“So are you serious about this?”
My teacher asked me that about half way through my first surf lesson last week in Long Beach.
Apparently they have nicknames for people who came in for surf lessons just to take the Instagram photo. They see couples all the time take lessons and pose for photos and spend 30 minutes in the water and quit.
I said “Yeah! definitely.”
But the truthfully I wasn’t so sure. Why was I out here?
Because I’ve done this before. How many new hobbies have I let slip?
It’s like the piano lessons we have as kids. Terrible at the time but oh don’t we wish we could make magic on those keys today?
I was a videographer for about 2 months. My first “big” payday was a video project for $500
$500!! At the time it felt huge. Had I have been smarter I would have doubled down on the video direction. Funny because I’m trying to get back into it now.
It's like all the skills we hoped we had, are skills we actually took a stab at building but didn’t follow through. That’s probably not a coincidence..
Somehow we never made it to escape velocity.
We start, and we think for a second, “this won’t be that bad, I might get good at this.”
And then we realize how terrible we are.
And then we buy into comparison.
And there’s a momentum-death where we quit.
This is mostly triggered by our false narrative of what the end goal of most hobbies are for. That there is no end goal.
We don’t need to get huge.
Hobbies are the things we have for ourselves. The things that we have energy and passion to share with others. Those things don’t have to change. They can’t be taken away from you. Even after a long day at work you can get pleasure from an hour of guitar or drawing.
They're a constant in our lives when not much else is. This is why it’s so important to have satisfying hobbies. We build them over a lifetime. To go deep you have to commit. And to commit you should think about it as something for the long run. Look at the the benefits that don’t include fame.
You can’t buy the pleasure that comes from getting really good at your hobbies.
You can’t fake your way into community where others put in the time.
And not all pursuits are failures if they don’t make you famous.