So, with my sister in law’s words ringing in my ears “all you have to do is find an activity that makes you happy and do that thing often“, I set off to find what makes me happy. It’s slightly embarrassing that I’d forgotten what makes me happy but I guess in me twenties, I’d been hit by the tidal wave of life and just like a real wave, I’d been upended and swirled around. Now was time to regain my footing, take a breath and breathe in deeply.
My thoughts immediately jumped to activities that make me happy. In my teens I’d enjoyed playing team sports, going to the gym and flying remote controlled model airplanes. Now in my thirties, and having neglected my previous happiness inducing activities, I’d actually forgotten what made me happy. So in short, I needed to find an activity, a past-time, a hobby that was going to fill me with joy so that I could repeat it over and over and over on the path to becoming a happy man.
The above is pretty funny to me as from the age of 18, I had worked in hobby shops. In fact I’d continued to pursue that industry and after leaving university found myself working for the largest hobby retailer in the world. A website based in Hong Kong called HobbyKing.com. I’d worked tirelessly in that industry, so much so that the last role I held was CEO for HobbyKing.com. You’d think that I’d have a hobby right? … wrong! I’d spent so much time around remote-controlled toys that my passion for them had worn very thin. The saying “don’t make yyour work your hobby or it’ll kill your hobby” is 100% true. The romance of a WW2 fighter plane flying through the air at my local park no longer filled me with joy as I now just saw them as a commodity, a means to an end.
Don’t make your hobby your work or it’ll kill your hobby
So naturally I feverishly Googled away to find something that I might like doing. I found lists upon lists of things that might be interesting and useful. There are a few here.
I’m slowly working my way through this list, the things I’ve tried so far are:
- Wood Working – ok, not so much wood working as carpentry. My kids really wanted a tree house (cubby house) style play thing in the backyard, so I thought, why not? and gave it a go. I must say, the results are not too shabby and I enjoyed myself while working on it. While I’m not sure it’s something I can pursue in the long term (we don’t need more than one tree house) I do think it was good fun and the feeling of watching my kids climb over it can’t be beat.
- Running – I’ve gone for a few runs now ranging from 5km to 21kms. While I don’t always love going for a run, I will admit that at the end of the run I’m glad and feel “reset”. I think the act of running is fairly boring as the landscape doesn’t change quickly enough to keep me interested, additionally, I think it’s a little hard on my body (knees and feet mainly) however, there’s no doubt that when I manage to go for a run at least 3 times a week, I do feel fitter and stronger.
For anyone that’s interested I’ve compiled a list of great hobbies that men might enjoy here.