Got interests? Then get going!

Are you feeling burnt out, stressed out, and generally lost in life? Do you find yourself spending your days doing things you really don’t enjoy doing at all? How long do you plan on continuing this unsatisfying life you’ve designed for yourself?

The only person in charge of your life is you, and you can stop drifting through life by choosing to take conscious action to include more satisfying and fulfilling activities in your life. The question is, are you aware of what things you truly enjoy doing?

Some people have spent so many years doing things that they really didn’t want to do that they no longer know what it is that they actually like doing. If you live your life by making decisions based on a sense of duty to others, you’re really not living your own life. You’re just being a slave to what you think others want to you to do.

Take charge of your life, and use your free time to participate in activities that you find personally satisfying and fulfilling. And if you have absolutely no idea what these satisfying activities might be, then take a bit of time to discover who you really are. What are your interests, skills, and passions?

The more time you spend doing the things you really enjoy, the more satisfied you’ll be in life. So let’s get started, by making yet another list. Sit down with your journal, a piece of paper, or a blank document on your computer, and list at least 10 responses for each of the following categories:

  • Things you really love doing.
  • Hobbies you love. Or wish you had more time to do. Or would love to try.
  • Things that make you feel good.
  • Activities that energise you.
  • Things you like to do when you’re on holiday.
  • Activities that de-stress you.
  • Things you enjoy learning or want to learn.
  • Skills you have. Things you know you’re good at
  • Subjects you most enjoy reading about, in books, magazines, on the web, or wherever.

How was that? You should now have at least 90 different things on your big list. Some categories are similar, so there may be some cross over.

Now go through the list and filter out the top ten interests that really make your heart sing. Which activities do you really enjoy doing? What skills do you most enjoy using? Next, rank those ten in order, from one to ten.

Finally, look for ways to include these activities in your life whenever possible. Want to de-stress after a long work day? Do you tend to sit around staring a the TV just because that’s how your partner likes to de-stress? If you’ve determined that reading is high on your list of interests, grab a book and read while your partner watches TV.

Resist the urge to submit to a sense of duty to always do what someone else wants to do. There are ways of combining activities, and it’s perfect fine if you want to do something else altogether, like take your book to the bathroom for a long bubble bath. It may take some mind training to learn that it’s okay for you to have your own interests and passions in life, so don’t beat yourself up if you find it challenging to add more of these activities on your list into your weekly schedule. But don’t give up, either!

What were the top things that came up for you? Were any of them a surprise, or were they things you were already aware that you enjoyed?

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  1. Who am I? Taking a look at interests « Ready to Bloom with Holly Worton - September 20, 2011

    [...] already written a post on interests, so I won’t repeat myself here. I’ll just copy the main part of the [...]

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