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Do you get up early to work on your new novel before heading down to the office, or take an hour after arriving home to work on that app you’ve been programming?
If not, you probably should.
Passion projects — those hobbies that make us come alive and which we hope to someday earn a living off — are one of the best overall practices anyone can adopt for wellbeing and productivity, among other things.
Read on for more here and there reasons why your passion project isn’t just a waste of time.
It’ll keep your spirits up
Life has the potential to get even the most optimistic of people feeling blue from time to time. One night too many staying late at the office, or weekend plans falling through, can sometimes be enough to trigger a deep sense of melancholy and irritation at life in general.
Having a project that fuels your sense of excitement and engagement is a brilliant antidote to those woeful moments. Not only should the subject itself be something which you enjoy engaging with, but the knowledge that it might one day pay off and free you from your regular 9-5 grind is, in itself, a powerful mood booster and source of hope.
It’ll teach you new skills
Any project that you invest a significant amount of your time and energy in is going to teach you something. These lessons can take many forms, ranging from an entirely new skillset that you’ve had to acquire in the process of chasing your dreams (doing courses on coding so that you can program your own videogame, for example) to a series of new perspectives and trouble-solving techniques we’ve picked up along the way.
Any new skills we acquire make us better suited to excel in the workplace, as well as to forge our own destiny in general.
It’ll give you potential avenues out of your 9-5
It’s entirely possible that you don’t mind your day job — you might even quite enjoy it. Unless you’re one of the very few and lucky, however, it’s probably fair to assume that if you had to choose your “dream job”, you’d have picked something a bit different.
A passion project allows you a shot at getting out of your regular working life and into your dream career. It might not happen directly, and it might not happen quickly, but with persistence you may find that what once began as a fun hobby ended up metamorphosing into the kind of thing you could actually make a living off.
Knowing that you’re working to open new doors — whether directly, or incidentally — is a brilliant reason to spend time on your project.
It’ll make your life story more interesting
Everyone wants to have an exciting life story to leave behind, filled with Indiana-Jones-like adventure and romance.
Your side projects may or may not give you an access point for chasing ancient artifacts in the jungle, but they will give you interesting experiences and perspectives on things, and therefore, good stories to share.