About a month ago, I became hooked on mahjong, the ultimate game. It’s a bit late in my life to start, but that’s how it is.
In the past, I might have thought, “Playing games like this would be ruinous, leading to personal downfall.” But now, as I’ve grown older, I’ve stopped worrying about these concerns and am thoroughly enjoying this obsession. I’m living in the moment.
Throughout my life, I’ve only occasionally found activities so captivating that I’d sacrifice sleep for them, perhaps once every five years.
First, there was soccer in elementary school, then guitar and drums in high school. After that, I got into FPS games and eventually found programming, which led to a career. Later, I enjoyed reading comics and books at a leisurely pace; it was more of a gradual enjoyment rather than an obsession that would cost me sleep.
A few years ago, I had a brief but intense period of playing Valorant, another FPS game. The daily happiness and the time spent improving during that period were priceless.
Lately, I’ve been realizing the value of having something that excites me enough to jump out of bed for it. So, I’ve decided to fully immerse myself in whatever comes next, knowing that these enjoyable times might not last forever.
Here’s the thing: whether or not these obsessions lead to something useful in work or life isn’t the main point, although they often do. More importantly, as various monks and philosophers say, the greatest happiness for humans is to live in the moment.
Apparently, when humans have free time, they tend to stress over the past and future instead of focusing on the present.
Thus, those who discover a hobby they can deeply immerse themselves in are fortunate; such passions aren’t easily found, even with ample resources. I hope this state lasts for a long time, but I know it won’t be easy.
Why? Because humans grow quickly from beginners to intermediates, but once they hit a certain wall, growth slows down drastically. You might even see your limits and feel like you can’t improve any further.
The most enjoyable time is when you feel yourself growing, but the real test is whether you can persevere when you hit that wall or if you’ll lose interest and give up.