Are You Saying That We Shouldn’t Have Hobbies?


There are the 5Fs that you are emphasizing as the main aspects of life.

What about hobbies and/or intellectual development which are not covered by the 5Fs but, in my opinion, are also a crucial part of life especially regarding a balanced mind and psyche?



Dear Mike,

Thank you for giving us a chance to elaborate on this issue.

Mike, let’s imagine you are confronted by four projects each with its own deadline. What is more each, upon completion, will result in a different level of reward. Choosing the right order in which to do the projects is the first project. In a similar way, we are hardly ever applying ourselves to all 5 Fs with the same degree of effort simultaneously. We’re keeping all five on the stove top but might be actively stirring only one or two at any particular time.

The most important thing is to launch your new 5F roadmap. We lay this out completely in our book, The Holistic You: Integrating Your Family, Finances, Faith, Friendships and Fitness. Each F is a category encompassing far more than merely what its name suggests.

For instance, F-Finance includes all the relationships you have with suppliers, customers, associates and your banker. It includes the relationship you have with your assets and your possessions. If you have a business coach and a fishing boat, they fall under this category too.

Similarly, Faith includes all the scientifically non-measurables in your life. It is not only your relationship with your religious community but also your relationship with your own intellectual development and your own emotional development. There are books you read for no other reason than to advance your understanding and wisdom. That activity is clearly headlined under Faith. If you enjoy playing or listening to music, an element of that, too, falls under Faith.

You ask about hobbies. Some people have asked us why there isn’t a sixth F for Fun. The answer is that the areas we highlight are the five indispensable zones for an ultimately happy, fulfilling and successful life. We have known many highly successful people with no hobbies. Between their families, their finances, their friendships, their physical fitness and their faith, they have neither time for nor interest in hobbies. But we have never known a fulfilled and happy individual whose life contains only 3 or 4 of the 5 Fs.

If hobbies interest you, ask yourself whether your particular hobby advances your Fitness or perhaps your spiritual arena of Faith or perhaps it is something you do with Friends. This kind of audit will help you assign a relative weighting to the activity. One of the insidious problems with “playing electronic games by myself” as a hobby is that it spreads like the ink coming out of a squid. A five-minute break might help one to recharge but when it turns into hours staring at a screen, that is another kind of situation entirely.

Here is an example of how hobbies cross over into the 5Fs. I (Susan) enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles. Often, I find that when I am engrossed in one, my mind solves a problem that has been worrying me or I am composing the basis for a Musing. So, this hobby helps my Family and Friendships (if that is where the difficulty I was grappling with lay) and my Finances by helping me get work done. For many people, sports are a part of cultivating both Friendships and Fitness. If your hobby does nothing but remove you from the main areas of your life, you might question whether it is worthwhile.

Tennis anyone?

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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