The Value of Having a Hobby - Post by Rasta Musick

There are a lot of things that people consider important to have a happy life. Most of the time, these are big things: being healthy, having a happy family, etc. However, I want to talk about balance. Having a balanced life is important for my, personal, happiness. Balance comes in a lot of forms, but one particular one is balance in daily life. I have found that my life is more balanced and better centered when I have a hobby that is routine to pair with my less routine outings and events.

Having been in Japan for roughly a decade, I’ve gotten quite used to life here and experienced phases while doing so. Initially, I spent my time studying Japanese full time and playing go (an ancient board game that is popular amongst the elderly in Japan). As I became fluent in Japanese and reached a fairly high level of go playing (around the level where you would consider going pro), I made the decision to stop playing go and move on to something else. However, for a couple years, there wasn’t anything else. I had no real hobbies to speak of. On the whole, my life was still great. I had friends, I was socially active, I had (and have) a good job. However, looking at my life day to day, there was a feeling of something missing. My life felt imbalanced when compared to how it was before.

It wasn’t until I picked up dancing that I realized what it was that made me feel as if what was a good life wasn’t a *great* life. The difference was in having something regular that I could do. Having a regular activity (before, in the form of go, and now in the form of dance) has helped me to achieve a greater level of emotional consistency. I no longer have days where I think “my life is good, but….” The consistency of having dance in addition to the more inconsistent outings with friends, parties, and the rest has provided a kind of balance and center from which I can feel more comfortable. I think that having a hobby is a valuable thing for everyone to center themselves and achieve a greater quality of happiness.

While having a hobby may seem minor or even unimportant, I’ve found that it is extremely beneficial to have something that I consistently enjoy to look forward to each week. In my small, day to day struggles, or when I feel stressed, I have a reliable fallback to help myself relax. The ability to regain my composure by doing something that I enjoy has enriched my life and helped bring greater focus, happiness, and peace.

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Posted on 31 Mar 2016 02:09

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