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Hobbies & the Dilemma of Trying to do Too Much

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While I've known this fact about me for awhile, it's really something that I've been focused on NOT doing, but still find myself falling into old habits/traps. 

That is, there are 4-5 things in my life that I want to master, and it's virtually impossible to master all at the same time, but in a list of priorities, I can't seem to come to a conclusion on how they rank and which of these goals, I should focus on first. 

Anybody else suffer from something similar? You have a ton you want to accomplish, but you realize you don't accomplish any of them because you keep jumping to another one of your 5 (of whatever our number is)? 

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Hmm so are you talking about hobbies (as in things you're interested in and activities you enjoy doing) or accomplishments (as in new skills you want to learn and master)? Because I think there's a big difference even if sometimes there's an overlap between the two. It's easy when it comes to hobbies; whenever you have free time simply choose whatever you want to do most at that exact point. As for acquiring new specific skills, it's important to fully focus on one at a time. As you said yourself, jumping from one to another is extremely detrimental to the learning progress. 

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1 minute ago, nudge said:

Hmm so are you talking about hobbies (as in things you're interested in and activities you enjoy doing) or accomplishments (as in new skills you want to learn and master)? Because I think there's a big difference even if sometimes there's an overlap between the two. It's easy when it comes to hobbies; whenever you have free time simply choose whatever you want to do most at that exact point. As for acquiring new specific skills, it's important to fully focus on one at a time. As you said yourself, jumping from one to another is extremely detrimental to the learning progress. 

I guess skills in this sort, but really mine seem to overlap so much that the line is blurred. 

For instance, there are some certifications that I want and would serve me well to receive for work. I also am working more on my chess game and trying to reach the top 100 rated players in my state, as well as still training to break a 4 hour marathon, and working on my Spanish. This all on top of my usual duties as a husband, father and a bibliophile. 

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2 minutes ago, Eco said:

I guess skills in this sort, but really mine seem to overlap so much that the line is blurred. 

For instance, there are some certifications that I want and would serve me well to receive for work. I also am working more on my chess game and trying to reach the top 100 rated players in my state, as well as still training to break a 4 hour marathon, and working on my Spanish. This all on top of my usual duties as a husband, father and a bibliophile. 

There's sadly only a finite amount of time, energy, and resources available to us. Maybe it would make sense to start with recognising the limits on your time and ability to pursue all your goals simultaneously and accept that you can't have it all... :) at least not all at the same time anyway. You said it yourself - it's important to set your priorities for things at various points of your life and make trade-offs based on that. It's not much of an advice but in the end only you can figure out what's most important to you and work on it while you put other things on hold.

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1 minute ago, nudge said:

There's sadly only a finite amount of time, energy, and resources available to us. Maybe it would make sense to start with recognising the limits on your time and ability to pursue all your goals simultaneously and accept that you can't have it all... :) at least not all at the same time anyway. You said it yourself - it's important to set your priorities for things at various points of your life and make trade-offs based on that. It's not much of an advice but in the end only you can figure out what's most important to you and work on it while you put other things on hold.

Oh dear, I can't accept that there are things I want to accomplish in my life but can't do to a lack of time, energy, and resources. I am wayyyy too stubborn for that. xD

I have started making a list of 4-5 things that are important to me, and trying to rank them in order of difficult, time to completion (if there is a completion), and the amount of time I would need to dedicate to each to successfully achieve it. I'm thinking that mentally, it might be better to make a list of things I want to be completed by the age of 35, and then again at 40 (I'm 32 now, 33 next week). 

You are someone who has a ton of hobbies and things you want to accomplish. How do you sort through them and making sure you complete or advance in them instead of just getting burdened by having so much on your plate? 

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5 minutes ago, Eco said:

Oh dear, I can't accept that there are things I want to accomplish in my life but can't do to a lack of time, energy, and resources. I am wayyyy too stubborn for that. xD

I have started making a list of 4-5 things that are important to me, and trying to rank them in order of difficult, time to completion (if there is a completion), and the amount of time I would need to dedicate to each to successfully achieve it. I'm thinking that mentally, it might be better to make a list of things I want to be completed by the age of 35, and then again at 40 (I'm 32 now, 33 next week). 

You are someone who has a ton of hobbies and things you want to accomplish. How do you sort through them and making sure you complete or advance in them instead of just getting burdened by having so much on your plate? 

I know and I can certainly relate to that; but at some point sooner or later you'll have to accept that... Because otherwise emotional exhaustion and burnout is what happens when you try to bite off more than you can chew... 

As for me, I have a lot of things that I'm interested in and a lot of activities I enjoy doing; I just choose and rotate between them however I see fit whenever I have free time. As for things I want to accomplish...I think you have a bit of a wrong  impression of me there. My primary goal in life - as corny and vague as it sounds - is just to enjoy living and I prioritise things mostly based on that. I'm a naturally curious person and so there are many things that I would like to do and learn and skills I would like to acquire in life if possible but I don't have set goals for accomplishing any of it and don't pressure myself into achieving something arbitrary "by the age of X" as it really doesn't matter to me. The only goals where I set deadlines for myself are either specific short-term goals (e.g. new skills or qualifications that would mean a better prospects and pay at work) or milestones that are necessary to complete a specific longer-term plan (e.g. if I decide to move to another country or start a business or change the career completely or whatever). Other than that, all of it is nothing more than interests and hobbies to me and I just engage in them as I please - simply because I get enjoyment out of it. If I become extremely good at it at some point then that's a nice bonus, but all in all I don't really care...

