A whole bottle of Jim Bourbon.
That’s what I used to enjoy when I got home from a job working in a paper factory. The job was soul-crushing.
We’d stick labels on pallets. We’d take stacks of paper off one pallet and manually package them into smaller parcels to be sent by courier. Our boss was a hard ass. He went to the gym every day and loved to box.
On the weekend he’d take us to boxing matches. I’d drink like a fish and eat all the free peanuts I could. It took me a long time to figure out the peanuts made me drink more.
We had no morals. We’d whistle at the ring girls and scream “yo sexy.” Our boss taught us that. A dumb job with a dumb boss that made me dumber.
I eventually realized I had nothing to live for. The problem was I had no hobbies, no side hustles. Just a boring old job.
Many of you may be able to relate to this feeling.
Here’s how to find cool stuff to do outside of your day job, so you can be fulfilled and happy.
Follow this odd feeling to the ends of the Earth
We’re all born curious.
My 11 week old daughter is fascinated by this new toy we bought her.
It’s a fox with a rainbow face. It hangs above her when she’s in the pram. The other day I caught her looking at it for over an hour in absolute wonder. Adults are rarely this curious.
We get the curiosity beaten out of us with a baseball bat between college and our first jobs. Being curious is dangerous. You might be called a weirdo or speak out of turn. And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem.
The solution isn’t hard.
Schedule time every week to follow your curiosity. I typically do it on Tuesdays. I open up an internet browser and research odd things.
Sometimes I’ll look up old classmates. Or google my childhood home that was taken away from me in 1999. Or I’ll venture into a field like comics where I have zero interest.
Curiosity reveals new paths in life. It’s where awesome hobbies / side hustles come from.
A lack of time destroys potential hobby ideas
Hobbies take time to find. Once you have them they take time to do.
A guy I used to work with had no outside of work interests. He was one boring individual, desperate for change.
His problem was he had no free time. He said yes to everything and worked for our company seven days a week. He even worked on Christmas. The big boss saw him as a punching bag.
This led to weight, wife , and mental health issues.
Eventually another colleague saw the abuse and helped him get a job out of there, because there was no way he could have done it on his own. He was just so full of fear.
If you want to develop new interests you have to guard your time, like a puppy dog guards a fresh lamb shank from the kitchen.
The corporate lie is you have to work hard for “the man” and one day you’ll get rewarded. But they rarely tell you how, or importantly, when.
Don’t be a sucker.
One of the best feelings in the world is building your own thing. I built a tiny online empire and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. You can too.
The uncomfortable truth no one wants to hear
I’ve spent the last 9 years talking to readers and hearing about people’s life problems. The same pattern emerges over and over.
Many people feel like they’re life is screwed.
When I dig deeper it’s often because they don’t take any risks. They work in a wall-to-wall, pillow-covered bedroom. They do as they’re told. They’re skeptical AF about everything.
So of course this leads to a quiet life of hell.
Hobbies and side hustles outside of your job require you to make a series of small bets. No one bet should bankrupt or make you homeless.
But at least 1–2 small bets should have payoffs.
Otherwise you’re a walking, talking lemming who’ll likely never reach your potential. The regrets will feel far worse than the pain of rejections and failures that come with taking small bets.
Failure and rejection have become taboo.
It feels like many readers I talk to will do anything they can to avoid it. Yet I freaking love it.
Losing everything several times has taught me the resilience to get back out there, get fired, lead with assertiveness, and get whatever it is I’m chasing — at this point, it’s time with my daughter. (Everything else, I literally don’t give a crap about right now.)
The sad truth is you should want failure and rejection. They lead to growth. They unlock unlikely dreams most people fantasize about their whole lives.
The hobbies you can have outside of your job are one of the best ways to dance with the devil of risk and fall in love with her.
The bizarre thing missing from a job that a hobby gives you
A lack of meaning is the reason a lot of jobs suck.
Sometimes the best thing a job can do is give you money, then meaning can come from what you do outside of work.
But if you have no hobbies and do work with no meaning, unhappiness and a lack of fulfillment are almost guaranteed. I found one of the times I was happiest is when I volunteered at a local homeless shelter.
It got me out of my head and let me make strangers happy.
Whatever you do, don’t live a life without meaning.
The biggest excuse (other than time)
A lack of energy is the biggest excuse for not having a hobby.
It’s one that pisses me off because it’s so easy to solve. If you eat loads of junk food, drink alcohol, rarely exercise, binge-watch Netflix, and waste time yelling at strangers on social media … guess what?
You’re gonna have stuff-all energy.
So if you come home from work and have no energy, it’s time for a change. It’s time to make the obvious changes to get back your energy and use it to do something interesting outside of work. That’s the harsh truth.
A final word for the diehard employees who love their jobs
Some people love the corporate job world.
They get all hot and bothered just thinking about it. Not me. I think it’s a bloody nightmare. But even if you do worship the corporate Jesus, there are still two huge advantages to having hobbies / side hustles.
Time away from your job enhances productivity and boosts creativity. Now you can be even more badass at your job if that’s what you want.
Go get a hobby. Or try new hobbies like you just don’t care and life is fair.