauty of hobbies is that it can take many forms. The blueprint is up to you. Brett Steenbarger at TraderFeed notes how this cycle of doing and not-doing works:
Performance is achieved when we effectively alternate effort and renewal.
For some DIY investing is a hobby. The Accumulator at Monevator makes some good arguments for treating investing as a hobby. However for those of us in and around markets we are going to have to actively cultivate our search for a true hobby. As Jaya Saxena in the New York Times writes:
Like any habit, taking leisure time or picking up a new hobby has to be actively cultivated. And, yes, they can lower your stress and clear your mind. But the most meaningful benefit? You can finally “sink into the wonderful experience of being alive,” Ms. Schulte said.
So allow yourself to “sink into the wonderful experience of being alive.” Go get a hobby.