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I'm 21 and i still don't know what i want to do in life and lots of things(skills) i want to do

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@Eco My advice to help your dilemma 

first step of trying to not to do everything, stop changing your profile picture every now and then :coffee:

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7 minutes ago, Azeem said:

I'm 21 and i still don't know what i want to do in life and lots of things(skills) i want to do

I'm 32, and only realized what I really enjoy doing 3-4 years ago. 

But I'm also of the personality that there are 4-5 things that I would be happy doing. I just had to think about finances with my family, and long term strategy. 

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3 minutes ago, Azeem said:

@Eco My advice to help your dilemma 

first step of trying to not to do everything, stop changing your profile picture every now and then :coffee:

Naw - I like to see things interesting. 

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I got the impression from what you posted in the Off Topic thread that these hobbies already exist just that you were struggling to juggle them and fit them all in?? Sounds a bit different now... As Nudge has already stated a hobby is something you can pick up and drop as it suits you, depending on the time you have available you can go between one or the other without too much bother and it's just a matter of working out what it is you fancy doing out of them. Learning something new is a different beast altogether. 

Coursework or working towards achieving a certificate of any serious nature takes dedication especially if it it proves to be a worthwhile addition for your work as this will also serve you well for the future so if that's the case and you really do want it/them then you need to knuckle down your spare time into achieving one before thinking of moving on to other things.

Learning to improve your chess game or taking part in a marathon and learning Spanish is something you can do over a longer period of time. As for sorting through what to put first would be down to how much you desire each thing.. If you continue to try and juggle all of them there is a good chance you will end up mastering nothing in the long term and all the things you wanted will end up fading away over time or with you failing to really achieve anything of significance... 

Without knowing what the work related material is I will guess that the Marathon will be your biggest consumer of time, running/training etc takes increasing amounts of time and effort to be at the right fitness levels as well as the proper amount of rest between training for the body to recover and that means sleep, something I found hard to come by with a family and work commitments in tow. Try to be realistic about what you can do with your time. A marathon would be a nice accomplishment but is it the most important thing for you to finish right now??

Chess and Spanish you can at least do with the minimum physical effort for example... trying to do them all will end up making you tired mentally and physically and no-one performs at their best under those conditions.. 

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5 minutes ago, Bluewolf said:

I got the impression from what you posted in the Off Topic thread that these hobbies already exist just that you were struggling to juggle them and fit them all in?? Sounds a bit different now... As Nudge has already stated a hobby is something you can pick up and drop as it suits you, depending on the time you have available you can go between one or the other without too much bother and it's just a matter of working out what it is you fancy doing out of them. Learning something new is a different beast altogether. 

Coursework or working towards achieving a certificate of any serious nature takes dedication especially if it it proves to be a worthwhile addition for your work as this will also serve you well for the future so if that's the case and you really do want it/them then you need to knuckle down your spare time into achieving one before thinking of moving on to other things.

Learning to improve your chess game or taking part in a marathon and learning Spanish is something you can do over a longer period of time. As for sorting through what to put first would be down to how much you desire each thing.. If you continue to try and juggle all of them there is a good chance you will end up mastering nothing in the long term and all the things you wanted will end up fading away over time or with you failing to really achieve anything of significance... 

Without knowing what the work related material is I will guess that the Marathon will be your biggest consumer of time, running/training etc takes increasing amounts of time and effort to be at the right fitness levels as well as the proper amount of rest between training for the body to recover and that means sleep, something I found hard to come by with a family and work commitments in tow. Try to be realistic about what you can do with your time. A marathon would be a nice accomplishment but is it the most important thing for you to finish right now??

Chess and Spanish you can at least do with the minimum physical effort for example... trying to do them all will end up making you tired mentally and physically and no-one performs at their best under those conditions.. 

Great post, so thank you. 

Yes, I certainly have mixed up what is a hobby with that of what's considered a skill. You have children so I know you understand the amount of time being a good husband/father takes. 

There are two certs that will take me approximately 3-6 months EACH to get, and once I get those, my time should free up significantly, and my income will likely (almost) double. For some reason, I struggle with these certs as I spend more time on my hobbies and thus utilize all my free time doing fun and entertaining things, compared to that which I NEED to do to better my life. 

Just a absolute lack of prioritization and focus on my end. Frustrating, but hopefully admitting it will mean that I will finally be able to move in the right direction. 

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44 minutes ago, Azeem said:

I'm 21 and i still don't know what i want to do in life and lots of things(skills) i want to do

Are you talking about hobbies or work related stuff?? 

