Just these days, I have been constraining myself to not do things that are entirely unrelated to what I’ll be doing in the future but I realized that I’ve been also constraining myself to who I need to be and only thinking about what I think I will be doing in the future. No one knows what will happen in the future, hence there is no perfect idea of what I should do right now to get me to where I need to be. So in every day, it’s more of doing what you think is right and doing what you love and not thinking whether what I’m doing now will lead me to a higher-paying job later or not.
And this is where hobbies come in, hobbies are something that you do just because it makes you happy. Most of the time hobbies start with a curious question in the form of “How do you do this?” or “How do I use it?”
Writing is one of my many hobbies. I get a lot of questions from my family asking whether I make money from it and whenever I said, “No,” they would then have a follow-up question, “Why?”
The question “Why?” not in a sense of genuinely asking why do I not make a profit from it but “Why am I pouring so much effort on doing something that will not give me material wealth?”
My answer for that is best written and explained by Austin Kleon:
“The lives of great thinkers teach us that learning is the verb of life. The trick to lifelong learning is to exercise your curiosity as much as you can and to let it guide you where it wants to go. To pay attention to what you pay attention to. To not worry so much about where things are going to lead. To learn for learning’s sake, not because it’s going to get you something, necessarily, but because you have faith that the things that interest you will help you become who you need to be.
Your interest and your desire and your instincts are your compasses. They show you the way.
It’s a hard thing to internalize, but once you do, it’s one of the most powerful things. It sets you free.”
Reading was my first hobby and somewhere along the road, I picked up writing. Those two were my hobbies for years and had greatly influenced who I am now. Remembering how my hobbies have influenced me about how I treat other people, how I think, and how I do, I go back and ask myself, “Why should I be only doing things related to professional growth?” because who I am now is mostly a result of just continuously pursuing my hobbies.
I’ve written about people who had great contributions in their chose fields as a result of their hobbies. (Read: https://clairesessays.wordpress.com/2020/07/24/you-cannot-be-really-first-rate-at-your-work-if-your-work-is-all-you-are/) Most of the people I wrote about have hobbies that are unrelated to their professional career but along their lives, they had applied things that they learned from their hobbies to their jobs.
Lately, I have learned how to use a few Adobe applications just because I want to. Well, I accidentally tapped the free trial button. So, instead of wasting it, I looked for learning resources. So far, I’m glad that the accident happened because I’m enjoying learning design software.
I hope that whatever you are doing now is something that you love doing. Learn and let it guide you in your journey. Rather than expecting (controlling and predicting) what will happen in the future, let’s anticipate what the future holds, on where our actions today, of doing what we love, will take us.