Why A Hobby Could Be Your Key To Success

March 16, 2018By
Photography Hobby

A hobby can improve your life…and your work.

I read a few interesting articles recently about low birth rates in Japan.

There are a few reasons cited for the drop in birth rates, but one that stands out is that people seem to be working more than ever.

The concept of leisure, burnout and work/life balance have always interested me.

On one hand you have those that believe that if you find fulfillment in your work that you’re going to want to work and not feel as much burnout while doing it.

On the other hand is the idea that if you’re not shooting for the stars that you can enjoy life and not work your life away. Find a great balance of middle class bliss. I can definitely see the merit in that.

Then there is the one that’s kind of in the middle. You have your work, which you find fulfilling, but maybe you even wish you could do even better. And you still look for something that can provide some leisure and additional fulfillment from life.

And I think that’s where a hobby can come in and provide help on both fronts. Leisure fulfillment and better work.

The Benefits Of A Hobby

Again, this might not be for everybody, but there are benefits to having hobbies for life in general and for business.

This article highlights studies finding that having a hobby:

  • Improves Health
  • Reduces Stress
  • Improves Job Performance

Here’s another psychology article with some additional benefits. A couple of my favorites are:

  • Structured Time (hobbies take away from your work so you’re not always filling your day with unnecessary work)
  • Produce Flow (the sought after mental state that can bleed into other areas of life including business)
  • New Social Connections (definitely good for life and work)

I would also think that depending on the hobby it can sharpen the mind. It can lead to better physical fitness. It can lead to better competitiveness and confidence, which I’ve definitely seen benefit work to advantage in business.

Hobbies & Successful People

Most successful people I’ve met in person have had hobbies. Business leaders that I’ve encountered over the years are some of my favorite examples.

Golf has been one popular, sometimes obsessive, hobby for many people in business. It’s an activity that changes everyday. It’s social. It’s competitive. It can be pressure-packed, but also promotes good health especially if you walk.

I’ve read quite a few autobiographies over the years. There are little nuggets in most of them. One of the more interesting ones was from Rod Stewart.

He mentioned that his father told him that every man should have a vocation, hobby and sport. I would think that the last two could be combined in a way. Rod’s were model trains and train sets and soccer.

Here is a little expanded list of successful people and the sports they loved:

  • Sam Walton: Tennis
  • Alex Spanos: Golf
  • Wende Zomnir: Snowboarding

Look at most successful people and they usually have some kind of hobby to take their mind off things. Reading, writing, movies, etc.

Final Thoughts

One final thought I have on hobbies is that they can lead to better thinking and inspiration that can lead to business breakthroughs. I’ve often compared the way things work on the golf course to how they work in the business world. And I know that obviously doesn’t just work well from golf to business. It can work from music to business or whatever to business.

Some of the best ideas come from the combination of things or looking at something familiar through the lens of something completely unrelated.

So if you’re struggling to improve your work and you’re also looking for something better to do in your leisure time then the right hobby could be the key.

Get started with these ideas for ways to better spend your weekend.