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1 minute ago, Bluewolf said:

Are you talking about hobbies or work related stuff?? 

Work related

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2 minutes ago, Azeem said:

Work related

It may sound cheesy, but have you heard of the website https://16personalities.com? You just answer a few questions, and it gives you a type of personality it believes you to be based on your answers. With that, it also gives you ideas for jobs people like you typically enjoy, what to avoid, and what makes you happy. 

Might be worth a shot. 

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1 minute ago, Eco said:

It may sound cheesy, but have you heard of the website https://16personalities.com? You just answer a few questions, and it gives you a type of personality it believes you to be based on your answers. With that, it also gives you ideas for jobs people like you typically enjoy, what to avoid, and what makes you happy. 

Might be worth a shot. 

I opened a thread for it about a year ago. Did the the test three times with some changes in answers i wasn't sure about got INFJ- The Advocate every time and agreed 100% of it with parts i was interested in.

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1 minute ago, Azeem said:

Work related

I know a few people I have met over time a lot older than you that still don't know where they want to be or what they want to be doing but they are such great personalities and have passion for the things they do and are just great people to be around... sooner or later you will find something that drives you and gives you enjoyment and when you do find that and it puts a smile on your face achieving it then throw everything into it.. Never be afraid to take chances either, if something does not work out then move on and try something else.. you are still young and have some time yet to settle on something that gives you a lot of satisfaction.. 

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4 minutes ago, Azeem said:

I opened a thread for it about a year ago. Did the the test three times with some changes in answers i wasn't sure about got INFJ- The Advocate every time and agreed 100% of it with parts i was interested in.

haha nice. I am also an INFJ

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4 minutes ago, Eco said:

It may sound cheesy, but have you heard of the website https://16personalities.com? You just answer a few questions, and it gives you a type of personality it believes you to be based on your answers. With that, it also gives you ideas for jobs people like you typically enjoy, what to avoid, and what makes you happy. 

Might be worth a shot. 

Don't do it for anything but a light-hearted entertainment though. The whole personality types theories stuff is controversial from the scientific standpoint already; as a trained I/O psychologist who worked a lot with personality type theories as part of the research as well as did a lot of paid work on development and validation of personality assessment tools for recruitment companies - it's a load of bollocks, the results are pretty much meaningless and shouldn't be applied in order to evaluate someone's suitability for a certain job.

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14 minutes ago, nudge said:

Don't do it for anything but a light-hearted entertainment though. The whole personality types theories stuff is controversial from the scientific standpoint already; as a trained I/O psychologist who worked a lot with personality type theories as part of the research as well as did a lot of paid work on development and validation of personality assessment tools for recruitment companies - it's a load of bollocks, the results are pretty much meaningless and shouldn't be applied in order to evaluate someone's suitability for a certain job.

I agree, and there was a point in my life where I considered the field of I/O Psychology as a neighbor is one for Home Depot. It's entertaining, interesting, and in my case, says a lot of things that actually do seem to be tendencies of mine. But I don't live my life by it by any means, just was trying to find another avenue for our man Azeem. 

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2 minutes ago, Eco said:

I agree, and there was a point in my life where I considered the field of I/O Psychology as a neighbor is one for Home Depot. It's entertaining, interesting, and in my case, says a lot of things that actually do seem to be tendencies of mine. But I don't live my life by it by any means, just was trying to find another avenue for our man Azeem. 

I graduated in Organisational and Social Psychology and then moved to Cognitive Science for a broader and more scientific approach as I never intended to work in recruitment or HR (except a few well paid short time gigs). Found out that I can't stand the bullshit in academia though so left it soon enough and that was the end of my career as a researcher xD It's definitely a very interesting discipline but also has a lot of shortcomings. Personality psychology is definitely one of them :ph34r:

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11 minutes ago, nudge said:

I graduated in Organisational and Social Psychology and then moved to Cognitive Science for a broader and more scientific approach as I never intended to work in recruitment or HR (except a few well paid short time gigs). Found out that I can't stand the bullshit in academia though so left it soon enough and that was the end of my career as a researcher xD It's definitely a very interesting discipline but also has a lot of shortcomings. Personality psychology is definitely one of them :ph34r:

From my understanding, there are a lot of theories, but not a ton of hard facts. Interesting, but I can imagine it'd get frustrating. 

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3 minutes ago, Eco said:

From my understanding, there are a lot of theories, but not a ton of hard facts. Interesting, but I can imagine it'd get frustrating. 

It's all just not very scientific... I mean personality psychologists can't even agree on an operational definition of personality to start with; ... Psychology as a whole can be quite a bit complicated in that aspect as it deals with subject matter such as theoretical concepts and mental/inner processes that can't be measured directly. 

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21 hours ago, Azeem said:

I'm 21 and i still don't know what i want to do in life and lots of things(skills) i want to do

You’ve got loads of time. Society (or societies) may pressure us but don’t panic.

Personally I have a long list of skills I want to learn but I am lazy at starting them. My excuse has been that with my work I get home often so mentally and physically drained I just wanna play Xbox or watch Netflix. I have to become more active. 

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