I have been criticized from time to time for having too many hobbies. People have warned me that having so many distractions will cause me to have a lack of focus. Others say that I will never be really good at anything. I have to admit that being a generalist has its challenges, but I don’t think it’s possible to have too many hobbies. It has been said that variety is the spice of life.
It’s been a while since I picked up my guitars, but I have noticed over the years, that when I pick up a guitar after a long absence, I actually play better than when I am doing it regularly. That seems to be counter-intuitive because logically I would think that a lack of practice would cause ones skills to degrade. In some things like flight simulators and flying, the obvious seems to be true because I have to re-learn the controls each time I fly.
The difference between flying and playing guitar for me would be the number hours spent doing these things over my life time. I started playing guitar at age six and have played regularly most of my life. I just started flying 30 years ago and have spent many years between sessions. I never finished my actual license and I only get the flight simulator out each Christmas break.
In the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, he observed that it takes at least 10,000 hours for a person to master any task. Once a task is mastered, I would suggest to you that you can step away from it and come back with a similar or improved ability. The improved part is still a bit of a mystery to me, but I have experienced it first hand.
So what has this got to do with the number of hobbies that any one person should have?
At many times in my career I have been in positions that required me to bond with the people that I was working with or working for. The more knowledge that you have and the more hobbies that you have, make this task more likely to succeed. The best part is that sharing a hobby is enjoyable. Sharing a hobby with a person who is passionate forms a stronger bond with the added benefit of improving your own skills.
I enjoy so many different things and the fact that I have so many hobbies, makes every day a new adventure and an opportunity to learn something new.