Creative passions, passion projects, side projects, hobbies whatever its called these days, simply put is an activity that you take on during your free time for the pure purpose of pursuing something you are passionate about that brings pleasure, relaxation and enjoyment.
As adults, I think sometimes we forget to take time off. We have so many responsibilities. We have so many things to get done. We focus on our jobs. We come home and focus on the tasks at home, our chores and our children for example. More often than not, we would go back to getting some work done before we call it a day. The cycle continues and we forget to focus on ourselves. We push back the things that we really want to do, that brings us joy.
For many years, I pursued work relentlessly but I had always told myself that one day I will take time to do something that I really loved. Like learning a new language, or travel the world or pick up sewing just for the fun of it. We all have these lists. These project ideas that seem fun to do and pops up in our minds out of the blue but we tell ourselves, maybe later when I have more time or more money or when the kids are older. You know what I’m talking about.
Whether you have a deep passion for your job or not, each and every one of us should not wait to start a creative side project that we have always wanted to pursue outside of our work scope.
I had the opportunity to take a short break from my career. During that short break, I explored many different things I had always wanted to do. I took up an NLP course, a coaching course, I learned to sew, I explored journaling as a hobby and other passion projects that I have always wanted to do.
Now that I am back into full-time employment, I continue to make time for my creative pursuits. I started blogging again more consistently. I took up journaling seriously. I started to crochet. I go for karaoke sessions. I actively seek new skills and knowledge in pursuit of personal development. These are things that I pursue out of my 9 to 5 and I enjoy them tremendously.
While I love my job as a marketing professional, there is a difference in how I view my life now that I make time for leisure activities, compared to how I used to operate in the past when I was fully focused on work.
I Feel More Accomplished
Work can be daunting. There are many challenges and sometimes you won’t be able to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself, often due to external factors. In achieving work goals, you rarely are able to achieve something without the help of others. There are positives to this when you are working with people that have the same intentions as you do, but what about working with people who are not team players? Then there are other challenges that can create stumbling blocks like budgets, operations and other organizational setbacks.
Pursuing creative passions allows me to accomplish projects on my own terms. I don’t need to wait for anyone. I don’t need to get approvals. There are no red tapes. They are goals that are simpler to achieve but yet provide a deep satisfaction upon completion. For example, when I publish a blog post, there is a sense of achievement and pride that I got it done. I may not be the best blogger on earth, but I did it. I blogged.
Life Feels More Meaningful
Since I started pursuing passion projects, I’ve found life to be more enriching and it has given me a renewed sense of meaning.
Life is no longer just about achieving success at work but it’s also about enjoying life doing things I am passionate about. I look forward to the time I set aside for my creative pursuits.
I Am Less Stressed
I recently took up crocheting. It is a relaxing hobby and helps me unwind from the stress of a day’s work. I believe it has helped me manage my stress levels better and my reaction to facing challenges at work are calmer compared to the angry, screaming bitch of a boss that I was in the past. Yes, I was one of those bosses.
The same goes for how I react to my children when they do something that angers me. I (mostly) react calmer than I usually would to address a problem.
I Have Fun
Fun. Do you remember the last time you had fun? How did we forget to have fun when we became adults? I see my kids and the simplest things are fun for them; drawing, colouring, singing along to the latest hit tunes.
Making time for creative passion projects brought back the fun in my life. It makes life more enjoyable. I am also more grateful because there is so much more to look forward to, new things to learn, do and explore.
I Connect with New People from Different Backgrounds
I’ve made new friends. People who share the same passions as I do. There is nothing more wonderful than connecting with people who have the same interest as you. I meet people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds and industries. I’ve learned new things and see different perspectives from the people I meet.
My Career No Longer Defines Me
I am a marketing communications professional. I have worked in this field for more than 20 years. I like, nay, love what I do. Creating and implementing marketing strategies to resolve a business problem excites me still to this day.
However, I recently started questioning myself about my identity. Am I only a marketing communications professional? Why did I let only my career define who I am? I love, do and have achieved so many other things in life out of my chosen field of work.
Pursuing creative passion projects made me realise that I am not just a marketer; I should not be defined by my job title. I am an individual in pursuit of enjoying life through the practice of activities that I am passionate about.