Is it your passion or a hobby?

We don’t choose our passions, but we get to pick our hobbies.

We all have activities that we enjoy doing, but it isn’t easy to know if they are passions or hobbies. While the difference may not always matter, we are bound to get more out of our hobbies if they align with our passions.

Passions are strong emotions that are difficult to control, whereas a hobby is an activity we take up to fill our free time. While we might not choose our passions, our hobbies are up to us to decide.

Let’s talk more about the differences between hobbies and passions, so you can sort out which one you are currently pursuing.

Passion and hobbies, what are the differences?

The critical difference between hobbies and passions is the aspect of choice. While we might choose our hobbies, i.e., deciding what we do with our time, it is much more challenging to choose what we care about in the first place.

I’ve always been curious about starting a business, and so I’ve tried many different things over the year. But one thing that stood out was that I always got excited about writing and creating content for those projects.

In my case, it seemed like my passion was writing, and rather than going directly into that, I tested it out with my hobby of trying to start a business. At the time, I didn’t realize it, but the writing was driving me, whereas creating a business seemed to be what I thought I was supposed to do instead.

There is longevity with our passions, and we are driven by them, regardless of our choices.

Hobbies might change from month to month, or as we get exposed to new possibilities or choose to do different things.

I’ve been writing for years, so it is my passion, whereas there have been lots of hobbies I have tested out over that time. You might be curious about something, but it might be challenging to stick with if you aren’t passionate about it.

Can your passions become hobbies?

To get the most out of a hobby, it would make sense to try and align it with your passions. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always been passionate about writing, but my hobbies have changed many times. 

However, now that I’ve started working on this website, it has become my hobby, but my passion drives it. This is a good thing because, in the past, I wrote a lot, but it was often random and not directed at anything in particular. These days, because I have a plan, there is always something I am working towards.

If you want to turn your passion into a hobby, look at what you are deeply into and think about how you could use those skills.

To be clear, I’m not saying you need to make a job out of your passion; instead, having a target makes it easier to focus and accomplish something.

What is most important is figuring out what you care about and using it as a framework for selecting a hobby. 

I say this because I followed my passion without realizing that was what it was. And so, if I had been honest with myself earlier, I might have made different choices along the way.

Are our passion and hobby the same?

Our passions and hobbies can be the same thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are. We might find that we choose to do many different things from day to day, whereas our passions seem to stay the same.

The difficulty is that sometimes we can’t always figure out a way to turn our passion into a hobby. If you are passionate about social justice, that might drive many of your decisions, but how can you make a hobby out of that? 

Sometimes our passions don’t align with an activity that exists in the world.

You might love sports and soccer in particular, so you follow them all the time. This might turn out to be your hobby, checking stats or watching games; you might even play yourself. In this case, there is an easy alignment between what you can do with your free time and what you care deeply about.

On the other hand, for people like myself, I was always passionate about writing books and starting a business, but there were always different hobbies that occupied my time. It wasn’t that I could follow my passion; instead, I got distracted with other things.

If you want your passions to be your hobbies, you need to work out how that can be possible. You can start by looking at your passions and trying to discover what hobbies might align with them.

How do you know if your hobby is your passion?

While you might find yourself spending a lot of time on your hobbies, the question of whether it is a passion or not comes down to the depth of your interest. 

Can you live without your hobby? Did you fall into your hobby, or were you pulled towards it by some force? How long have you been into your hobby? Is it new, or have you been doing it for years?

While you might enjoy doing something from time to time, it is most likely a passion if you can’t live without it. 

No matter what I’ve done over the years, I’ve always returned to writing; it never seems to go away. On the other hand, I couldn’t count all my hobbies over the years on my fingers and toes.

This doesn’t mean that the two can’t align, but it does mean it will take some effort to get yourself on the same page.

Passions don’t go away, but hobbies can change with the tides.

What is the difference between hobbies, interests and passions?

Passions are things that we can’t live without; they are driven by our emotions and don’t seem to be affected by our thinking about them. 

Hobbies are activities that we do regularly for fun or pleasure.

Interests are things that we are curious about and are willing to spend time learning.

The critical difference is that passions are ideas we don’t choose, whereas hobbies and interests are activities we decide to pursue and put effort toward.

In order of importance, passions would come first, then hobbies and then finally interests. Often our interests can lead to hobbies, so the relationship is clear. At the same time, our passions will drive lots of our actions, so they might lead us to interests that could become hobbies.

Hopefully, this article has helped you make sense of the difference between a hobby and a passion.

The question for you, is what are your hobbies? And what are your passions? Do they align, or do you find yourself being pulled in different directions?

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Robert Carr

Over the years, I've learnt to see things in a different light. This website is my place to share those insights and give my unique perspective on living a meaningful life.

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