Wellness Point: Hobby Always Pays

Wednesday, September 1, 2021


In the course of my motivational speech and wellness sessions, participants often  ask the question as to what we should do to utilize our spare time, firstly to ward off stress and secondly to concentrate on things that matter most for enjoying a happy life now and days ahead. Undeniably, it is by pursuing at least one hobby that interests you or you are passionate about, apart from being sincere towards normal study related engagements.

There is no denying the fact that normally students find it difficult to stay indoors and continue engaging in studies only, especially during Covid-19 pandemic. Interestingly, most of them who don’t have any worthwhile engagement besides studies either feel bored or engrossed in irrelevant and negative thinking or found to be busy with smart phones browsing predominantly through unnecessary, if not unwanted sites and get influenced badly in the process. On the other hand, those who are smart, wise and lucky enough to pursue one or more hobbies spend their time well to first refresh and de-stress themselves and second to practice to learn and enjoy a skill which enriches them in many ways. They are found to be healthier, happier and more performing as different surveys observed.

 It is good that the hobby list is fairly long and can be enjoyed both as an indoor and outdoor activity. In pandemic time, it is a real boon and should be taken as a blessing in disguise for many students, who otherwise don’t even give a thought to having a hobby. In a survey, it is found that hobbies like dance, music, painting, reading good books, blogging, cartooning, sketching,  knitting, kitchen gardening,  playing games from Chess to Cricket, and various welfare activities have been engaging youths in a purposeful manner. Of late my two young friends surprised me by their deep knowledge of history, geography and culture of our country acquired through pursuance of their hobbies of philately and coin collection.

It is interesting to find that almost all the great persons who made and are making a positive impact on the lives of millions of people across the world, have one or more hobbies in addition to their main vocation. The great scientist and former President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam used to spend his leisure time playing the musical instrument Veena. Mahatma Gandhi was very fond of using the wooden spinning wheel called Charkha for spinning cotton yarn besides his passion for nature cure related welfare activity. Playing violin and sailing boats were Albert Einstein’s two main hobbies. At times he used to play violin with a view to refresh his mind when he was in a fix in the course of solving a scientific problem.  Similarly, two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie was an avid long–distance cyclist. Interestingly, the Curie couple spent their honeymoon pedalling around the north of France for fun and happiness.   Even professional sports persons enjoy playing other games besides their own. Famous cricketers like Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Mahendra Singh Dhoni are few telling examples who enjoyed playing football as a hobby. 

In fact, a hobby helps in managing your stress as it motivates you to spare some time for an activity which you actually cherish and enjoy. It fills  you with joy and also enriches your journey of life in many ways. Truly speaking, it helps you to de-clutter your mind to get some mental space for staying innovative, creative and happy. George Bernard Shaw rightly says, “Happy is a man who is living by his hobby.”

So, what is the loud and clear message for today’s youths particularly at this critical time of pandemic? Just try to do something positive which you like to do in your spare time as a hobby; don’t let your mind be idle, otherwise it may turn out to be a ghost's house or to say negative thoughts. Pursue your hobby sincerely and make it a part of your daily routine, of course without hampering or disturbing your academic or job related engagements. Yes, proper time management makes things easier to strike a balance between all necessary activities of the day. Finally, enjoy what great spiritual leader and Nobel Prize winner Dalai Lama says: “Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.” 

As always, I'm keen to know what you think on this subject. Hence, request you to post comments to share your views and experiences.   

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