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Creative hobbies

January 13, 2018

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Each time a new year starts, we like to make resolutions and plan things that we are going to do in the next 12 months, mostly things that will have a positive impact on us in some way. We all wish to see a better us and a better tomorrow for us.

Studies, career, health and relationships are usually the main focus of our resolutions. All positive New Year resolutions are fine, in fact great! Starting a new year with optimism and positive energy, even if it doesn’t last long, is better than being totally devoid of passion and vision.

Besides the usual aspects of life mentioned above, we also need to focus on things which give us true happiness and reflect who we are as a person. We need to do things that make us happy, things that we enjoy doing and not what the world expects us to do.

I am talking about hobbies here. Yes, hobbies are a way to connect with our inner-self and express our dreams and desires. So instead of the usual New Year resolutions, pledge to start a hobby that truly defines you. Something that you simply chose because you want to do it, it reflects you inner desires and passions, and when doing it you don’t need to care about what the world thinks of it.

our inner self and express our dreams and desires. So instead of the usual New Year resolutions, pledge to start a hobby that truly defines you. Something that you simply chose because you want to do it, it reflects you inner desires and passions, and when doing it you don’t need to care about what the world thinks of it.

While a degree and a job may define our career, it doesn’t always reflect what we truly want to do and are capable of. Not being able to do what we really want, even as a hobby, affects our mental, emotional and psychological development.

Another reason to have a hobby is that they are great stress-busters. They keep us occupied with something that we enjoy and they satisfy us with a sense of accomplishment and pleasure.

Hobbies are of as many kinds as there are people in the world. But there are few hobbies that are more intellectually challenging and thus rewarding — just right for people with a curious mind and an appetite for adventure. Such hobbies test our critical thinking, perception and application of logic.

Here are some hobbies that exercise our brain more than usual, and thus make it sharper. The choice, of course, depends upon an individual’s interest.

Illustration by Muhammad Faizan
Illustration by Muhammad Faizan

A different language

Because learning a new language as a hobby is a learning process without any academic pressure, it doesn’t seem like studying or learning. Thus intellectually challenging without seeming like a burden and still being rewarding. Each new word and sentence that you learn gives you a sense of accomplishment as it has been an intellectually challenging process.

Now with so many books and online resources, you can do it in the comfort of your home and at a time that suits you.

Photography

No doubt, a good photograph is worth a thousand words and sometime even much more. A good photograph can capture things in a way that may be very different than what we are seeing with our eyes.

So an effective way to open your mind to new vistas is to become a storyteller through photography. When taking a photograph, you tend to focus on an area smaller than the whole scene in front of you or on a particular object. Then, as you move the camera even a little in different angles, what you see though the lens seems different each time. You use your perception, creativity and analysis to capture a scene, and as you go on taking photographs, your efforts become better and better, giving you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Photography works the mind in so many ways.

With a camera in every hand, thanks to smartphones, and so many platforms for sharing your digital photographs, taking up photography as a hobby and showcasing it to the world has never been easier. And this hobby can become a great source of income as you become better in your craft.

Taking photography a little further, you can make videos too. And there are again many options for you to share your videos and gain quite a following for your efforts.

Watch documentaries

If you have a curious mind, chances are that you are already watching documentaries and programmes about topics that nurture you mind and knowledge base with least effort required from your end, except for your time and attention.

Documentaries are simply telling a story, and particularly those people who do not enjoy reading, they will find watching a documentary a more enjoyable way of gaining knowledge. These kinds of programmes are far more educational, mentally stimulating and enriching than the usual garbage that is shown on TV 24/7 and which most people waste their time watching.

National Geographic, Animal Planet, and news channels such as BBC and CNN offer great programmes that make you a far more knowledgeable person than your peers, and all you will be doing for it is watching TV!

Make crafts

Most of us who are creatively inclined are already indulging in arts and crafts of some kind. Creating something — be it a handmade card, a decoration item out of bits and pieces lying around the house, a pencil holder from an empty snacks box, etc. — is such a rewarding experience. It’s special because it is something created by you, far more economical and pretty than what you can find in any shop. And if you gift it to someone, they feel very special because it is handmade by you just for them.

Again, there are so many websites, videos and tutorials you can take help from to learn every kind of art, craft and handy skills such as sewing, knitting and crochet. Of course, when surfing the internet, please make sure you do it with the permission and guidance of your parents or elders.

Many people who take their hobby of crafting seriously, end up making it their profession — making a living out of what they love! Those who paint in their leisure time to unwind and relax, also sell their paintings and then it becomes a hobby that pays for itself and some more.

Become computer savvy

One of the most engaging, challenging, creative and promising hobbies is anything related to computer. Everyone uses computers or its various forms, such as tablets, smartphones or laptops. So why not spend time learning to code, use different software, basic programming, designing and even hacking!

These things are great hobbies for the brain, as this little organ up in our head gets sharper the more we use it. And if you are already interested in computers, this hobby can help you make a career in this growing field. Learning to code is a very powerful skill as it gives you the power to create anything that you want. Who knows you may one day build websites, games, apps and what not!

Write

We all know that writing is a very important skill, whether you are a student or not. But we also know that writing, especially creative writing, needs inspiration. And we can’t find inspiration easily or frequently.

But writing has many forms — if prose doesn’t interest you, you can write poetry; if writing a story isn’t your thing, write a review of a game, book, movie or a restaurant that you have liked or disliked. Or just keep a diary and jot down your thoughts, soon you will see your writing style improving as practice brings about improvement in everything.

Those who take their writing more seriously, they have a blog or website where they frequently post. But this requires serious work and dedication — those who do not want this can always randomly contribute to other blogs and websites. Doing this will showcase your work to the world and also earn you some money in return.

Learn to play a musical instrument

Music is food for the soul. If you are a little interested in music, taking up as a hobby is a good way to unleash your creativity.

Music is often used for therapy for various issues and it has been seen that learning to play a music instrument improves one’s creativity and intelligence. And you kids are so lucky to be born in this digital age as you don’t even have to go out of the house to learn many things, internet brings it right to your fingertips. Countless apps and websites offer tools and courses for you to learn any music instrument, and you can even turn your keyboard into a piano so you don’t even have to buy one to learn how to play it!

Besides these, there is so much more that you can indulge in as a hobby that will have positive and constructive effects on your emotional and mental development. Don’t waste your time in fruitless pursuits, life is too precious and short for it.

Published in Dawn, Young World, January 13th, 2018

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