The Death of the Hobby

You don’t know why you started doing it.

You don’t really know why you love it so much.

And you certainly aren’t doing it for anyone else.

It is our hobbies that define us more deeply than anything else in our lives. It is what you do with your time when there is no burden of expectation, financial gain, or personal need of an ego boost. It is what we do with the greatest gift of all.

Freedom.

However, slowly but surely there is a growing movement that is hijacking this vital element of our identity. With the evolution of social media and these incredible mobile devices there is a emerging segment of society that believes the best way to take control of our lives is to become an entrepreneur.

Sure it is an easy argument to make. Wouldn’t you prefer to make your living selling your homemade scarves rather than loading boxes on a truck at the local plant? Or how about opening a store to display and sell your handmade jewellery rather than pushing papers in a 10 x 10 cubicle for 40 hours per week.

The answer is not as clear as you think it is.

The problem is that when we turn our hobbies into a business the “why” fundamentally changes, or gets massively overshadowed by the goal of turning a profit. Yes you like making 1 scarf, but do you like making 10,000?

With that kind of success you are forced to partner with a friend who knows how to build and maintain your online store, you have to field dozens of customer complaints daily, there are 50 – 100 employees to manage, and a manufacturing facility to maintain. And yes, you are also likely getting wealthy from it all. But man, what you wouldn’t give to just sit down on a Saturday afternoon and knit a scarf.

But there is no time for that.

You need a new marketing plan for the slower summer season, perhaps you want to infiltrate the southern hemisphere so at least part of your customer base is in winter at all times. Time to book some flights to meet with local distributers in Chile and New Zealand. In order to pay for this expansion you’ve had to give a portion of your company to some investors who are now trying to convince you to change to cheaper material to increase profits. You refuse but they manage to convince your initial partner of the idea and together they force you out.

Don’t get me wrong I think there are many people out there who would be incredibly happy with this kind of lifestyle, but what are the chances it’s the same person who likes to knit scarves while sitting in their rocking chair?

Not everyone in the world is an entrepreneur waiting to happen.

For a long time I thought I was. I looked tediously through my childhood photos, artwork, poetry, projects, sport accomplishments, and so much more. I was desperately looking for that one passion that I could turn into a money maker. I’ve tried writing blogs, posting videos on YouTube, and creating gigs on fiverr. The truth is that I really liked the functionality of each of those platforms but I have always hated the money making aspect.

The shameless self-promotion, the manipulation of video thumbnails to get more clicks, the strategic commenting to get views and follows. I hated it all. I just don’t have it in my blood to go out and grind for growth. Other people do and that’s great, but it is not me.

Since I have come to this realization I have become a lot more satisfied with where I am in life. I really do have things pretty good. My plan right now is to get back to having and developing those hobbies I most enjoy. To pay attention to who I am and what I like and pursue them on a much smaller scale. I simply need to focus on staying healthy, being a good dad/husband, and having a little fun along the way.

This One Question Could Challenge Everything You Believe

Yesterday I uploaded my latest video to YouTube and in it I ask one question (see below). The purpose of this question is not to be answered but for the viewer to realize that no answer exists. To send your mind for such a loop that it gives up. That in it’s inability to find a concrete answer it finally goes quiet.

It is in this place of stillness that peace is found. It is the indescribable beauty of the present moment. Here is a blog post of mine on a series of other beautiful quotes that can also take you there.

The most enlightened spiritual gurus on the planet spend most of their lives in this place but for the rest of us we can’t expect more than a glimpse every now and then. But it is such a rich place to be that even just a few moments can teach us so much about how to live our lives.

This is where it fits in to The Passionate Why. There is no quicker way to finding out who you really are, and what you should be doing, than quieting the mind.

Please check out my video and let me know if it has an impact on you. I will be back tomorrow with my Wednesday blog post!

Do You Want To Be The Greatest Of All Time? #GOAT

This is another quick post to inform all of my readers that I have uploaded a new video on YouTube. It is a new ‘Passion Hack’ about wanting to be the best in the world at something.

In the video I suggest that the viewer make a list of the first 16 things that come to mind if they can’t decide exactly the means through which they would express their world domination 🙂

Sooooo, I thought it would be fun if I shared MY list. I am sure it would have been a little different had I done this a year ago but I do feel more self aware now than I was then so this is as accurate as it gets for me. See below:

top-16

If you are having trouble with your own list of 16 maybe that will give you some ideas. Also, here is the link to this morning’s video. Enjoy and Subscribe/Follow if you want to see more!

Self-Awareness Hacks

Did you ever notice how we have this reflex of being ashamed of what we love? It’s because it’s a point of vulnerability. Yes I love this, and now that you know you can hurt me by taking it away, or saying I suck at it, or saying nobody cares.

This is why we hide, because it scares us to show who we are, because then we can be truly defeated.

Who gives a shit if our fake selves get the crap beat out of them? Or if someone says that we suck at what we do. We don’t care because we hate what we do! The minute we expose our true selves to the world then it is game on. Then we are ready to fight because there are real stakes at play.

This is your first act of true courage, to be your true self.

And a lot of the time we get so good at hiding it, we forget who we are! This happens to so many people. We play it safe. We play by the rules. And then all of sudden we start to believe that person is the real me. Then you have got a battle on your hands. Then you have got to dig through all of the bullshit layers of your life and hit the reset button.

