We make several important decisions in our life based on our Interests. Decisions like what profession to pursue, what major and faculty in education we want to enroll, the kind of sports you can play or places you want to visit etc. And you might have heard this “If you want to be successful or happy do what you love or do what is Interesting to you”. Which means, first we figure out what is “Interesting” for us and accordingly we adjust our goals or set our goals or destiny. And many times, we give up on something concluding, “I can’t do it because that’s not my interest”. There might be several another version of such self-conclusions which are all blamed by the “Interest” and “Ability”. “I am not successful because I am not passionate about doing this”. “This is a boring work, I think I got to do something that is in my Interest”. Which means, “Interest” is really an “Interesting” thing to understand, correctly 🙂
What is Interest?
How do we decide what is Interesting to us? My finding is that the things which we find comfortable and fun doing we tag that as interest. It might be different for someone though. When we feel comfortable and easy doing something that looks interesting to us. Also, if something that gives us a great pleasure or enjoyment that also becomes Interesting for us. And something that we want to do anytime and every time and still feel the same fun and excitement that is “Interesting” for us. For example – Watching Movies, listening to music etc. So, my conclusion was if can make something feel comfortable and easy to do, feel enjoyed and can do anytime or everytime that can become an “Interest”.
The “Black Coffee” Experiment
Growing into a “below-middle-class” family in India, I got knew about the “Black Coffee” first time in 2009 (at the age of 23). Then, I guess I tried it for the first time in 2014 and it was the most horrible experience. I immediately tagged the “Black Coffee” in my non-interesting list. Thus, in 2016, I have decided to do this “Black Coffee” experiment. The idea was to drink “Black Coffee” up to the extent where either I die or it becomes Interesting 🙂 It took around 1 year of discipline and some 100s of cups of black coffee to finally be fond of it. Not only it’s my “Interest” now but I am quite addicted to it. I feel comfortable and can have coffee anytime and feel great pleasure.
My Learning from the “Black Coffee” Experiment
In starting something new will look boring, ugly and not-tasty to us. But when you do it as an experiment and develop a discipline to do it for a while, eventually it becomes a habit. The habit becomes the hobby after then. And hobby takes to you the “Interest” and then you get addicted. It’s very transformational where your persistence on not to give up ultimately makes something “Interesting” to us. Which means “Interests” are not genetically wired in us, we can absolutely develop new Interest by following a Discipline of actions and repetition to it. So “Interest is a formed habit that you can develop with a discipline”.
Most of the times, we limit our Goals around our Interest and Habits. For example, if going to “Gym” or “Doing Workout” is not interesting to you then you would not feel having “Healthy or Fit Body” as one of the most important goals of your life. So we take the goal based on our interest instead first we need to decide what we want to achieve and then develop the interests accordingly. So if you know how you can form new “Interest” then you will have more freedom and less limitation to take goals those matters to you. You would not be bound by your “Interest” in fact you will be able to develop any new Interest in your life as many you want.
The small success of the “Black Coffee Experiment” became the building block to develop other Interest and form new goals. Things like – Reading Books, Going to Gym and doing Workout, Writing Blogs, Public Speaking, Healthy Diet, Doing Yoga & Meditation were not my Interest. It was absolutely boring and difficult to do. Then, I started to do the experiments on each one by one. First, I started to develop the discipline to go to the gym. I had those time when I thought of giving up as it was not interesting but staying on it for a while become a habit and it has been around 3 years, I am doing and loving workouts. Then, I started to read books. Again it was not fun and decided to switch to other Interesting things. Instead of giving up, I have decided to do the other variations of book reading. I have started to Listen to the Audiobooks while doing a workout on Audible (saving time). I did that for 1 year and then finally formed habit and hobby to read hard-cover and kindle books. And similarly, I have developed other interest such as moving to more “Healthy Diet Food Options”, “Writing Blogs”, “Doing Yoga and Meditation” etc.
You don’t do something because you are interested in that. First, you decide you want to do it. Then you develop the courage to start. Then discipline to continue and then it becomes habit and hobby so it becomes fun for you. Finally, you are so Addicted to it that doesn’t let you stop it and becomes your “Interest”. And what I realize is that if you do something with determination it’s so easy that you don’t even realize that you are merely putting any efforts doing that. And developing this discipline to develop new interest and new goals open ups all the new possibilities and opportunities in your life. And start with small fun experiment and use it as the building block to set and achieve new goals.