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  • Writer's pictureLester Dela Cruz

Why Hobbies Are Less Enjoyable When You are Paid to do it.

The only reality is "anxiety" in the whole chain of beings. - Albert Camus


When one enjoys a particular hobby and is employed to do it. It may seem like it's a dream come true. After all, many have experienced the euphoria of being immersed in a particular subject or action. "If I could just get paid to do this", one says, "I will never be unhappy again".


Not so fast. From experience I know this to not be true for myself and I will explain logically why it can not be true for anyone.


When one does his hobby without being employed in it. One is free from the actual repercussions of his hobby. He/she can act it without any bad consequences. He/she expresses himself/herself fully. This is the source of the joy. The idea that even for a single moment in time, you have produced something solely for your own pleasure.


When one does his/her hobby within his employment. The very fact that it's an employment means that execution of his/her hobby has consequences. Good consequences, if the work is good. Bad consequences, if the work is bad. Thus, suddenly the acting of the hobby has risks. The execution of it can not by definition be a self-expression at it's fullest. In the case of employment, a poor execution can lead to turmoil in life, such as being unemployed.


This is the price that one pays in being employed in the area of his/her hobby. One should not fool himself before experiencing it that the idea of "working in the area of your passion" will make them happy forever.


So what now? Employment will always be suffering? No. I don't believe so. The idea isn't to avoid employment but to understand its contents. If you embrace my proposition, then you embrace that it's your reality to face the anxieties and stress that comes with employment. That itself gives it its value. The trick is not to avoid the anxieties and stress that comes with employment, but find abilities within yourself to better deal with them. In my case, I read a lot of philosophy books and I go for a difficult 5k run in the summer heat of Florida. Philosophy books give me useful strategies for anxiety and stress management and running in the heat allows me to practice these strategies in a limited timeframe. It's a daily ritual that gives me the strength to fight my daily battles.

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