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It’s Just a Hobby

It’s just a hobby, he said. And *he* was right. A hobby is just, “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation,” according to Merriam Webster. It’s not a profession. It’s not a way to earn a living. At least not at that point in time. But a hobby is never just something we do for relaxation, if we have the desire for it to be so much more.

How many times have you been told, “It’s just a hobby.” That “it” is likely your dream. It’s that one thing that you’ve chosen to concentrate on that you hope will become a substantial part of your life. Maybe other people’s interpretation of that “it” gets under your skin. It sure gets under mine. It feels personal. It feels much more than just an observation or snapshot in time.

Because no one who’s serious about living a life on their terms ever wants to passively spend blocks of their time in a hobby. Here’s what a hobby is:

  • playing kickball on a recreational league team
  • collecting baseball cards
  • carpentry to fix small things around your house
  • painting, sailing or ANYTHING that you do “just on occasion”

A hobby is just a hobby until it becomes so much more. If you’re serious about becoming a singer, writer, app developer or specialist in any field, then you need to develop a plan. That plan begins with a strategy, an objective and definition for success, then legitimate goals. From there, you must dedicate time. Even if it looks like a hobby to others on the outside, you know darn well this is your ticket to ride.

Let me tell you where my hobby has led me: I will soon publish my first book. This has been a lifelong dream. I’m less than two months away from achieving it. And guess what? This writing effort? This reinventing myself and becoming someone I’ve always wanted to be? It didn’t happen overnight. It started as a hobby. Maybe you’re there right now. Maybe you know the feeling.

The last two years of my life, I’ve entered into a process of self-discovery that never could have been realized were it not for my hobby. I’ve grown in emotional intelligence, formed a rock-solid foundation of values, started a coaching business and re-entered the workforce for a successful software company. I’m raising a child, priding myself on being a parent and husband and giving all my energy into all that I love.

Previously, I wasn’t giving all my energy to the things I love and matter. This makeover helped me realize that life is all about love. Loving your family. Loving your God. Loving what you do, making sense of why you do, what you do and leaving the negativity and garbage behind.

Dream big

Where You Begin

Everyone who does anything great begins their work as “just as a hobby.” No one paid Michael Jordan to grind for hours in the gym perfecting his quickness and jumpshot. At least not in 1979. He was only “investing” then. His payment began in the mid-1980s, once basketball officially became a job for him. But his hobby led him to his job.

You can look at any role model, in any line of work, and the story will be virtually identical. Once you develop your idea, you must believe in it and back it with hope and hard work. Once you do, you’ve struck “gold.” But not literally. At least, not right then. No one is paying you for that idea. Yet. Maybe no one even recognizes it. Yet. Because it’s just a hobby. Right? Or is it?

A hobby is where we learn. It’s where we begin our initiating, planning, discovery, configuration and testing phases. Until we’re ready to “go live.” Because once we’re ready to go live, once we’ve proven a level of expertise and solid “product,” we can begin to test the market.

It’s at this point that many people fail. And if you’ve ever wondered why that is the case, without knowing the answer, I’m about to tell you:

When people try to convert their hobby into their living, they fail because they fear what other people will think. Every other explanation for failure falls under fear.

Lack of confidence. Self-doubt. Anxiety. It all comes back to a fear of what other people might think — a fear of success — rather than a fear of failure. Because anyone who has ever truly tried to succeed, knows that failure will always come! Failure will inspire us and enable us to produce a better product. Failure will refine us and lead us to a better version of ourselves.

Future Wages

None of us voluntarily do things unless they bring us some sense of self-satisfaction. Unless we’re masochists. In our free time, we want to find pleasure. The more we start to make sense of our lives, the more inspired we become to utilize our free time for things we love. Less time socializing on Instagram, and more time building our dream.

While a job pays a wage, in many cases, a hobby pays a future wage. For a day and price yet to be known. You can name that day and that price if you believe that your hobby will lead you to an opportunity or living you desire. That’s the formula, right there.

As a writer, I have to remind myself that a picture is worth well more than “a thousand words.” Look at the picture at the beginning of this article. This puts into perspective so much of what you will face while living out your hobby. Because your hobby is very often your dream. And any dream that you back with faith and hope is worth pursuing.

When you’re ready to take up the gauntlet and travel down the road of your dreams, you better be prepared to overcome adversity of all kinds! The crazy thing is, you find that adversity comes from many sources: family, friends, co-workers and relatives. It’s not just your competitors or “society at large.” People won’t believe you when you tell them you want to change the world.

And you may not do that through medicine or leading a movement. You may achieve your dream from the privacy of your room, on a laptop computer. Maybe your’e a writer or designer. But the impact you hope to create will travel far beyond the confines of your home. It will become universal and touch the lives of billions. That ain’t no hobby. That’s a reason to live.

Great inventors begin to get paid once people recognize their genius and value. Anyone who does anything great is creating something. You find that you can’t just immediately begin on a paid path. And even if you did, wouldn’t that serve to make you more complacent, anyway? Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. You and I have emotional, spiritual, physical and mental needs.

We all have to start somewhere. We all must fight to live the lift we want. Get out in the marketplace. Get going. Don’t wait for someone to start paying you for something that you can turn into future gains. The time is now.

It’s just a hobby? Bull shit. That’s what some might say on the outside. You know that deep-down, if you’re able to persevere and maintain your drive, it’s going to become so much more. Your hobby will transform your life. The day you recognize that your hobby — your passion — isn’t just a fleeting idea, is the day you start living. Because not far off, you’ll earn your living.

To quote rock prophet, Zack de la Rocha:

“It has to start somewhere. It has to start some time. What better place than here? What better time than now?”

Your hobby is your start. What that becomes is your finish. The in between is yours.

Live Boldly!

My upcoming book on Values is due out this September. Contact me via my website here to join my newsletter and get the first chapter of my book FREE! Like my Facebook writer’s page here. Join me on your journey. Let’s Go!