Why knowing your hobbies is a key to your happiness

“What are your hobbies?”

Admit it. We have all asked or been asked this question. But how often have we really thought what it meant to us? Do we really love what we describe as our hobbies? Or are we just saying it to impress others or to move on with the conversation?

If you asked me that 3 years ago, I would have mumbled with hesitation.

Let’s be frank. Spending more time for your hobbies does not seem to be a smart move if you want to succeed in this highly competitive society. If you want to succeed you have to hustle and start early. Spend as much time as you can to learn how to be better at something. Spending time for your hobbies seem like the last thing you want to do. This sentiment only grew as an Asian American living in two worlds that were very sensitive to other people’s perception and definition of success. I grew up believing that hobbies are extras not essence. It was something people did if they had a pocket of FREE TIME which seemed to be oddly reducing each year, each month, and each week. I don’t know, someone robbed 24 hours to 22 somehow.

It wasn’t until I hit my low points that I started to rethink about the definition of hobby.

Hobbies are activities you do because you enjoy doing it. You enjoy doing it because you love it and you are yourself.  We are happy when we do things we love. When we are happy we become confident and more excited about life, so we like doing happy things. It’s healthy for us. It’s pretty simple. This is pretty clear yet it isn’t really the first thing we think of.

I too, did not see this clear relationship until I started thinking about what are the activities that excited me when I was at my low point. As I started to spend more days figuring out which books I really liked, or what kind of activities got me really excited, I realized that these activities were the sources of my happiness. The more items I identified that made me happy and the more time I spent doing these happy things the happier I became. The more time I spent finding ways to do the happy things, the prouder and excited I felt.

It was unquestionable.

Understanding one’s hobbies is a key source to one’s happiness. 

I couldn’t believe it took me this long to figure out!

Ever since this discovery my ability to shake off upset situations has improved tremendously. They bothered me a lot less. There are so many things in life that you can’t control – people, your day, and even the weather. You should’t define your happiness on things that are out of your hand. You shouldn’t rely on them to be happy. You have to rely on yourself. Learn about what makes me really happy, upset, and thrilled. Spend some quality time with yourself. You’ll also agree that hobbies are not extras but essential part of your life.

It’s time to be happy. Even that rain would look like a blissful spring shower.

And maybe if you are lucky, you’ll find your second career.

Copyright © 2015. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.