Omega’s Guide – Hobbies

You are gaining social skills and you’ve possibly even started going out being social. that’s great, but you need more. You need to become a man that people are actually interested in being around. You could become the most charming man in the world, but you will still be inadequate and still feel hollow if charming is all you are. You need to become a person who is actually interesting in himself.

What you need is to engage in interesting things that you enjoy and make you, you. Every man should have something they are good at, something they are better at than most other people, that exists apart from their work. You need some hobbies.

Nothing builds confidence like becoming good at something. Nothing makes you more likeable than being an interesting person and nothing makes you more interesting than doing interesting things and being good at them.

Hobbies give you something to discuss with other people, they give you a place to relax and enjoy, and they give you a reason to meet people who like the same things you do.

You need to develop a hobby, or preferably multiple hobbies. Your martial art and your sport are good starts but you should also get some others that can be done alone.

There are an infinite amount of hobbies to choose from, so you should be able to easily find some that you enjoy. I’ll give some suggestions at the end, but its really up to you to find something you enjoy.

You do want many hobbies, but do not start them all at once. Start with one hobby, then after a while add another. If you try to start to many at once, you’ll just burn out from over-stimulation. Also, if a hobby is simply not doing it for you, feel free to quit, but do not quit a hobby because it is too hard; if that is the case, simply work to get better.

Note: Video games, TV, YouTube videos, mindlessly surfing the internet, and movies don’t count as hobbies, get off your ass and do something. Nobody cares about your kill count in CoD or your level 80 Orc shaman. You can still do those things, in moderation, but they are pleasant time killers, not hobbies.

****

Here’s a few considerations:

Research – Before you being a hobby, make sure to research the basics of the hobby. What kinds of resources you need to being, where to get the resources you need, where to meet others who do your hobby, etc.

Time/Accessibility – You want a hobby you can devote time to. If, for some reason, a hobby can only be done at times when you are unable to do it, don’t make it your hobby. Make sure you will actually be able to participate in your hobby. It is no use choosing paintball as your hobby if there is no paintball group in 100 miles of your home or paintball only occurs on Thursday evenings when you are busy with your sport. Choose a hobby you will actually be able to participate in.

Group/Individual – Some hobbies, such as carpentry or shooting, are more solitary activities, others, such as paintball, are more group oriented. I’d suggest getting both types of hobbies. You need something you can work on on your own, but you also want something you can do with groups of other people.

Etiquette – For hobbies that involve other people, make sure to get to know the community etiquette before hand. Most communities around hobbies have there own ways of doing things; if you ignore them, you will find it difficult to meet other people to participate in your hobbies with.

Cost – Make sure you can afford a hobby; research how much it costs to start. Taking up shooting is silly if you can’t afford ammunition.

Enjoyment – A hobby should be something you enjoy; if you don’t enjoy something, get a new hobby.

Skill/Progression – A hobby should be something you can get progressively better at over time. If it’s all luck or it’s too easy to master, it’s not a hobby. (Gambling is not a hobby). Also, work to progress in your hobby; try to become good at it.

Creation – Some hobbies lead to creation; creating something with your own hands feels manly and makes you feel good about yourself. You might want to get at least one hobby where you create something.

Manliness – Make sure at least one or two of your hobbies are traditionally masculine. You don’t want to turn into some effeminate dweeb.

Activeness – Some hobbies are more active than others. Make sure at least one of your hobbies involves going outside and/or working with your hands.

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Here are a few possible suggestions. There are far to many to list, this is just to get you  thinking.

Shooting/Hunting – Shooting is fun and lends you a bit of a dangerous edge. There is nothing quite like feeling a 12-gauge roar in your hands. Shooting can also lead into hunting. There’s nothing more manly than killing your own food. The problem with both is that they can be expensive; ammo is not cheap (unless it’s .22). It’s also relatively easy to bring someone else along on a shooting night.

Archery/Bow Hunting – Kind of like shooting, but old school. Can be expensive to start, but less upkeep over time. It can also lead to hunting as well. Can seem a little LARPy/geeky to others depending on how you go about it.

Fishing – A relaxing way to while away an afternoon with some good friends.

