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  • Writer's pictureY Nhu

Why having a hobby is important?

Have you ever been confused about how to start a conversation when meeting a colleague, a new neighbor? Try starting with a topic of personal interest. Do you enjoy listening to someone talk about their weekend hiking trip, or a recent over-the-rice-field skydiving session? Personal interests not only make for an interesting conversation, but also give you the value of connecting with others.

My very first practice of Calligraphy

In a Business Etiquette tutorial, when it comes to the relationship between personal interest and social charisma, I asked my students if you have personal interest? The class stayed silent. Then sporadically a few hands went up.

Some people expressed surprise. A student, Van Anh, shared that "I'm too busy with office work every day, then pick up the kids from piano class to dance class, cook dinner, clean the house, check email, check my children's homework. I almost get exhausted when laying back in bed, how can I find time to entertain or pursue a personal hobby?" And she burst into tears. I think Van Anh is not alone in sharing this. More and more people are busy with many projects, for survival and for the future, for themselves and their loved ones. Not to mention the time to join social networks, surf Facebook, check email, watch movies on Netflix. No one cares about their personal hobbies anymore. Some people even think that you are really frivolous when pursuing a personal hobby that does not bring any economic benefits.

Maybe “I'm too busy!” has become a badge of honor or a FOMO (fear of missing out) medal.

Imagine you come home from a dozen or so pointless meetings, and your boss has just called to criticize you. You turn on the TV, surf Facebook, but do you solve the root of the problem? Your wounded ego will soon speak. So now imagine after a day's work you go straight to the place of hand-painted pottery or a football game. Not only will these activities help you focus on your current “pain,” but they can show you a different side of who you are. Work is not everything. You can be an office worker, a football player, a ceramic artist or a calligraphy artist. Simply put, you don't put all your identity eggs in one basket. If you can dedicate an hour a day or a day per week to something you really enjoy, then observe the positives it brings to work and home. Now think of something you used to love but had to put aside to take care of yourself: knitting, gardening, piano lessons. Try starting with the smallest action, and remember not to procrastinate “until the kids grow up, until I earn enough, until I retire…” You have more time than you think!

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