If you’re not growing, they say, you’re dying. While that might not literally be the case, the basic principle holds — you’re doing yourself no favors if you’re not learning and growing. Because the world is changing all around us, we must keep pace to thrive. One way to do that is to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby, whether by yourself, with a group of friends, or even online.
Here are a few ideas to get you started, courtesy of Mindful Way Coaching.
Learn to Play an Instrument
Perhaps the quintessential example of a fun, new hobby, learning to play a musical instrument, will give you a skill that can last a lifetime. There are plenty of online lessons available, no matter what instrument you want to play. Whether you want to play the banjo or the bassoon, search “how to play the ______,” and you’ll be in business. The key to actually learning how to play is consistent practice. Don’t give up after just a couple of lessons — stick with it to really find success. In fact, you may be able to turn your love of music into a career by pursuing a master’s degree through an online program.
If you want to buy an instrument to play, make sure you do a little research first. You can consider a flute or trumpet, which will help you with breathing techniques and hand coordination. Once you have learned a bit, it’s always fun to play your instrument with other musicians. This will give you a great avenue for socialization and meeting new people as well.
If you like old-fashioned sensibilities, try your hand at calligraphy or lettering. The best place to start is with faux calligraphy, which is lettering created with a standard ballpoint or gel pen. While it’s not necessarily easy to learn, you have to relearn how to hold a pen and form letters is very different from what you would do in ordinary writing - you will find satisfaction in mastering a difficult skill. Your new lettering craft will come in handy when you need to send an invitation or write a card, and you may even save some money when it comes to sending lots of wedding or party invitations. While some nicer pens can get fairly pricey, it’s easy and inexpensive to get started. You need a regular pen and some printable worksheet sets, and you’ll be off to the races. Once you’ve been practicing for a few weeks, you can begin to learn more advanced methods.
Hiking can be a great activity to take up with a group of friends. There is nothing like finding yourself in the great outdoors, surrounded by nature, reminded of how small you are in this vast world. It gives you a sense of perspective amid the chaos of this crazy world. Plus, it’s great exercise, you get to see lots of wildlife, and you’re not staring at the same four walls you see every day. While you might not think you have many trails in your area, you may be surprised when you check the maps or guides to your local parks, especially if you live near a state or national park. Online trail listings can come in handy, particularly when traveling or just looking for a new adventure.
By the way, if you’re new to hiking, it’s a great idea to take a friend or partner with you just in case you run into some trouble. Even if you’re experienced, you should always leave a word about your plans with a friend so they can call for help if you don’t come back at the right time.
Whether you are more comfortable outdoors or inside, there is always something new to learn or do. Try one of the activities above to stretch yourself and see what you’re capable of. After all, you won’t keep pace with the rest of the world unless you push yourself. So start pushing!
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