In the last two sections on being all you can be we addressed the two financial, or “survival” sides to hard work: monetized work and self-sufficiency. Doing both of these things in some way will maximize your life by minimizing expense, giving you some spending money and freeing you from reliance on others. However what are we meant to do with all this spare time and money? Enjoy it, of course!
The other thing that makes work worthwhile, beyond money and independence, is enjoyment, pure and simple. This is what you have been working towards.
Everyone should have a hobby or two or three, but not all hobbies are created equal. Some hobbies eat more into your free time and money, some hobbies even generate time and money, some hobbies are pure dopamine and some build us up. So here are a few points on which to evaluate our hobbies.
Hobbies can be sorted into the expensive, the balanced and the paid.
An expensive hobby would be one you can’t afford to do weekly without controlling other expenses. For me that would be shopping and dressing up, which I love but just cannot justify as a full time hobby.
A balanced hobby would be one you can afford to do weekly without going into the red. For me that would be painting or dancing, which cost very little, but generally still cost me.
An earning hobby would be one where you can make enough money to pay for at least the expenses of the hobby, if not enough to give you a profit! An example for me is writing, which is also my job, and gardening, which saves me money.
Hobbies can be sorted into the no-time, the casual and the time-saving.
A no-time hobby would be one that you need to schedule in carefully to be able to do it. For me that would be my comic book project, which eats away the hours.
A casual hobby would be one that you can indulge every now and again without scheduling. For me that would be my blog, which I can fit in weekly or daily.
A time-saving hobby would be one that in the long run saves you time. For me that would be my budgeting and meal planning, which relax me, but also free up time over the week.
Hobbies can be sorted into sinks, even and productive.
A sink hobby would be one that eats away at productive time and yields few results. For me that would be anime, which can easily eat productive time.
An even hobby would be one you can happily do daily as it does not affect your productive time. For me that would be painting and gardening, where the results are not frequent, but the effort is not free of results.
A productive hobby would be one that yields solid, real results. For me that would be drawing or writing, where the results are immediately in front of me.
Hobbies can be sorted into detrimental, harmless and fitness.
A detrimental hobby would be one that actively hurts your health in the long run. For me that would be anime, where by sitting around watching something I am negatively impacting my physical and mental health.
A harmless hobby would be one that isn’t healthy or particularly unhealthy. For me that would be dancing, which is in theory good for me, but not required on top of my fitness regime. For others, dancing might be a fitness hobby, as it may be a vital core of their exercise regime!
A fitness hobby would be one that improves your health actively. For me that would be gardening, which does contribute to my fitness via constant low-level activity.
Myers-Brigss style, you can take the first letter of each of the four categories to categorize your hobbies. Another way of doing it would be to number each result in each of the four categories from 1-3, with 1 being least desirable and 3 being most.
Let’s use two examples: soap operas, ballroom dancing and growing berries. Assuming all three are a single person’s hobbies, all of which they enjoy equally, here is their breakdown.
Soap operas: Balanced, as it does not cost or earn; Casual, as long as they are flexible with watching it online; Sink, as it uses time and energy with no reward; Detrimental, as sitting still for extended periods and tuning out are bad for mind and body.
Result: BCSD, or 2211. Not the best hobby.
Ballroom dancing: Balanced, as even classes are inexpensive; No-time, as both classes and casual dancing need preparation and deciation; Even, as eventually results show in health and skill; Fitness, assuming it’s core to their exercise.
Result: BNEF, or 2123. A good hobby.
Growing berries: Earning, as it saves money; Casual, needs minimal involvement; Productive, as results are immediately visible and soon edible; Harmless, as it is active but not intense.
Result: ECPH, or 3232. A very good hobby.
That doesn’t mean soap operas need to be neglected! It is just a tool for considering how we use our enjoyable time.