4 Hobbies That Can Change How You See the World

Hobbies are a great way to spend your time. The skills and discipline hobbies bring can be great for your life. They have been shown to reduce stress, boost self-esteem and can even make you healthier. When thinking about hobbies, coin and stamp collecting come to mind. However, the list of hobbies you can do is large and varied.
Some hobbies can even change the way you see the world. These activities can make you see the world in new and unique ways that you might not see otherwise.

1. Painting

Think for a moment about what color clouds are. Did you think white? Take a closer look at them next time. Clouds are mostly white, but also include black, grey, yellow, pink and even blue. It depends on so many factors like what time of day are you looking at them, the type of cloud or the angle you’re at. In the sunset, you’ll see many colors in clouds you won’t see mid-afternoon.

Painting is also a great way to notice shapes. One of the easiest ways to paint faces or objects is to break them down into their relative shapes and combine them together. Everything in the world can be broken down into things like circles, squares and triangles. It’s like putting pieces of a puzzle together as you’re creating your painting.

If you take up painting, you’ll see more colors and shapes in the world. You’ll notice subtle influences of color in everything and will be able to break anything down into their relative shapes. This brings out the beauty in the world in ways you probably weren’t noticing before.

2. Studying Philosophy

Thousands of years of studying life and the different ways people perceive it. The ideas and thoughts from people in this field can definitely change the way you see the world.

For instance, look at a table nearby. What does it look like? You probably replied with something like a flat object with four legs. Now imagine what it looks like from a mile away. From there you wouldn’t be able to notice the legs and it might just look like a square blob of some sort. Now imagine what it would look like under a microscope. That flat surface you see right now might look like mountains under the microscope. Which is the right way of seeing the table?

Another philosophy problem can be illustrated by the ship of Theseus paradox. As the planks on Theseus’s ship decayed, they were removed until almost every plank had been replaced. The argument is whether the ship is the same one as when it first sailed. At what point do all those planks that were replaced create an entirely new ship?

Philosophy can be really hard to understand: thousands of pages to read with difficult concepts. If this sounds like too much work then realize you can start out with easier introduction to philosophy books.

Some TV shows and movies even have books on philosophy such as The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh of Homer or Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All. And if pop culture can release books on philosophy, you can find a philosophy book to get started.

3. Photography

This hobby is an art form that can really bring out the beauty of the world to you. I have a friend who is an amateur award winning photographer. Every so often he’ll put some of his photos on Facebook.

The things he photographs are mostly common, everyday things, but the way he captures them really brings out their beauty. Sometimes the way light hits an object or the way shadows align make ordinary things beautiful.

Photography makes you look for the beauty of the world. When you start to look for the beauty, you’ll soon realize just how much there really is out there. Here’s a test: the next time you’re driving somewhere look for something beautiful. The more routine your drive the better. You’ll see it in the smile of a pedestrian or the architecture of a bridge. It makes you realize how much beauty really is out there.

When you’re on the lookout for great photos, you’ll notice these beautiful everyday things more frequently.

4. Yoga/Meditation

The bends and twists you do in yoga can make you see the world in a different way – literally, when you’re lying flat on your back or bending down to look through your legs upside down.

Joking aside, the changes you can find in yoga and meditation are personal and introspective. Both offer a way to become more self-aware.

Self-awareness is a state where you are conscious of your own being as an individual. You are separate from other people and animals with your own outlook, disposition and consciousness.

Yoga and meditation are just two ways to bring out a higher level of self-awareness inside of you.

Both meditation and yoga provide a gateway to the inner workings of your mind. Oftentimes, this can be more world changing for people than noticing anything new about the world around them. Self-reflection is just as important and world changing as anything around you and can lead to some very surprising discoveries.

Join 20,000 Monthly Readers
Get weekly strategies for motivation, travel and living life on your terms.
Get free ebook 10 Ways to Travel Endlessly - the amazing methods that have already helped thousands travel faster, better and cheaper.


  1. I know what you mean in regards to #3, this past weekend I took an unexpected detour. It was such a nice area and had such a different look than what I was used to seeing in the area, that I then returned back there the following day with my camera.

  2. Photography is my source of creative solace. I spent the day snapping shots of The Senator in Florida, one of the largest and oldest trees in America.

  3. Photography is definitely the hobby that makes me see the world in a different way. When travelling, I’m always on the lookout for that next great image. It tends to make me slow down and take everything in a little more, whilst scanning for a great image. Often I will just find a spot where a good shot may be possible, and sit, wait and watch, with my finger on the button ready to go.

  4. @Jason

    Traveling brings out the inner photography in me too. I try to capture that great image that best shows what the country is like. That’s next to impossible, but I slow down and really absorb a lot of the beauty of the country trying to find it.

  5. This is a great article and I actually do all four to some degree and get a slightly different perspective from each. Seeing as I have no talent whatsoever as a painter, for me it’s personal and raw emotion. It allows me to visualise my emotions whatever they may be at the time and see them in a different way than just feeling.
    Studying, talking & theorising philosophical ideas is a great way to get the mind to understand things differently. Quite often this results in discovering that problems aren’t really problems at all.
    Photography forces me to look at things differently and more deeply than anyone normally wood. Everything has beauty and intrigue if looked at from the right perspective. Being a photographer forces me to look for and find that perspective.
    Ok so yoga isn’t my thing but meditation is (sort of). For me, driving is a meditation. Getting out on the open road and zoning out. It gives me a single focus point (the road ahead) and yet requires awareness of all around. I find I almost enter a different state of consciousness where my awareness increases to not only all that is around me but all the thoughts, feelings, images and sounds in my mind. I find I can focus on a single detail or take in everything and see the bigger picture. Many of my epiphany moments come from this driving meditation.
    I think there’s one more hobby that can be added to the list though. Writing. There’s the old saying “A picture tells a thousand words”. You may want to try as an exercise trying to describe a photo in words. You’ll find as soon as you think you’ve done it a new detail will emerge and then when you’ve written about that one another one will appear. It may not necessarily make you see the world differently but I find that it certainly helps to see things in more detail and with more clarity. I also think a thousand words isn’t even close to being enough for one picture.

  6. @James Cole

    Thanks for your comment. I like when you said, “Everything has beauty and intrigue if looked at from the right perspective.” I think that is very true – there is a lot of beauty in the world. And that is what I was getting at in this post. It’s all about getting new perspectives and understanding of the world around us.

  7. I agree with all of them, but I would add one to the list and it would be fighting. Not to sound like a testosterone driven primal animal but there’s something beautiful about fighting that is often overlooked due to the brutality of it.

    The challenge to push your mind and body through intense pain, fatigue and suffering so that you will overcome your adversary is a one of a kind feeling to say the least. Stepping into a ring or a cage and feeling your heart pump like it’s about to explode, hearing the crowd roar as you connect with your opponents jaw and he hits the floor, and having your hand raised at the end of a battle that you came out on top of it like nothing else in the world.

    You definitely see the world differently after you’ve been in a serious fight

  8. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

Speak Your Mind