Geo-caching – You use GPS to find small ‘treasures’ hidden by other people and then replace them with your own ‘treasures’. It will get you active and will lead on a bunch of adventures exploring either nature or your own city. You’ll also get a collection of nick-knacks each with its own story. An excellent conversation starter for your home. It’s also easy to bring someone along to.

Home-brewing – Make your own beer or wine. You’ll get a lot of cheap alcohol and will have something to impress others with.

Paintball/Airsoft – A fun group activity where you get to shoot each other. Need I say more. They’re rather expensive (airsoft is generally cheaper) and require people and land, but if you can start, it’s fun.

Gaming – Boardgames, miniatures games, tabletop RPGs, CCG’s, wargames, etc. are probably something your average awkward individual can enjoy. They give plenty of time to chat with others and make friends. Can be expensive depending on what type of gaming you do. The miniatures and war games can also overlap with modeling. Almost always seen as geeky by others.

Writing – Write a blog, write a book, write some poetry. Why not develop your intellect by putting your thoughts into words in an organized matter?

Woodworking/Carving/Metalsmithing/Etc. – In this category are a number of personal creation hobbies shaping raw materials into something useful or aesthetic. Gerenally, these are solitary hobbies, but the nice thing about these are that you make create something tangible. Many will require certain tools to do.

Mechanics – Building, repairing, and rebuilding engines of some sort is a traditionally masculine activity. You’ll also save money on vehicle repairs.

Gardening – You grow food to eat. A solitary activity that many people find relaxing. Plus you get healthy food out of it.

Cooking – Everybody cooks, but if you become good at it, it impresses others and you get to eat some great meals.

Modeling – You probably put together model kits as a child; if you enjoyed it, you might enjoy more complicated models as an adult. This can often be done in conjunction with wargaming or can be a build up to model airplace flying. A solitary activity which creates something.

Programming – Another solitary activity, but you get to build something without having to use your hands. Good for clumsy or undextrous people. Just make sure it’s not your only hobby.

Running/Jogging/etc. – it will keep you in shape and if you join a running group, you’ll get to meet a lot of other people

Dancing – A fun physical activity in which it is very easy to meet girls. Also, knowing dancing is attractive to a fair number of women. So, try some swing, salsa, or ballroom dancing.

Collectibles – Collect something: stamps, hockey cards, coins, guns, whatever. Just make sure you’re not randomly collecting any old thing. The point of collecting is to learn about what you’re collecting. Make sure that you are gaining a vast, comprehensive knowledge of your collectibles and your collection reflects that. Throwing together a bunch of random stamps you know nothing about, does not a collection make. This can seem kind of geeky to others depending on how you do it.

Music – Pick an instrument, practice regularly, and get good at it. The piano has a classic appeal, while the saxophone has a bit of sex appeal. The harmonica is easily portable, while everybody loves guitar.

Your hobby doesn’t have to any of these; these are just suggestions of common hobbies. Find something (multiple somethings) that interests you and become good at it or knowledgeable of it. Check out wikipedia’s list of hobbies for more ideas.

****

Your Goal:

Your goal this week is to research hobbies and try a hobby you’ve never tried before (no, video games don’t count).

If you are combining this week’s goal with last week’s, find a social group that’s doing your hobby and attend their next meeting.

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16 responses to “Omega’s Guide – Hobbies

  • ballista74

    I usually don’t have much to say on posts like this, since most people will realize that life is whatever you want to make it and what some people are genuinely okay with is seen as dysfunctional by others. But some thoughts. Some will likely be nit-picky given the nature of the post, but hopefully helpful:

    Before you being a hobby, make sure to research the basics of the hobby. What kinds of resources you need to being, where to get the resources you need, where to meet others who do your hobby, etc.

    Your time is part of the resources in here too. While it’s mentioned in the next paragraph, it’s just mentioned in terms of scheduling and not time commitment, which is important to think about, too. This should come up in the research mentioned here as well, since there are learning/training curves to get over and maintain in most endeavors. Those might lessen when you get past them, but there’s always some continuing cost of time for proficiency in anything. Why do something if you’re not going to take the time to get proficient at it?

    Some hobbies, such as carpentry or shooting, are more solitary activities, others, such as paintball, are more group oriented. I’d suggest getting both types of hobbies. You need something you can work on on your own, but you also want something you can do with groups of other people.

