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This week we're discussing three types of hobbies, and why you must have one of each.
As a brief disclaimer: many links for items, books, etc. are done through affiliate links, which means I may get paid a small pittance of money for anything you purchase using these links.
There's a quote that has floated around the internet for some time with regard to hobbies and achieving happiness. The proposed goal is to "find three hobbies: one that makes you money, one that keeps you fit, and one that makes you creative." Naval, a regular reference of this newsletter, expanded on this further and stated that the third hobby should be one that makes you smarter and not just creative. If this balance is achieved, the supposed end result is happiness.
As I've grown older, this philosophy is something I've struggled to implement in my life. I find myself often blending these things together; for example, trying to have some hobbies make money that are better left alone as creative outlets or activities to keep me healthy. The more that I've struggled with it, the more I've come to realize that others also struggle with these same issues.
When analyzing these three hobbies, it's clear that, in an ideal world, the path we follow to make money would also be something we enjoy. Those fortunate enough to have a career they love are certainly happier than those who hate what they do, but this doesn't tell the whole story. How many people with successful careers are either extremely unhealthy, stop learning and doing anything creative, or both?
Fitness, health, and wellness is a cornerstone of happiness. If we don't take care of our bodies, our minds will suffer. Going through life sick and debilitated because they never prioritized their health is the sad reality of many. This does not mean you need to be a professional athlete or dedicate your life to fitness. The minimum effective dose is actually quite small, and finding an activity like hiking, surfing, yoga, etc. that becomes a regular part of your life will more than cover the requirement.
The third hobby, one that makes us smarter or keeps us creative, is equally important. This is the mental health equivalent of a hobby that keeps us fit. Our mind must be trained regularly just like any muscle. Creativity is the end result of repetition and constant exposure to the creations of others. If we aren't regularly taking in new information, viewing art, reading, writing, etc. then this creative muscle will atrophy. Like so many people who give up fitness as they age, how many people do you know who can't remember the last book they read?
These hobbies can be separate activities or, in some instances, singular activities can check multiple boxes. Working artists, for example, have a hobby that stimulates their brain and provides financial well-being. That said, I would encourage you to be flexible and not require your hobbies to check every box. It's perfectly fine for you to pursue activities that keep you healthy or help you learn without any financial gain. If I can give any advice from personal experience, it's that not all activities we enjoy are meant to earn a living, become a side hustle, or evolve into a career. Be mindful, though, that if you can't find activities to fill these three buckets, it may be much harder to attain happiness.
The most interesting things I've encountered this week:
What I'm reading: Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol
As a former Chemist, I thoroughly enjoy learning about mental models born from other fields of science. This book attempts to take key principles of rocket science and apply these methods of thought to other areas of life.
What I'm also reading: "9 Things I Learned From Ryan Holiday About Creativity, Productivity, and Life" by Billy Oppenheimer
I found this article after subscribing to Billy's newsletter (which I highly recommend doing here) and being sent a similar blog about creativity. I think many of Holiday's approaches, which Billy discusses in this article, are simple to implement and practical for getting more organized and, in turn, becoming more creative.
What I'm listening to: The Knowledge Project podcast with Shane Parrish
This podcast falls in line with the mental models I love so much in Think Like a Rocket Scientist. It breaks down complex topics with interesting speakers and has been one of my favorite recent finds in podcast-land. (As an aside, Shane Parrish and Farnam Street have also put out some great books on mental models and higher-order thinking).
Quote of the week:
"You want to figure out what you’re uniquely good at—or what you uniquely are— and apply as much leverage as possible. So making money isn’t even something you do. It’s not a skill. It’s who you are, stamped out a million times." - Naval
Tip of the week:
Think about your hobbies
Try and find out what hobbies you have that can fill your three buckets: making money, staying fit, and getting smarter. Keep in mind that a good hobby only needs to fill one of these buckets, not all of them!
That will do it for this week!
If you haven't downloaded your free copy yet, I've distilled all my tips and tricks for learning and retaining information here: Trainedwright Learning Guide.pdf
Lastly, as always, if you found any value in this week's newsletter, please share it with just one person who might like it!
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