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Hobbies - key to work life balance



Viral Das - HR, Lupin Ltd., Vadodara


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There is nothing wrong in earning a livelihood to provide family with comfortable life. But it should not be at the cost our dreams, aspirations, passions, inquisitiveness and the spark to live life at fullest.

In order to live happily and support the family we have to work and earn money. For this we all go through the whole process of formal education and enhance our chances of getting better career opportunities. Eventually we enter the professional world, get married, and have children. And we shoulder more and more responsibilities leaving behind all the fun and carefree days of school and college.

The passionate photographer, poet, theater lover, painter, and excursionist in us gradually turn so busy struggling between his professional and personal life that he hardly gets any time to pursue his hobbies and passions. For becoming successful he sacrifices doing what he loved the most at one point of time. Today, majority of working people secretly wish to quit their job and live the same care free life again. However, owing to the web of responsibilities they are embroiled in, they can hardly think of escaping from it. In most cases, the reason behind people wanting to quit the job is either they do not love what they are doing or they are at the wrong place. This feeling is not just confined to the working professionals. Even a home maker may feel the same.

Many of us accept this and compromise with the situation by justifying it with different reasons. We begin to believe that this is how life is! We think that fun and enjoyment is only meant for schools and college life! We think that now we are too old to get back to our hobbies and passions! We don't have time! And the list goes on...

But, let us take a moment and think...  Is this the only way to live our life? Are we born just to pay bills and die?

There is nothing wrong in earning a livelihood to provide family with comfortable life. But it should not be at the cost our dreams, aspirations, passions, inquisitiveness and the spark to live life at fullest. Quitting the job is not at all a wise idea until you have the confidence and other better options besides job for meeting your ends. Similarly, it is also not a good idea to relinquish your hobbies, passions and creativity because of the pressure of job and other responsibilities. Rather than cribbing over the wrong choices made in the professional field or not being happy with what we are doing, we should try to enjoy the work and spare time for after - work hobbies, arts and nature. This can help to overcome humdrum working life.

We are surrounded by incessant issues around us, fast growing world and busy life style making us sick and more stressed. However, the irony is that we never realize this until we are completely trapped in the glittery false life style which adds no value or meaning to over all life. One of the main reasons behind this is our disconnectedness with nature and art. Hence, it is very important to revive our relationship with our hobbies, passions, nature and art.

We may not have chosen gardening or playing musical instrument as a career, however, pursuing it as an after - work hobby can have a measurable positive impact on workplace performance and personality development. Being connected with what you loved the most is the key to real happiness! Not getting enough time for recreation is a common excuse that most of us give, however, if we do some time and self - management, we can spare enough time for our hobbies and interests.

Now let me share how pursuing our hobbies and passions can add more joy and happiness to our professional and personal life and also teach us invaluable lessons of life.

Photography: Photography teaches us Patience, Perseverance, Preparedness, Perspective, Perception, and Passion. The most beautiful things which I found in photography that you start looking things, people and subject differently and incisively. It makes you curious about the people, place and nature. You can find beauty in the every object; people you come across with which other may fail to see. Photography makes you fall in love with the earth so let's have a company of your camera and let the world know the untold story which you want to tell through the Pictures you clicked.

Writing: It helps you to define, communicate and express yourself clearly and effectively. It may be in any form like writing poems, articles, experiences, personal diary, blogs etc., but it is important to pen down our thoughts on paper. Writing poems helps us in increasing our sense of imagination, compassion and sensitivity. After the invention of social media it has become easy to share our written piece of art with the world by just one click. This habit will enhance our inquisitiveness and we will seek to acquire the knowledge and information to be updated with current affairs and trends in order to write good stuff. Having improved written communication skill may also get us an extra mileage in our professional life.

Volunteering: When we focus on someone other than our own, it helps in cutting down the stress level. Joining any NGO as volunteer provides ample opportunities to meet people from diverse background working on common interest. Working together as a team helps us to learn group dynamics, problem resolving and team work. Fund raising activity can enhance our skills of organizing and managing events, resource mobilization and networking. It gives an immense satisfaction and a sense of deep accomplishment by giving back to the society. Volunteering allows us to experience different environments which make us more adaptive in any given situation so, go and be the change agent to make the difference in the lives of the needy and leave an impact on the fellow citizens by spreading love, compassion and empathy.

Excursion/Traveling: If you are passionate about traveling then you should spare time from your busy schedule for this hobby. Traveling is not only about going on a long vacation at some exotic foreign locations or hanging out on a beach with friends. Rather it's more about transcending all our experiences and learning. In case we don't get time for long tours, we can explore some good places surrounding our city. You will be surely surprised to find some unexplored beautiful locations nearby your city. Visiting new places, meeting new peoples and gaining experiences gives us a chance to reinvent ourselves; pushes us out of our comfort zone; teaches us time management; new ways of living; organizing and planning; and the most important lesson it teaches us is gratitude. Amazing travel stories makes us more interesting person.

Theater: It's not necessary to have acting skills in order to do theater. There are many armature theater groups running in the city, conducting 5-10 days theater workshops for any interested candidate. These days many corporate companies send their employees to attend the theater workshop as it teaches good management lessons. Attending theater workshop helps us to learn creative processes to solve the problem. Acting onstage teaches us how to be comfortable speaking in front of large audience, boosts our confidence to speak clearly, lucidly, and thoughtfully. Another most important lesson we may learn is coordination, co-operation and team building while working on some theater project. Our accomplishments in theatre show us that we can handle a variety of jobs, pressures, difficulties and responsibilities. We can develop a "Yes, I can!" attitude.

Workout: Many of us find the lives of Hollywood/Bollywood actors fascinating not only because of the glamour and fame but the way they maintain their physical fitness. If they can manage their time for daily work out then we cannot give an excuse for not having time. Spending 30 to 45 minutes, 3 or 5 days a week for our physical wellbeing can make us efficient, fit, energetic and cheerful compared to others. We can follow any fitness regime - Yoga, Jogging, gym, swimming and cycling. Just remember to keep our body engaged in rigorous hard work till we sweat hard. It will not only keep us physically fit but also mentally fit. We all are already aware of various benefits of exercise. If we want to eat whatever we wish till we grow old or, want to travel without any physical obstacle throughout our life, then just start investing an hour every day for workout.

The above mentioned are the few hobbies which I have personally nurtured and I am practicing in my life. Indeed, I have been experiencing the advantage of being attached with it in both my personal and professional life. You may have an interest in hobbies other than the ones mentioned above. Each hobby is important and teaches us very important lessons of the life which we hardly learn from any text book or class room.

So gear up to for some adventure and add the flavor of excitement to your routine life, rejuvenate your contact with the things you liked the most. Take your gadgets out, gear up for excursion, meet new people and explore the life again! See how it is going to help you in every aspects of your life, especially it will set you free from prosaic professional and personal life.