Banish boredom by taking your secret passion and turning it into a lifelong pocket emptying endeavor!
Tolstoy once called boredom "The desire for desires". It may be an acute, desperate sense of wanting something, anything to think about, or it may be a chronic feeling of ennui that threads throughout your day-to-day, forcing you to subconsciously fill up the empty spaces in your time with unfulfilling drudgery. If either scenario rings true, you my friend, need a hobby.
Most people don't even realize that they don't have a hobby - they know they have interests, but because those interests don't necessarily contribute to income or security, they get mentally pushed to the back burner as a "someday" self-promise. Interests may fascinate you, but a hobby means you're doing something about it - it gives you something to think about, something to talk about, and something to look forward to. Some hobbies may even generate some income.
Choosing a hobby is simple - just think of something you love or have always wanted to know more about, and go from there. Of course, you may have too many potential interests all bottled up waiting for the "some day", so how do you decide? There's a Jewish proverb that says "When a habit begins to cost money, it's called a hobby". If that doesn't narrow it down enough, consider how the different types of hobbies fit into your lifestyle and interest.
Collecting is what comes to mind when you think of hobbies. Endless shelves lined with collectible plates, books of stamps, stacks of coins, etc, but it can take many forms. Consider your living space - someone in a tiny Manhattan loft probably shouldn't collect outdoor sculpture, whereas someone with several acres of land just might. People collect cars, furniture, stuffed animals, dolls, books, clothing, art, bottle caps, candles - just about anything, really.
Be sure you have room to store your collection, and have a plan in place to display it if you choose. Also consider the financial aspect - some collectibles can cost into the six figures, so make sure you can actually afford to purchase what you intend to collect without refinancing the house.
Not all hobbies leave you with a tangible souvenir. If you enjoy being active and need a little more adventure in your life, consider an "activity" hobby. Bungee jumping, mountain climbing, scuba diving, and kite sailing are some of the more strenuous (some might say reckless) choices, but hiking, fishing, sailing and dancing are options that almost anyone can try.
First, make sure you're fit enough for your chosen activity. You don't want to discover your true fitness level when you're dangling from a handhold several hundred feet up the sheer face of a rock. Second, choose an activity that you can do close to home. True, traveling to new places to windsurf, snowboard, or parasail is a big part of the fun, but you can't travel all the time. If you take up Alpine skiing but you live in Florida, you probably won't get much practice in.
Learning is like collecting for people who are short on space. Instead of collecting vintage zippers, you're collecting knowledge. Take something that fascinates you and find out everything you can about it. Read books, attend lectures, watch documentaries, and even do some research of your own. Always wondered about quantum physics? Finding out is a great way to use up spare time. Follow the weather a bit more closely than necessary? Start tracking it yourself and learn how to make your own predictions. Join discussion groups, online bulletin boards and meetup groups.
The wealth of information available online makes "learning" hobbies the potentially cheapest type - just be sure you seek out reliable sources. The list of topic choices is endless - some of the more popular ones include ghost hunting, ufology, and cryptozoology, but there's no need to go that far out there. Learn about textiles if you love fashion. Learn about food chemistry if you love to cook. Be inquisitive and always ask "why?".
The "making" hobbies are the opposite of "collecting" hobbies. Sure, you'll need to amass a certain amount of tools and materials, but the main focus on the hobby is the output instead of the input. Crafters have these hobbies in the bag - scrapbooking, knitting, painting and needlepoint are all very typical and easy to learn, but "making" hobbies also include things like baking, poetry, photography and blogging. The common thread being that when you have finished practicing your hobby for the day, you are left with something that wasn't there before - it came to life right in your hands. Your friends would prefer if you chose baking instead of poetry.
You can teach yourself most "making" hobbies as long as you don't choose surgery as your area of interest, and the goofs and frustration along the way often make the final achievement that much more rewarding. Of course, impatient types can also take classes at craft stores and some community schools, or even ask a friend or relative to teach you. Before you decide on a "making" hobby, be sure you can afford and store all the necessary equipment. Crochet needles can fit in a pocket, but furniture-building tools require a garage (at least) and a sizable financial investment. The great thing about these kinds of hobbies is that once you develop some skill, you can sell your finished pieces. Usually not for what you think they're worth (blood, sweat and tears!), but enough to recoup the cost of materials.