From late 2016 through most of 2017 I amped up some of my hobbies. I went all in on my hobbies of flipping motorcycles. I can’t recall, but I think I’ve bought and sold at least 15 motorcycles in that year alone. Then I took up building things. Nothing crazy, but I’ve built stuff out of old pallets, surplus Army ammo cans and even more recently I started building up this wrecked scooter I bought to have a Mad Max look.
I’m not going to bore you with scientific details on why hobbies are good for you. But I’ll just share how it’s benefited my life. For starters I love working with my hands. To me it’s very therapeutic because it helps me feel competent. Yep, it makes me feel smart and that I am able to do something.
Doing something that helped me feel smart and capable allows me to find confidence. Even if I’m not good at what I’m working on, I’ve learned that the more I do these things, the better I become at them. I’ll give you an example. I got into building Bluetooth speaker systems out of US Army surplus ammo cans. These cans have been sitting in the desert for years not being used for anything. So I got a handful of them and started to work. When I first got into it, I had basic tools. My first ammo can was…OK, not great but just OK. The second one was much better. The third ammo can was even nicer than the one previous to it. I had added some new features to it that made me really proud. On my fourth can, I made it smaller, but it had all the options of the previous model. Since I’ve built a few of these, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. In fact, after I built the 4th one, I knew that the 5th model will be even better. Now I know exactly what I’ll need to do to perfect the build.
Anyhow, working with my hands doesn’t stop with these ammo cans. Not too long ago my daughter and I took on a repair on her car that I’ve never done before. So we bought some tools and the parts needed and replaced the CV axle on her car. It was a great experience and my kid was able to be part of it too.
I’m sure the things I’ve mentioned aren’t as fancy as some of the real life Ron Swansons out there. But to me, they’re huge. They’re significant because during the times that I felt the worst about myself, my hobbies helped me feel good that I could create/fix and make things better.