Why pursuing passion becomes more expensive with age

One of the reasons I am a compulsive blog starter is my constant need to organize/ classify my thoughts. I feel like I need to have different blogs for different topics. The only way I can move onto being a compulsive blogger from a blog starter is to cut myself some slack and allow myself to rant about absolutely random thoughts at the start/ end of every post before I really get to the crux of the post. I intend to do this till I settle down into a comfortable routine.

This particular post is about why it has been a lot harder for me to pursue my passions and indulge in extra-curricular (for the lack of a more relevant term) as I grow older. I was in the middle of a microeconomics class on coursera, when the prof was talking about opportunity cost of watching his lecture could be a basketball game with friends. This got me thinking as to why it’s been so much harder to play basketball more regularly as a working professional unlike when I was in college. Similarly, I now barely manage to paint once a year while I used to paint atleast ten times a year back in college.

As you grow older and busier (Unfortunately, unlike academics, which demand higher quality of your time, jobs demand more commitment in terms of quantity of time), hence, most people are very selective of how they spend their free time. There is a need to prioritize one’s engagements, which means that anyone who commits to any activity does so only because their most passionate about it and want to get the best of their time engaging in it. So if you want to go out onto the basketball court and play with a few serious players, you can be sure that there is a very low probability of finding the same set of people in a music class. In order to find a place in each of these different groups, you will need to make a high initial investment of getting to know these people before you can spend time with them on a regular basis. This would sum up to high initial investment X the number of groups you want to be a part of. On the contrary, in college, the high initial investment is made only once. Then its just subsets of the same group that you are bound to encounter in the different activities.

Also, he high initial investment that needs to be made seems a lot higher when your social skills start to plateau, which is sometime when you’re in your late 20s or early 30s. This makes it a lot harder to pull yourself out of the comfort of home or regular job to start pursuing/ renewing passions. This is a common problem I see among most people of my previous generation. I sometimes find myself getting there too. But, I’ve been hopeful only because I’m going to college soon. Yet, I worry about how I’ll manage to sustain my extra-curricular engagements as the same scenario will apply post college.

I can think of two solutions to this problem – Become a people collector (like Udhay Shankar) or live in the same city as most of your close college friends (like a lot of Indians who live in the US). I realize they seem like far fledged solutions but I would consider trying the former sometime in life as the investment threshold is a lot lower.


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