In an excerpt from Ryan Holiday’s Stillness is the Key, that was published on Salon, Holiday writes about “why ambitious people have (unrelated) hobbies” and the wonders it could do for one’s career. 

In the excerpt, he talks about how Winston Churchill found joy in painting, as well as laying bricks. Apparently, he “fell in love with the slow, methodical process of mixing mortar, troweling, and stacking bricks”. 

For me, bartending is my equivalent of bricklaying. The pace of work is not always slow, but there’s the same sense of structure and silence.

“Churchill was happy because he got out of his own head and put his body to work,” writes Holiday. 

I have been chided for having unrelated hobbies. Fellow entrepreneurs have extolled the importance of having laser focus. For a while, I listened. 

And my soul etiolated, slowly wasted away. 

I’ve been working at the bar for a year now and in that year, have done more work than in the previous three years. 

“You must dare something to gain leisure also,” Holiday quotes the philosopher Seneca. 

You have to risk career advancement to pursue leisure. But perhaps, you may find that your leisure activity feeds your soul, makes you happy, provides mental balance. 

How could those things be bad for career advancement? 

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