a first-person picture of a fishing rod cast out into the water

Ryan Holiday on Hobbies Without a Purpose

Richard Feynman did things that didn’t matter. That’s one reason he enjoyed what he did.

But you and I don’t need to be Nobel Prize-winning physicists to enjoy the benefits of leisure and pursuing things without purpose.

Shane Parrish at Farnam Street taught me to let go of the learning baggage.

Ryan Holiday, in his new book Stillness is the Key, taught me to value hobbies. The pursuit of something without a defined purpose.

There’s nothing to feel guilty about for being idle. It’s not reckless. It’s an investment. There is nourishment in pursuits that have no purpose–that is their purpose.

Leisure is also a reward for the work we do. When we think about the ideal “Renaissance man,” we see someone who is active and busy, yes, but also fulfilled and balanced. Getting to know yourself is the luxury of the success you’ve had. Finding fulfillment and joy in the pursuit of higher things, you’ve earned it. It’s there for you, take it.

You’re not a bad person for “turning off” to enjoy a personal hobby.

You’ve earned it. Go. Enjoy.