Is it a waste of life to spend time on a hobby that does not pay?

NO if it is something that has given you joy and respite. Here I assume hobby means you are doing something that you enjoy. Spending time on something you enjoy doing has a nourishing effect on the mind and spirit. It is a respite from the daily demands of the world.

What I consider a waste of time is habits such as watching TV and spending excessive time mindlessly scrolling through social media. I had wasted countless hours of my time watching drama series and sitcoms. After all these years, I could not think of any value that I have derived from being hypnotized on the idiot box for hours at end. 

On the other hand, I started making crafts during the peak of the stress studying for exams. Using the right side of my brain provided a desperate escape from the enormous pressure I was feeling. And producing various combination brought up the creativity that had laid dormant.

At the same time, I started exploring arts and crafts forums where crafters gather and discuss about their creations, life and challenges. Some crafters started sharing their websites. I went to check out their websites and was so inspired that I wanted to make one of my own. That was when my journey into building websites begin. 

I started building a humble Geocities site. I did my own templates and upload it on the site. I enjoyed tweaking and changing it so much so that I began to spend my free time focusing on the site than my craft work. That time, the site does not earn me a cent but I had lots of visitors and was happy to share my creations with the world. Eventually as visitors highlighted of bandwidth issue imposed by Yahoo which causing them unable to access, I moved my site to Blogspot and eventually in 2008, bought my own domain name and hosting. 

In my career, I was getting burnout from my entry level work. I asked and got transferred to the division which support our website, ie helping customers to troubleshoot problems and answering their emails. I got it because my interest and knowledge convinced my boss to give me a chance even though I have no formal IT training. Because of interest in websites, it was easy for me to understand the website easily and explain it to our customers.  Eventually, I was offered my ‘dream job’ which was actually customized by one of my bosses which is related to building intranets and writing communication. It become my career for almost 10 years and I got paid well for it because it had played a vital role in my department’s operation.

All this started ‘innocently’ from my interest in crafts. It turned into something else that formed the basis of my career and enable me to get paid to do what I love. That is why, never underestimate the hobby you are taking up. At the very minimal, you are doing something you love, which will help to relax and destress you.

I have a former colleague who is in IT. He loves to collect Lego models. With his IT background, he started his own YouTube channel to showcase the unboxing and how he build his Lego models with his lovely daughters. His channel is growing and eventually he would be able to monetize it. At the same time, the skill he has to produce these videos will contribute in his career. 

Think back of the endless time we have spent watching movies, dramas and videos. What have we accomplished? Sometimes, these videos messes with our emotions and can make us sad, miserable or feel discontented at our lives because we compared it with other people. In actual fact, we are good enough the way we are.


1. It is never a waste of time if you love your hobby and it nourishes your mind and spirit.

2. Not everything worthwhile in life has to be measured in terms of monetary gains.

3. There are indirect gains from doing something you love minus the pressure to profit from it. It can help you to distress, expand your mind’s horizon, spark off valuable skills such as creativity and thinking out of the box which will flow into other aspects of your life.

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