Welcome to BIGG Success from George & Mary-Lynn

Does Your Hobby Work For You?

By Bigg Success Staff
12-27-07

Work – Life Balance

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Like most of us, you face pressure to meet deadlines at work, fulfill family commitments, give back to your community, and so on and so on …

With all that going on, it’s easy to forget about yourself. However, you need to renew your spirit. One of the best ways to do that is to take up a new hobby or rekindle an old one. Something that demands your complete concentration and captures your soul.

Finding your flow
When you do that, you enter into what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “chick-sent-me-high-ee”) dubbed a “flow state”. You completely lose your sense of time as you enjoy the task at hand with effortless concentration.

Csikszentmihalyi, a Professor of Psychology and Management at The Drucker School at Claremont University, wrote an excellent book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He says that flow occurs when you have clear goals that require appropriate responses.

That’s where your hobbies come in. When you’re doing something you love, you enter into a self-contained universe. So your hobby is a great way to develop flow, which you can use at work also.

Hobbies of the winners
Robert Root-Bernstein, a professor of physiology at Michigan State University, conducted a study on the hobbies of Nobel Prize winners. He compared them to a group of members of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.

He found that more than half of the Nobel laureates had a long-standing hobby. By contrast, less than one percent of the Sigma Xi members claimed to have a hobby. He also looked at what the Nobel winners’ hobbies were. 25% were musicians. 18% painted or sketched. Writing and poetry were also common hobbies.

Dr. Root-Bernstein has written a book, with his wife Michele, called Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People. It’s a great book; we think you’ll find it interesting.

Your 5-minute hobby
The best way to make time for your hobby is simple – schedule it. You may think that you’re too busy to fit one more thing into your already-too-busy life. That’s the beautiful thing about the hobbies of the winners – you can steal a moment here and there and get your flow going.

When you do that, you’ll find you come back to your work reinvigorated. You’ll bring a fresh perspective to your challenges. So go ahead – play a tune, draw a picture, or write in your journal. It’s five minutes that will work wonders for you!

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(Image of woman drawing by blmurch, CC 2.0)

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