And that’s what this site is supposed to be all about, hitting that reset button. And I’m starting to understand a lot better exactly where I fit in to this equation. Yes, I want to help people find their passion but my role is much more precise than that. Because it can be such a long and difficult process I want to be a source of what I call self awareness hacks.

It’s actually what I’ve been doing the last few years. Looking for short-cuts in this incredibly difficult and exhausting journey. These are hacks that quickly show us what are physical self is all about, and other hacks that reveal what our spiritual self is all about. I have a library of these that I’ve created over the years that I can’t wait to share with you guys. And not every one of them will work for you, but the ones that do will be incredibly valuable.

And most importantly I want to hear about your self awareness hacks. What tricks have you learned over the years that provided incredible insight into who you are, and what you should be doing?

Thanks for reading!

How To Discover Your Natural Skillset

One of the biggest breakthroughs I had during this entire journey of finding my passion happened when I decided to take a very specific look at my own history. In the interest of finding out exactly WHAT I should be doing, and HOW I should be doing it, I decided to make a list of all of those skills, or areas of interest, that I had completely taught myself with very little outside help.

These could be things that you did on your own time and never have told a single person about. Or it may be well known that these skills are your specialty. Be sure to leave out any skills that came natural to you without practice. While these provide a certain insight they lack an element of choice which is key in this approach.

For the purpose of this exercise I suggest that you now make a list of at least 10 skills, or areas of expertise, that were self-taught. This may take some time. I would expect anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes as you think back over your childhood, your teen years, early adulthood and so forth. To assist you in developing your own list I have included my list below. It will help provide an idea of what you should be looking for.

  1. Play the guitar
  2. Write a choose your own adventure story
  3. Video editing
  4. Become a ball hockey goalie
  5. Started writing a blog
  6. Maintaining a detailed home budget
  7. Taught myself about Spirituality
  8. Creating Presentations
  9. Beating Mortal Kombat on one quarter
  10. Hip Hop dancing – at least the early 90’s style 🙂
  11. Performing lacrosse type floor hockey dangles
  12. Designing fun trivia questions

Now that you have your list I want you to go through each item on your list and come up with 3 or 4 reasons of WHY you decided to learn that particular skill or area of expertise. Again, to assist you I will provide my list with the reasons for each item.

  1. Play the guitar
    • Coolness factor, Could replicate the work of musicians I admired and the songs I loved, play songs at parties
  2. Write a choose your own adventure story
    • Loved reading them, Fun to Share, Liked creating stories
  3. Hip Hop dancing – at least early 90’s style 🙂
    • To have fun, to impress, create a show, do what others couldn’t
  4. Video editing
    • Simply Loved it, Enjoyment, Coolness factor, To impress and entertain
  5. Become a ball hockey goalie
    • Enjoyed it, Influence the result, Was good at it, Independance
  6. Started writing a blog
    • Enjoyed expressing myself, Liked to write short articles, Integrating with other social media, Liked the immediate feedback
  7. Maintaining a detailed home budget
    • Necessity, Enabled me to relax about finances, Could plan big expenditures
  8. Taught myself about Spirituality
    • Soothed the intensity of my depression, Was very profound, Offered explanations for the deepest questions
  9. Creating Presentations
    • Showmanship, to impress, to be interesting, to be profound
  10. Performing lacrosse type floor hockey dangles
    • Coolness factor, the challenge, Recorded on video to create a show, wanted to impress

Don’t continue to read past this point until you have finished your why’s for each item. The next portion is what provides the most insight and I don’t want to influence your why responses based on how it impacts what happens next.

Now that you have completed all of your why’s we need to look deeper. Which of the items now seems to stand out from the rest. Of all the why’s you have given, which ones resonate most deeply with who you are. The method I used for doing this was that I looked for the word “Love”. If one of these skills could evoke such a powerful emotion than I needed to pay close attention to them. You could use this approach as well, or try something else if you don’t toss around love in this context like me. Look for words that indicate that something deeply visceral is happening here. Maybe the word ‘joy’, or ‘happy’.

Regardless, I took the three items with the word ‘love’ and exclusively focused on them. They are:

  1. Play the guitar
    • Coolness factor, Could replicate the work of musicians I admired and the songs I loved, play songs at parties
  2. Write a choose your own adventure story
    • Loved reading them, Fun to Share, Liked creating stories
  3. Video editing
    • Simply Loved it, Enjoyment, Coolness factor, To impress and entertain

The next thing I did was look at all of the other why’s I gave for these skills. I saw things like Coolness, playing at parties, sharing, creating stories, enjoyment, entertaining.

It didn’t take long for the idea of starting a YouTube channel to come to the forefront of my mind. I would definitely enjoy making cool & entertaining videos and sharing them with others online!

This approach definitely seemed to work out well for me. I am patient zero though. If anyone reading this decides to give this a try I would absolutely love to hear how it went. Please tell me whether or not it provided any insight into what you should be doing with your life. At the very least it should help create a deeper sense of self awareness and act as another big step down this road towards passion.

The next step is about content. In a future post I will tell you how I decided what my YouTube channel should be about.