Multiple Directions, One Journey

It’s good to have hobbies.  A hobby can challenge the mind, body, and spirit in ways that other areas of our lives might not.  It can lead to friendships with others who share that hobby.  And sometimes hobbies can lead us on alternate career paths.

Diversity is good.  In scientific pursuit, in academia, in business, and in the environment, diversity is not only important, but essential to long-term sustainability.

What if we apply those two principles to our individual lives and pursue diverse hobbies?  Maybe diversity in our own pursuits can promote similar benefits as it does on an organizational or societal level.

In my own case, I love to write but sometimes writer’s block sets in and I can’t find the words.  Usually when that happens I become re-inspired by my love of photography and pursue that with greater intensity.  During times when my interest in photography wanes, ideas for writing projects are more likely to flow.  Having these multiple creative outlets gives me different ways to express myself and each gives me a mental break from the other to recharge my brain.  And on days when I don’t have the energy for either one, I sit back and listen to some inspiring music.

Paris from the Arc de TriompheA similar need applies to our careers.  The old cliche about “all work and no play” is still relevant today.  You can’t thrive in a career, or as an entrepreneur, if you struggle with burnout.  Much smarter people than me agree with this.

I’m not talking about multitasking.  Multitasking has been demonstrated to be something of a myth and it does not improve our productivity, or the quality of our output, in the long run.

Sustained periods of focused effort are still important.  But when we need a mental or emotional break, having another means of creative expression might be just the ticket.  Multiple directions might, over the course of time, be an integral part of the same journey.

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