skills and hobbies

Picking Up New Skills in the New Year

I hear this often: “Nah, I’m too old for this.” Wayyyy too often. I think adults grow up to be so afraid of failure that we’re unable to experience the joy of simply enjoying something new without turning it into a successful venture or skill. With the new year, it’s no surprise that many of us will make a promise to ourselves, be it watching what we eat, exercising more, or spending more time with family. 2020 marked the start of another decade, however, and I want you to be fearless in pursuing what makes you happy! Don’t let less-than-perfect results daunt you away from being a better version of yourself. Always wanted to paint? Go out and buy a canvas. Wanted to learn a new language? Sign up for that course.

Before you decide it’s too late for you to pick up a new skill, or that you can’t afford some merriness, I want you to keep three things in mind:

There’s no price on fun when picking up new skills.

Sometimes it feels like we shouldn’t indulge in a hobby or a new skill because we don’t deserve to. We’ve spent too little time working, or too little time being productive for us to treat ourself with an activity that we can have fun with. But there shouldn’t be a reason to feel guilty if you’re happy!

Failure when building skills can be exciting!

The hobbies I enjoy the most now are the ones that I was initially so weak at. I love creating videos and graphics for fun, and when I first started playing around on Adobe softwares I was really poor at it. But the satisfaction is not actually in the result, it’s in the process of slowly challenging yourself (at your own pace) and learning something for the sake of it. Not because you have to produce results or because you should have more skills on your resume, but rather just because you like it. When you free yourself from expectations, there’s a liberation you feel that can’t be compared.

You come first.

We all need hobbies and activities that can provide us with some relief from our stress. Coming home from work only to spend it disengaged from anyone by passing time on social media or video streaming results in low levels of satisfaction, happiness, and motivation. Instead, engaging ourselves with motor skills like painting, playing an instrument or reading stimulates our emotions and thoughts, which results in us being more committed to our surroundings and our lifestyles.

As the cliche goes, the journey is every bit as rewarding as the destination. I would argue that it could be even more rewarding, with the way it develops and hones you. We don’t all have to be rock stars, and sometimes it’s enough if all our indulging does is make us happy. I hope that whatever it is you’ve been afraid to pursue doesn’t remain an obstacle anymore, and it makes you feel better or happier or more fulfilled, or all three, even. There is no time better for you to focus on you than now.