According to the philosophers, the second essential to happiness is simply finding something to do. Personal fulfillment and happiness involve discovering your true passions. Whether it is playing the guitar, writing, painting, running, photography, basketball, or making furniture it does not matter. The list of possibilities is endless. Moreover, it is not important how proficient you become in pursuing your passions. What is important is that you regularly engage in doing the things you love to do. I become very concerned with the person who has no constructive passions or puts everything they have into just one. Be diverse and “spread your wings”. Whether they are indoor or outdoor activities, understand where you feel most at home and happy within your own skin.
Most people I have encountered in my life don’t really understand themselves because they have never given themselves the chance to know their true self. That, in and of itself, can make it difficult to identify your true passions. So often you meet people who seem to have everything, yet they are still not happy. Conversely, you encounter people with very few material things who seem very happy. Constant exposure to some “norm” presented by conventional society and media has caused too many people to define themselves by those external influences. Invest the energy to understand who you really are, and allow your children to do the same.. You will learn what makes you one of a kind, unique, and special if you give yourself the time to know yourself.
I cannot over emphasize the importance of hobbies to your happiness. This second essential need to happiness also means that you have to manage your life to carve out and protect the time needed to pursue your passions. Absent conscious planning, the everyday responsibilities and tribulations of life will become all consuming. You hear it all the time from people everywhere, “I don’t have the time to do what I would really like to do. I have too many responsibilities and am too busy.” Well, you better make the time. Your quality of life and happiness depend on it! For most of us, it is not a matter of not having the time, but mismanagement of that time.
At times, I would be asked how I found the time to train for marathons and triathlons. Many times training twice a day while working is not an easy task, but many do it. The ride to work took 33 minutes by car and by high tech bicycle 49. That’s just 16 extra minutes getting into work and out each day. In just 32 extra minutes a day in the commute I could ride 36 miles. How many times do you sit and watch a show on television for 30 or 60 minutes and after it’s over realize it was a waste of your time? Don’t ask me what’s on TV tonight, as I have too many activities to contend with that I enjoy. Hopping out of bed an hour early to hit the pool on the route to work, so I could get in my 90 laps was important to me because I had a triathlon I was training for.
It’s amazing how much extra time you will have in your life to pursue your hobbies and passions once you shut-off your electronic devices. If you want to live your life and immerse yourself in what really excites you, turn off the television, phone, computer, tablet, and video games for a period of time each day. Dedicate that time to discovering and engaging in your life’s passions.
If you really want to find that zest for life and spend your short existence on this planet enjoying your time, base your goals and dreams around those you love and what you love to do. Find your niche, and you will feel that you were meant to be here; your life will have meaning.
So find your passions and build your dreams and life around them. Your greatest wish will be to find more time to indulge in these passions. Be someone who takes action and moves closer every day to fulfillment and happiness. Don’t get caught up in the fast paced “rat race” of society. Break away and discover how wonderful life can be once you discover your passions and incorporate them into your life.