Anthony Szczepkowski profile image Anthony Szczepkowski

The Power Of Complementary Ideas

Have you ever seen someone who only ever lived in school, and did nothing else? Or perhaps someone at work who all they ever did was working. Did it fulfill them? I would like to make the case as to why hobbies are essential to doing well in school/work/

The Power Of Complementary Ideas
Photo by Omar Flores / Unsplash

Have you ever seen someone who only ever lived in school, and did nothing else? Or perhaps someone at work who all they ever did was working. Did it fulfill them?

I would like to make the case as to why hobbies are essential to doing well in school/work/projects.

I would say this can be split into 3 categories

  1. Diligence
  2. Complementary Skills
  3. Rejuvenating Hobbies

Diligent Focus & The Ability To Let Go

Focusing on the main task at hand is extremely important, no matter what that task is to you.

What I advocate for is not distraction, but rather recuperation.

What I want people to understand is that having a main focus is important as having several focuses pulling in all directions will get you to accomplish none of those things.

This is where things like procrastination, or divided attention occur.

Diligent focus is not necessarily only doing one thing, but rather doing different tasks to achieve a certain goal like self-improvement or becoming a great student.

Do you ever find yourself coming up with the answer to a problem in a completely different setting?

One example I have of this was when I had to come up with a piece of code for a mock elevator model we were making in engineering. I could not figure it out during class, so I gave it a rest for that class.

I then went to English class and started working on a piece of writing, and while brainstorming I thought of a way to make the code work. A certain sequence I hadn't thought of before and decided to use it for the elevator.

It worked.

One of my most proud moments in the class was when I solved the same problem in a completely unrelated subject.

My point here is that just because an initial subject you are doing is not exactly the same as your main activity or goal, that initial subject can still help you in your main quest.

I've found seeking to be diligent in all matters of your work can compound onto one another allowing you to come up with solutions you had not thought of before.

Complementary Skills

You've probably heard the phrase "becoming more well-rounded". I'm sick of hearing it to be honest.

While the sentiment is true I do believe there is nuance to it. You want to spend your time investing in activities that are beneficial to you of course, but also ones that complement one another.

One of the greatest attributes of great thinkers is the ability to find patterns, especially find them in strange places.

Whether this be the golden ratio in nature and architecture, or perhaps doing both sports and academics and seeing the correlation of hard consistent work between both, patterns are important.

There is a reason why e=mc squared is so important, it is a universal theorem, a consistent pattern that Einstein discovered and later proved to others.

Einstein wasn't just good in one area but in several. He was highly skilled in mathematics and physics but also had a way of crafting words that allowed him to share his knowledge with the world in a way the world would understand.

He had skills that complemented one another allowing him to go farther than he would have thought otherwise.

Hobbies That Rejuvenate

Hobbies are meant to be a way to revitalize the spirit. To give room for new creative and analytical thinking to appear.

Strapping yourself to one path alone may not get you as far as you may want. While I don't recommend adding 30 new hobbies to your list, not being strapped to one thing can help fuel your creative genius.

Productivity funny enough is not simply just when you are working, but also when you are doing activities that fuel your energy throughout the day that allow you to do better work later.

This could be when you help your neighbor with housework, when you go play a racquetball game, or even when you are boxing at the gym.

Now this is no excuse to go say "Look I play 8 hours of video games a day so I can be more productive later". No. That is procrastination.

Finding the right hobbies are more important than the number of hobbies. It's about how much you can squeeze out of the hobbies to help you live, say it with me now, a more well-rounded life.

What we want I don't think is an absolute maximized productivity lifestyle in the traditional sense, but rather a completely fulfilling life that allows you to express yourself in an artistic manner that counterintuitively helps create a better more productive life.

With that being said, I'm going to go try and play guitar before my next article.

Anthony Szczepkowski profile image Anthony Szczepkowski