Too Intense?

August 6, 2014

Everyone has a hobby – right? Well they should if they do not. You have to have a way to clear your mind – before work clutters it up again.

What kind of hobby? That is very personal. There are dozens of snappy quotes about hobbies and hobbyists. They have no real theme, but talk of hobbies being relaxing (or not), or financially worthwhile (or not), or just arcane (that is, boring to everyone but those involved with them).

From my perspective, I think that a good hobby (or hobbies), at least for people doing competitive intelligence, should have several elements, in no particular order:

  • Intellectually focused. If not, how can you clear your mind of all of the junk you have accumulated from the prior week’s work? You do that by filling it with new junk.
  • Satisfying. When you are done, how do you feel? Pleased is good, but so is mentally refreshed.
  • Physically active. Not vital, but all of us can use whatever help we can find to maintain or improve our health.
  • Inexpensive (relatively). Own your hobby – do not let your hobby own you.

Not annoying to your spouse/significant other. Enough said.

So what hobbies have I had or do I have?

  • Gardening – Seasonal, of course. But physically active.
  • Target shooting. It really forces you to focus, if only for short bursts of time.
  • Reading – Perhaps too much. I am reading 2-3 non-work associated books at any time.
  • Pedigreed cats – We did this for many years – breeding, showing, judging and living with them, in addition to writing multiple books about them. Demanding, but with very high levels of enjoyment.
  • Collecting beer mugs – Very demanding, requiring the regular use of all of these containers with appropriate beverages to keep them in shape (VBG).

What do they have in common (except that I do them)? They are all intense. That intensity helps to me to relax. What about you?


One Comment on “Too Intense?”

  1. Charlene says:

    Intensity to relax is a great way to phrase what I do. I am in Info Pro that provides CI as a part of the services I offer, and because the work is intense, I need that same level of intensity to relax. I usually call it ‘focus’ when I try to explain it to friends and associates.

    Two that we share:

    Reading: I usually have up to 5 novels being read at any given time. Which one I pick up will depend on my mood and need for intensity. The only genre I don’t read is fantasy. But the demand on my attention and imagination can be intense – from highly technical sci-fi to military suspense, from historical romance to thriller.

    Target Shooting: not something I do regularly, but it’s a great physical activity that puts me in a very different environment, and something I’m good at so it supports my need to be competitive with someone (my husband)

    Another hobby I have:

    Shooting pool: I shoot pool on a league, every Sunday evening. The level of focus needed to be competitive is perfect for me, while also putting me in an environment where I can socialize with a variety of people while helping my team mates to win with encouragement and support.

    There used to be more, but since becoming a business owner in 2008 I’ve struggled to keep them up and have been able to keep these three. The others may or may not be added back into my life.

    Great post!


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