How do I find hobbies or passions

Do you really need a true passion to be happy?

Herbert, the father of my school friend, kept a great treasure in the cellar of the family house: his sugar sachets and glasses with sand from all over the world that he had collected over decades. The collections took up large parts of the vaulted cellar and were taboo for the rest of the family. Herbert brought a trophy with him from every trip. He almost made it onto the show "Outsiders - Top Riders", which portrayed people with extraordinary passions and which I sometimes watched with my grandparents as a child.

Each time I sat in front of the television set with a mixture of fascination and defense and watched all the beer mat collectors, model railroaders and amateur entomologists who devoted all of their free time to their passion. They had found a hobby to which they devoted themselves one hundred percent, even if their spouses often stood by and shook their heads. I had to think of that when I read KR reader Lars' question: "I am forever searching for my passion, my passion - is that normal?"

When I told my friend about the new “Am I normal?” Column, she immediately replied: “That's exactly my topic. I'm also still looking for my place in life. ”I was paused, because aren't passionate collectors and seekers of meaningful life worlds apart? Maybe not. Ultimately, both of them are interested in a full life.

Finding a passion can also wear you down

First of all, dear readers, I asked you how you feel about it. Your answers tell great stories and reflect the whole range of what can be understood by a passion: They question whether there is even one, own passion, if so, whether it is underestimated or overestimated and what it can actually look like . They show how a simple hobby can be a passion, but also an honorary position, a job or the family.

How a life without passion is experienced as just as fulfilling, writes KR reader Karina: “I'm not looking for a passion. There are things I like to do, but there are many and I don't want to commit myself to one thing. "

And how sometimes the search for it wears down, like Laura-Marie: “I am now 22 years old and have been looking for my passion since I left school. First the voluntary social year should give me clarity. Now the medical degree, in which I am now in the fourth year. But both did not work. I know that there is a lot of skill and energy in me and I want to find the one thing that awakens the full resources in me. I don't want to have to force myself to do things more or less. "

For many of you, however, this is exactly the way to go: just doing things, trying them out randomly, and then sometimes unintentionally discovering a passion for them. Anna, for example, hated needlework and sewing all her life until she suddenly started embroidering. She writes: “Now embroidery is an addiction. Every evening to come down. I am constantly planning new projects: murals (which I never hang up), doilies, kitchen towels. Everything completely meaningless, because nobody needs that. I tell a few that I find cross stitch fascinating. Embroidery is completely uncool, I am a little ashamed of this passion, which does not fit my self-image at all. "

Or Matthias. For him, baking bread "with sourdough or a long dough with a very little yeast" has become a "fantastic way to come down". Or Kristin. For her, her hobby swimming became more: “I found my passion in the DLRG (German Lifesaving Society). I had a very bad time in my life. Swimming alone no longer had the effect that I could forget my problems for a short time. By chance I was able to take part in an internal club event. I felt at home there straight away and everyone treated me as if I had been there for years. So things went uphill again, and I took that as a model. Today I try everything to save life, be it in and around the water or in a club, when I notice that someone is doing badly. "

What all three have in common is that they did not look for their own passion, but discovered it on the side. All of this is difficult to put into numbers. Nevertheless, I went looking for data and statistics.

Hobbies are dear to us, lazing around and doing nothing are obsolete

Germans love their hobbies. They spend an average of 248 euros per month on leisure, entertainment and culture per household (2006 it was 233 euros). That is ten percent of their total private consumer spending.

In 1981 the Foundation for Future Issues examined the leisure time behavior of Germans for the first time. At that time, reading the newspaper, handicrafts and gardening took the first three places in the ranking of the most common leisure activities. A good two thirds stated that they regularly watch the three programs of the public television companies, with television consumption taking fourth place. Today it is in the first place, closely followed by listening to the radio, telephoning and Internet. But other hobbies are becoming more popular, such as gardening. It is possible that the organic trend and neighborhood gardens have ensured that more people are looking forward to home-grown tomatoes, herbs and flowers.

The nationwide 90,240 sports clubs have almost 24 million members. The most popular are the football clubs, but triathlon (54,848 members), billiards (28,419) and acrobatics (13,968) are also enjoying some popularity.

Drinking coffee with friends, meeting at home, or going on a shopping spree, on the other hand, have lost weight. Interesting what passions you, dear Krautreporter readers, have. Thomas, for example, has been doing karate for 16 years, Annette tap dancing. Claudia illustrates mermaids and fish with a necrophilic touch and Sabine flies motor sailers, which has changed her view of the world and her self-confidence.

Women have half an hour less free time every day than men

Around 40 percent of Germans also do voluntary work, if you include choir singing and theater groups. One of them is KR reader Nils, who writes: “I could hardly have imagined doing so much with music in the past, but at some point I ended up as a beginner in a small choir and have simply not stopped since then. Today I sit with other people several days a week in the evening and we practice for concerts or sing, simply because we enjoy it and we have a fantastic community. "

According to the Federal Statistical Office, men are more likely to be active in sport, while women more often help in schools and kindergartens or get involved in the social field. Half of the volunteers spend six or more hours a month on this. Men have half an hour more free time than women every day. Women now work around 16 hours a week, almost three hours more than eleven years ago. At the same time, their unpaid activities, such as looking after relatives and running the household, have not decreased to the same extent. Overall, they work more than men and have less free time.

There are many interests in every human being

Our interest in certain topics changes every five to ten years. So why should we have only one passion slumbering when there are so many opportunities to try things out and discover new facets in and around you. Like KR reader Elisa, who always finds new hobbies that “at least completely inspire her for a while” and “fill her time completely”. She writes: “It also happens to me that this great passion and enthusiasm subside and something new takes its place. It's a bit like the search for the great, only true love that you usually don't really find either. But the search for it is a constant drive. "

Rather, just focusing on the search can even be counterproductive. Because if you set yourself up to find the one passion, you limit your own possibilities considerably, slowing yourself down to the point of freezing. It is then much more difficult to find your own way. Especially when in the end one is faced with the problem again and again: What if this thing is not my greatest passion after all? KR reader Katharina therefore shares the passion: "I take it as it comes and make the best of what life washes in front of my feet."

I think that sounds pretty convincing. Dear Lars, I can only answer your question indirectly. Personally, I am convinced that a multitude of talents and interests lie dormant in every person, which change depending on the phase of life and situation. If you can take hold of one or more of them, you have already found a great deal of happiness in life. I like the thought of Thomas, so I put it at the end: "Many people miss the little luck while they wait in vain for the big one."


Vera Fröhlich proofread the text; Martin Gommel chose the lead picture (istock / shevtsovy)