Is ‘Doing What You Love’ Really the Key to Happiness?

What do you do for fun? Seems like a corny question, I know, but I’m curious to hear about people’s hobbies. Why? Because although us millennials spend around £419,556,233 each month on things like skydiving, music festivals and plane fares, I can’t think of one friend with a legit old school hobby. Seriously, when was the last time you heard a pal say they like to unwind with a little carpentry or flower pressing?

Maybe it’s more accurate to say, I don’t know anyone with a hobby that they aren’t trying to monetize. Love to code? You’ve probably built a website. Cross stitching? I’m sure I’ve seen your stuff on Etsy. Even a love of shopping has turned into a full-time for career for some people. Just take real life Nasty Gal Sophia Amoruso, who’s at-home-empire spawned into a global brand and even inspired Netflix’s latest series Girl Boss.

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It’s thanks to stories like Sophia’s, alongside nifty apps, that more and more of us are trying to profit from what is personal. We all remember the saying we heard as kids: €œChoose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.€ It’s millennials that are putting that saying into practice. With fewer jobs in the market and even fewer reasons to stay in one job, we’ve used our hobbies and skill sets to explore a wider variety of options. Young people today have become masters at taking what they love and what they are good at into self-employment and entrepreneurial goals.

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And who can blame us? According to the job market, most of us are overeducated and underpaid, with little chance of hitting the goals that marked the previous generations. We don’t get married, we can’t buy homes and our predicted retirement age is 74. It’s no wonder productivity and experiences have come to replace traditional goals – and turn our hobbies into the ultimate ventures.

It's all good 🌈🦋🌼

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Of course this its advantages. If we are going to be working for 10 more years than previous generations, why not at least enjoy it, choose our working hours and pave our own career? But on the flipside, it can bring incredible pressure. How do you turn off and relax when your only hobby has become your livelihood? Or worst of all, how do you deal when your passions can’t bring you profit?

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Success can feel super overwhelming (and out of reach) when you constantly being told that you should love what you do all the time. But the truth is you can’t love what you do every minute of every single day, not matter how #blessed you feel. Most importantly, we shouldn’t feel guilty when we find it hard. No matter if it’s a passion project or a long-term dream – they call it work for a reason.

In a recent interview, Goldie Hawn told daughter Kate that starting with a dream is a common mistake. Goldie told Kate: ‘I believe you have to start with a craft; you don’t just start with a dream. You’ve got to put a lot of work in. If you want to pursue acting, then you go to acting class… When you’re young, you start looking at what you want to do – not just who you want to be, but what you want to do. Learn what it is to sweat. Learn what it is to fail. Learn how to take rejection. Don’t personalize it.

‘Branch out and learn how to do other things. Dreams sometimes don’t work out. But what will carry you through your life is the authenticity of who you are. Start with learning how to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. And be really good at it.’

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Start with a hammer? Maybe we’ve found ourselves an old school hobby to try after all. From now on, I’ll be trying to stay sane with a little advice from the Goldie Age and try learning when to put it down and pick up something else, when to monetise something and when to just enjoy doing something, simply for the sake of it. No profit required.

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