I like to keep myself busy, as readers probably noticed. 🙂 But since Little Guy was born, I’ve been even more busy, so I’ve been trying to manage my time better. So, I started writing down all my little hobbies, and here’s what I found:
- Main blog (the one you’re reading right now 😉 ).
- YouTube videos (Beginner Buddhism series)
- Learning Korean: listening and vocabulary.
- Learning Japanese: listening, Heisig kanji, vocabulary.
- C++ programming, more on that in a later post
- Classic Video games
- Writing short stories, such as this one
- Playing around with FreeBSD
- Buddhism: meditation, devotionals, books/study, etc.
- Reading books by Roger Zelazny
When I wrote this down I realized I have a lot of projects!
Then, I tried to manage all these projects by scheduling different “nights” to do different projects. Thursday I would read Zelazny books, Friday I would write the blog, etc. Within a week though, I started ignoring this schedule. I spent three days playing video games, and two days reading Zelazny’s Amber series.
Then, I started thinking I might have to reduce my projects. I was inspired by this great post by Khatzumoto at AJATT. He argues that the key to success in any project is to really want it and to do that project exclusively. He had a couple good quotes that I wanted to re-post here:
- “Discipline is remembering what you want.” — David Campbell
- “Effort over time to the exclusion of other pursuits.” — Steve Martin (more on Steve Martin here, a good read)
So, if I wanted to get really good at a language like Japanese (or Korean or C++ programming), or a better writer, or a better, more professional blogger, then I would have to give up other projects and focus on that project only. The only way this would work is if I really, really liked that hobby. Because, if I don’t really like that hobby, I’ll get bored or burned out in a few weeks or months.
But now, this brings a new problem: what do I like and what should I focus on?
This is a silly question in a way: if I really like something, I won’t be asking that question right? I’ll just be really passionate about something and keep doing it. That narrows things down to Japanese language (been studying since 2009), blogging (been blogging since 2005) and studying Buddhism (also 2005). The other things are nice, but a distraction.
On the other hand, why should I give up all my other hobbies? It’s ok to suck, especially if I am happy. Sometimes small happiness is better than big happiness (e.g. success).
So, I’m in a quandry I guess. I guess I’m not dedicated or passionate about any one thing, so I am not very good at any one thing. But I would like to be good at something though. On the other hand, I enjoy many different subjects and experimenting with things.
So it’s an question of breadth (many hobbies, shallow understanding) or depth (one or two hobbies only, deep understanding).
Maybe I’m just thinking too much though. My wife often tells me that). 😉