Besides being involved in the regular routine of work and family, each one of us typically has a set of activities which we like to do because of the immense pleasure and sense of satisfaction that they accord. In most cases these activities become a significant source of recreation and many of us forget the impact that they have on the development of our overall personality. This in itself tends to be rather profound which in part explains the reason we emphasise that children should engage in as many play and recreational activities as possible. While zeroing in on a pleasurable activity, there are some things that one needs to keep in mind. These include the
1 Know yourself: Knowing yourself is an essential first step in any case. It is only by developing a good understanding of one’s self that one can determine what would best suit one’s interests, abilities, temperament and personality.
2 Get out of the box: One should have the ability to be on one’s own and to do the things that one truly likes. Being able to stand alone is not just a part of doing what is good for one’s self but is also a way of building one’s self-confidence and
3 Value time, and divide it well: Life is not all about work. It also involves striking an intricate balance between recreational activities, family responsibilities, academic interests, and socialising. At times it can be difficult to maintain this balance but a lot would depend upon how well one is able to distribute and divide time. This needs to be based on a realistic estimate of the amount of time each activity requires and then distribute it well.
4 Read, meet people: You should try and gain as much knowledge, information and understanding as you can about your interests. Read, talk to people, and then figure out the nature of your interests. With this you can always be sure of having made the right decision. It’s only when you know exactly what your interests entail, that you can be sure about your expectations from it and can enjoy its benefits.
5 Don’t compare or evaluate: Remember, whatever you do, do it because of the joy it gives you. Forget about the benefits that may accrue. This is important in making the decision but the most vital thing is the pleasure that the activity would provide you with. This is about you and your happiness and not about what others may find to be good for them.
6 Share it with peers: Share your interests with your friends. If they like the same things as you, it will be like a double bonanza.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare