The Two Types of Hobbies
There are two types of hobbies. One is experiential, the other is improving. Experiential is sightseeing, improving is developing skills.
Let’s take scuba diving. If you go on a discovery dive and look at the fish, see the coral, and take in the view, that’s experiential. If you work on your breathing, understand how the equipment works, or improve your buoyancy, that’s an improvement hobby.
I’m not saying that experiential is wrong or should be avoided but experiential is a short-term distraction or entertainment. Improvement hobbies lead to long-term satisfaction, but can actually be bad experiences in the moment.
For example, jiu-jitsu, in the moment, is very uncomfortable. You can’t breath, someone is sitting on you, sweat is dripping all over the place, and you’re usually in some sort of pain. But the feeling of satisfaction lasts for a long time.
I’m reminded of Casuals vs Maniacs. Casuals gravitate toward experiential hobbies and Maniacs gravitate towards improvement hobbies.