Sunday, April 27, 2008


It cannot be denied that shopping is sometimes therapeutic. It feels good to pamper yourself by buying something. Taken to shopaholic extremes, though, going out to the mall is extremely detrimental to your financial health.

One way I've found that really helps curb shopping impulses is to develop an interest or a range of interests that you're passionate about. it's so special to be able to CREATE, PRODUCE or GROW something with your own hands or your mind, rather than being passive consumers of what other people create. Try it, and you'll be surprised at how much pleasure it can give you, even if you're not that good at it.

I don't, for example, aspire to be a professional photographer. But I found that going out armed with my camera, keeping a look-out for interesting picture-taking opportunities helps me be more aware of the world and people around me. I noticed things about places, people, and the environment around me that I never saw before. And discovered that you don't need trips to far-off exotic places to find the unexpected, the different. And with digital cameras, you don't really need to spend a lot of money to keep up this hobby. Any photos that are simply awful? Simply delete them.

Don't let the desire to be 'perfect' stop you from enjoying what you yourself can create or produce. So what if your potatoes don't look as pretty as the ones you find from the store? It's the joy of the process of planting that matters. Same with writing or craftwork. They don't have to be professional or great. What's important is that you enjoy it.

Step 1: Write down your favourite activities. Also write down the items you love most in your room. What do you look forward to doing? What do you look forward to having?

Step 2:
Think -- is there some element of any of those activities or items that you can make/create/grow/organise yourself? For example, I love beautiful images and photographs. That's why I decided to bring a camera along everywhere I go.

Step 3: Develop your interest step-by-step, at your own pace. What's important here is to make your interest your own personal haven, rather than approach it with a competitive attitude, or with the attitude that you have to be best. The key goal is to enjoy it.

Although making money should not be the goal, eventually you may even be able to make a small business out of your interest(s). Good at making greeting cards? Why not sell your unique creations? Or your woodworking skills have become rather good -- there are people out there who would appreciate custom handmade items.

If you have any hobbies or interests that you're passionate about, why not share with us on this blog? Tell us how it has helped to make your days more fulfilling.

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