I have a saying I like: “My favorite thing about things is that there are so many things.” Basically, I love geeking out about how many things there are to learn, and I get obsessed with things often. My passion for calligraphy was one. Every new genre of music I explore is one. I even tried to bind my own book once. There’s a good chance that I started Totally Geeked because of it. I usually don’t explore all the minutia of a topic, but every new thing I explore is something I can draw on, whether in my professional creative work, or just in conversation.
New hobbies can simply make you a more well rounded person. Having interests introduces you to new new parts of the world that you never knew existed. We talk a lot on this blog about chasing your passions, which often leads you to see the threads that connect your passions. Every hobby that you have can motivate you to learn something else that is vaguely related. And plus, knowing more about a variety of topics makes you a better conversationalist!
It’s true that our professional skills are what allow you to make a living, but we can’t be work machines all the time. I mentioned briefly in Break Up Your Day that picking up a new hobby can help prevent mental burnout. Our brains aren't meant to focus on one task all day. In order to maintain a good work/life balance, it’s important to have some interest or project that you can come home to. Make a barrier, where this time is protected and devoted to your hobby.
Your hobby can also influence your career, or even become your career. Knowing the skills, facts, or workflow that is necessary for a hobby can often be borrowed and applied in a completely different field. I touched on this a little bit in my blog about creativity; how Kanye West uses his interests, passions, and hobbies to create his music. I also doubt that Wes Anderson would be able to create such beautiful movies if he wasn’t obsessed with a huge variety of physical media. I use my knowledge of calligraphy to help influence my graphic design skills. That’s what we’re all about here at Professional Geek, so why focus on making just one passion into a career, when you can pick up a new hobby and diversify your skills?
Hobbies are a window into a bigger world. Jobs and school can only teach us so much. Not only will a hobby let you explore something that doesn’t strictly apply to your profession, it can also also augment your career by connecting ideas that you never thought could apply to your career. Take a break and get smarter and more well rounded by picking up a new hobby this summer!