Updated: Jun 10
“You never know where your hobbies and interests can take you to. It's not a good idea to sideline them while giving more importance to studies. Both can coexist, I think”.
Don't you want to have a life full of satisfaction and fulfilment? Certainly 'Yes' in my case. Assuming the same in your case too. However, the present traditional formula based career path can never offer you that. Where we Indians are doing the wrong is not in giving more importance to studies, but in not giving enough importance to our hobbies and interests.
The philosophy of ‘Range’:
There is a book called ‘Range’ by David Epstein. This book comes with a tagline ‘Generatists triumph in a specialist’s world’. It counters the idea of hyperspecialization with Range, that means exploration of multiple domains. The first chapter tells the stories of Tiger Woods, the Golf legend and Roger Federer, the tennis champion. Tiger woods is an example of hyperspecialization whereas Federer is an example of Range. Federer used to play different games before selecting tennis as his final choice whereas Tiger was introduced into Golf at the very early days of his childhood. Both are extremely successful in their respective fields. However the author advocates the idea of exploring more domains before going with the one. He explains his philosophy with multiple psychological researches done all over the world. This book is a pure gem. You must go through it if you love reading books and are interested in the psychology and philosophy domains.
Indians' obsession with ‘Job’s:
Now coming to hobbies and interests. We Indians are not very familiar with it. We have always been told to study hard, get a good college and to settle with a job with a fat pay cheque. This is what the traditional Indian social mindset advocates. Every 90s kid can relate to this. This collective mindset never perceives happiness as a priority. Instead, it believes happiness as a by-product of the formula. But why? Let's try to understand this.
Our parents are mostly the kids of the 60s and 70s. They always followed the survival mindset. Because money is a big factor in a middle class or poor household. You cannot follow your passion with an empty stomach. This is a big reason why most of them still want a secured, safe and stable life for their kids. This is a big reason why Government jobs are highly popular in many states of the country. But the scene is changing rapidly. Now we can see a high number of college kids doing quite well by following their hobbies, by freelancing and the best part of the story is that they are earning quite well too.
Hobbies and Interests: Why is it high time to give more importance?
There is a famous saying in India that whatever you do, do after engineering. It makes sense from the social context. A status driven society like India loves degrees. It never encourages you to do something of your own. You cannot expect encouragement from a society which celebrates slavery. Yes, you understood it right. A job. A job is what? It's nothing but a form of slavery. Some enjoy doing that, some not. It's totally up to you where you want to belong.
Even if you land in a high paying job with crores of package; there is no guarantee of satisfaction and fulfilment. It definitely sounds good from the social perspective, but from the perspective of happiness, probably not.
So, what are the roles of hobbies and interests then?
1. Sense of fulfilment:
Nothing can give you that level of fulfilment than being able to do what you love doing. So, what about jobs? Yes, you can definitely be satisfied in a job if you are enjoying doing your tasks. No, issue with that. But in reality, what happens is you hardly get any kind of freedom. There is always someone whom you have to report. A hierarchy based culture can never be a healthy place to work in. Now coming to hobbies. What are hobbies? Hobbies are something that you enjoy pursuing. It can be anything. It can be coding, writing, singing and even driving. So far, your one problem has been solved, that is the problem with fulfilment. As its definition says, you can get a certain level of satisfaction, happiness and fulfilment while doing your favourite tasks. But what about the monetary angle? Let’s jump to the 2nd point.
How much effort you put in or how much expertise you have; nothing matters if it fails to give any kind of monetary benefits. I am talking from a real world perspective. Money is important. Where do hobbies stand in the earning scene? Let's find out.
Honestly it all depends on your skills. Having a hobby is good. Now it's up to you how good you can be at it. Your goal is to be a consistent in upgrading of your skill. Once you reach a certain level, now it's time to get people who are ready to pay you for your skills. Only thing you have to look after is whether there is anyone who will pay you for your skills. If yes, your journey has started.
The concept of remote working has recently got popular amidst the pandemic. Prior to that offices used to follow some strict rules. You have to go in time but there used to no such fix time of coming home. Many things have been changed in just a span of a year. Remote working enables the employees to do their tasks just from their bedroom. Remote working is a great concept and many believe it to be the future of working too. But, the main concern is still about the flexibility. The mode has been changed, not the schedule. People are still working overtime. Only thing has changed is this time they are working from their homes. Frankly saying, nothing has changed from the happiness perspective. Even in some cases, people are becoming more frustrated working for multiple hours by being inside a room.
But, do you think this scene would have been different if you are working on something you love doing? Definitely 'Yes'. For example coders. There are coders who work for countless hours without any break. They dont feel any kind of frustration. Because they love what they are doing. Similar with the gamers too. Now you will ask me that all these sounds cool, but what about the monetary aspect? Thats a valid question though. But, a good coder earns multiple times more than a nine to five office goers. Additionaly, he/she doesnt need to follow anyones order. Thats a bonus.