Episode 133.5 – Green Apple Slice


Why Hobbies Make You Happy



The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a The Cut article, “Why Hobbies Make You Happy” by Susie Neilson.


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    It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices on a Monday morning. I hope everyone’s doing well. I’ve got with me my co-host, partner in crime, the Accountants Group Leader for Canada, for Sage, Rachel Fisch.

    Rachel: Hey, John. How are you doing?

    John: Doing all right. I almost got carried away with your title again but I found this article online and I thought this was just fantastic.

    Rachel: Yeah. It’s really a great one.

    John: Yeah. Really good. Why Hobbies Make You Happy. It was on thecut.com and it was by Susie Neilson. So good. So good. It was just such a great article. I just loved how she starts it out with she was on a trip in South Africa and someone asked what do you do and she says, I work for a magazine and the person laughed at her. And says no, I mean what do you do for fun? For a passion? For an interest? It was just so fascinating how to her, it was such a shock that people don’t automatically answer with what their job is like we do in the U.S. and Canada.

    Rachel: Yeah, and then it goes on to talk about you know, I listen to other people who were answering and they were saying that they were surfers or that they hiked or that they played music but none of those people talked about what they did for a living. I think that I guess I didn’t realize until I read this article that this was so North American that when somebody asks what you do, you instantly think that they’re talking about your job.

    John: Right. What’s even better is there are studies that are done that over half of us get a sense of identity from our jobs so that’s why we answer that right away is because that’s our sense of identity but then the kicker is that more than 55% of us are dissatisfied with our jobs so we’re identifying with something that we’re not even happy about which is crazy.

    Rachel: I mean yeah, it completely is. I think we’ve talked how many gazillions of times that there’s a difference between who you are and what you do and what you do for eight hours a day doesn’t make up all of you.

    John: Right. Most definitely. The more of those things that you have come to find out, the better it is because there’s a Patricia Linville, an associate professor at Duke University, did a study and she calls it self-complexity which is really fantastic. It’s just basically how many traits or how many roles or how many identifying markers that you have that make up who you are. The more of those you have, the happier you are because the more narrow you are, the more depressed and prone to anxiety because all of your eggs are in one basket. If anything gets rattled, then you’re screwed.

    Rachel: Right. If the majority of your identity is what you do at work or who you are at work and if that takes a big hit that you’re a victim of a lay-off or something else happens, a negative situation, that’s rocking 80% of your world if you’ve put that much weight against it, and so if we have these additional markers or these additional elements of self-complexity then if our work life or persona takes a hit, that’s okay because we’ve got all of these other parts of us.

    John: Right. That’s exactly it because I mean the thing that’s so hard though is that the work one is the one that pays the bills and so that’s the one that we’ve been “training” for all our lives through school and CPE and all of that stuff. I guess it’s very easy for us to naturally do that but that’s why we have to create up a podcast to remind people to have other things.

    They help me help you, everybody. But she even says, I mean hobbies are the first step because that’s the easiest thing. It’s the least controversial thing out there plus two examples that are in the article that she talks about are some really go-getter types, high achievers and by participating in sailing, she’s able to hang out with people that are older than her that have different kinds of jobs so it expands out network and expands her skill set even to make her better at her job. It’s a cool thing.

    Rachel: Another one, I guess the same one also takes improv classes which is very cool as well. I loved how it’s so diplomatically said. A hardworking person to whom balance does not come easily. I don’t know anybody like that.

    John: Right. That’s because there isn’t a mirror in your room right now. Really, really, great article. I think it would be fantastic if people are like so what do you do? If you answered, I like to sing or I like to do arts or I play the piano or I do comedy or whatever it is that your hobby or passion is because that’s what you really do, I mean that’s who you really are. I think that would be fantastic. And then when they follow-up with for a living, you go no.

    Rachel: As a person, I do this.

    John: Right. That’s exactly it. So that’s your kick-off for the week. We’ll follow-up with Rachel next week and see if she’s able to do this in the office.

    Rachel: Good luck with that.

    John: Right, right. Exactly. But everyone, be sure to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any of the episodes and also follow us on Twitter @GreenApplePod or Rachel’s @FischBooks and I’m @RecoveringCPA. Hope everyone has a great rest of the week. Have a good one, Rachel.

    Rachel: You too, John. Talk to you later.

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