Are Your Hobbies Killing Your Passions?

Photo via  Flickr

Photo via Flickr

Most people who know me know that I am a gamer. I really like video games, and have played them for many years. Give me a few minutes and I could talk your ear off about some of the new titles that recently came out or the latest technologies being used to make games more lifelike.

Recently, I finished playing what was one of the longer games that I've played, and within the game there is a timer that keeps track of how long you've spent on this play through. As I took a final look at my time, I couldn't help but think.

96 hours. 96 hours spent playing just this game. Now this was over a few months, but it was still quite a serious amount of time. And there are other games I play from time to time.

Now I don't think everyone should just give up their activities and hobbies, since I think a life without hobbies is really crappy.

But I couldn't see that number and not see what else I've done with that kind of time.

96 hours is enough time to launch a new initiative. 96 hours is enough time to make over $3,000 dollars as a tutor. 96 hours is enough time to transform your body through exercise and nutrition.

There's a lot you can do with 96 hours. So the question came to me, of what did I skip doing to complete that game? I know I could have written a whole lot more. As a writer and blogger, there are always stories to tell and ideas to share. I could have read a whole lot more. There are dozens of books on my list, including some I own that I haven't touched yet. I could have loved more. There are so many people in my life near and far that I don't spend nearly as much time connecting with as I should.

The list is really endless, but I want to focus on one thing in particular.

With 96 hours, I could have worked my passions. I could have spent that time creating, developing, and learning what it takes to be an innovator, an inventor, and a business owner. With 96 hours, I could have written over 200,000 words, many of which could have been in emails to prospective partners and potential investors. With 96 hours I could have read 17 books on various new technologies and life skills (including ones on how to read faster).

And I knew this. Instead I chose to play. Instead I chose to take immediate gratification over delayed gratification.

We all do it, and I sometimes it's necessary. Like I said, a life without hobbies is a really dismal proposition. And as much as 96 hours is a lot of time, it was over months, averaging to less than an hour a day, mostly in large blocks on weekends. But when put in context, there are always ways we can cut back on what detracts and distracts us from our goals and do more of what brings us closer to them.

I'm not saying giving up watching TV, but maybe cutting out that one show that you don't really love to watch. I'm not saying to stop browsing Instagram, but perhaps only when you really need to find inspiration. If we dedicate just a fraction of the time spend on our hobbies to our passions, there is some real progress we can make.

Take Action:

What are you putting off? What are you giving up to instant gratification? Take a moment to think about what you are spending your time doing and if you're ok with that. If the answer is 'yes', then carry on. If it's 'no', then it might be time to revaluate the amount of time you spend on hobbies.

- Ryan