    Everything is group oriented if you want to make it that way. While there are activities that don’t work out well if not in group, a large number of things have a lot of option in this category depending on what you’re willing to do. For example, I know of a lot of hobbyist carpenters that seek out work with others (e.g. Habitat for Humanity), and with shooting there are always ranges and competitions.

    For hobbies that involve other people, make sure to get to know the community etiquette before hand.

    This needs to be bolded, underlined, and whatever else. Especially when a large contingent of people don’t follow the general rules, it gets grating not only socially but it has a way of bring a bad reputation on ALL who do such things.

    If it’s all luck or it’s too easy to master, it’s not a hobby. (Gambling is not a hobby). Also, work to progress in your hobby; try to become good at it.

    To be fair, there are some “games of chance” that do require a degree of skill (and luck too, or it wouldn’t be a game of chance) and that people get into as hobbies. For example, Texas Holdem Poker was very popular as a hobby a few years ago. I’ve dropped out of TV watching for most part, but I know around 2000-2005 they pretty regularly put these kind of poker games on television (regular tournament players and celebrities both) since they were popular enough.

    Archery/Bow Hunting – Kind of like shooting, but old school. Can be expensive to start, but less upkeep over time.

    Just something out of experience, upkeep can be very expensive depending on how much you do. Replacing items that wear out can be both labor-intensive and money-intensive if you’re not prepared for it.

    Gardening – You grow food to eat. A solitary activity that many people find relaxing. Plus you get healthy food out of it.

    Again, I know of social settings involving gardening, what I wrote above is true of this.

    Collectibles – . . . This can seem kind of geeky to others depending on how you do it.

    And actually painted as a very omega by most of society and in the media, especially if your advice is followed out to the letter. Case in point: How the Steve Carrell character was portrayed in the 40-year old virgin regarding his action figures.

  • BB753

    I suggest fotography. Pros: 1) it has a very steep learning curve and once you become proficient it will earn you respect ; 2) Many people join groups to shoot pictures together, whether in in the city or in camping trips to the countryside; 3) it’s a hobby that atracts all kinds of personality types, not just geeks. 4) women are crazy about photography. You can meet them and be their mentor. 5) You’d be surprised how many girls volunteer for nude modeling. 6) you need to master image processing sofware which will give you an edge when dealing with artsy types.
    Cons: it’s fairly expensive. Although you can share the lenses with your hobby group.
    Believe me, a man with a full SLR kit feels like a rock star!

  • JKS123

    I’d add hiking/backpacking. There is usually a local hiking group you can join.

  • deti

    I’m enjoying following this useful series.

  • xsplat

    Body centered meditations can be a good portable hobby with significant benefits.

  • maxsnafu

    Reloading ammunition is a fun and useful hobby. Also, it facilitates your shooting hobby.

  • Tim

    No doubt a useful hobby list, and post series.

    But I commented in order to point out that I have nine of your suggested hobbies covered. That is too many. Maybe I should give up cooking?

    I am about 3K words short of finishing my how to hunt deer book. If I can figure out how, I’ll send you one, or give you the info for a free e-version.

  • Free Northerner

    @ b74: Some excellent points I’ll have to incorporate into the final version.

    @ BB753: I’ll have to add that when I put it all together.

    @ JKS: I actually meant to stick hiking together with geo-caching. Looks like I didn’t.

    @ deti: Glad you’re liking it.

    @ xsplat: Didn’t think of meditation.

    @maxsnafu: Reloading? Didn’t even think of that, either..

    @Tim: The more hobbies the better; it’s a far better us of time than the typical amusements of TV and video games.

    That would be awesome; I plan to start deer-hunting come the hunting season, so some idea as to what I am doing would be great. Right now my plan is to just wander in the woods and hope I stumble over something.

  • Hobbies for Omegas

    […] Nothing builds confidence like becoming good at something. Nothing makes you more likeable than bein… […]

  • Tim

    Wandering around isn’t likely to be successful. Pick a spot and sit there for a while, even if you only sit on a log.

    Preview chapter 17: Hunting Methods: http://shootdeer.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/chapter-17-hunting-methods/

  • John Apostate

    For any readers interested in metal crafting: http://www.alloyavenue.com/vb/showthread.php?2469-Foundry-Tutorial-Book

    I’m hoping to move into the countryside this fall and am already sourcing materials to start doing this. I expect manly wounds and a great sense of achievement.

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