We humans have evolved a lot in last few thousand years. One thing that has helped us in this evolution is our curiosity about life. Whenever I look at a child I realize that she has to learn so much in life and she is doing it most efficiently in first 3 decades of life. Then the process becomes little slow. But that is time when we actually start realizing the power of learning. By that age, we can easily read, talk and evaluate things on our own. After that the world expects us to contribute back based on our learning. That is the time when we start feeling that we have learned enough and that curious mind becomes little lazy.
One new hobby can help our mind to fall in love with that curiosity again. You learn so much by just one new hobby. Let me discuss with you one incident of my own life here.
When I was 17 (and introvert), I joined a gym as new hobby. My first day at the gym was miserable. You find yourself between those strong looking fitness freaks. The kind of efforts they were putting and the amount of weight they were lifting drove me crazy. The first thought that hit my mind was, that I can’t do it, ever. But somehow I decided to stick to that place.
By sticking there, I realized that this hobby was not just about the physical strength, it was also about becoming mentally tougher. It was about doing something that you couldn’t imagine to do in past. During those initial days of struggle I learned 3 important lessons:
1. Start small, but do start: I was lifting just 5 Kg of weight. It looked kind of funny among those big build guys who were doing rigorous workout. But I was improving on it every week. In few months I became one of those fitness freaks, high weight lifting guys. I could have never improved if I had not started, small be it.
This learning has helped me with every new project in life. Start, just start. Even if it’s very small step, take it. And then build on it.
2. By working together, we grow quick: Of-course there was a trainer, who would guide me for different kinds of exercises. But, the maximum learning came from my other gym partners. They all looked huge, big tough guys, but they were actually very cooperative whenever I needed a support/guidance. Initially, I thought that I was competing with others in the gym. But gradually I realized that I was competing with myself only. When I tried to compete with others, it made me restless. I was under some invisible kind of pressure. But the moment I realized that I was competing with myself. It took away all the restlessness and replaced it with a motivation to do better than yesterday. We all together, were competing with our own pasts and aimed to make it better in future.
This same thing happens to us in life also. When we work together, we grow quick. But when we start that invisible rivalry with others at work or in life, it can take away all the fun of that particular activity.
3. When you encourage others, it returns back multi-fold: There used to be incidents, where I used to struggle to lift weight or to do particular set of reps. Someone standing near me, would just shout “Come on, you can do it!”. And that will somehow provide a hidden power to complete that particular task. I learnt it and did it with others who were struggling at a task. When they completed it, I felt good.
That’s how encouragement works, not just in the gym but also at work and in other parts of life as well.
It was more of mental toughness that I gained from a place where I was actually working on my physical toughness. These 3 important lessons can be learnt from any hobby that you like. It could be learning music or dance, learning new game, learning new software or learning new language. Every hobby will help us in turning into a better version of ourselves. Right now, when I am writing this article, I am trying to start small, I am trying to learn together and I am trying to encourage ourselves for a better future. Find a hobby and you will realize, there is so much to learn. Lots of success to you!
-Ajay Bamel | #cherishdpal