The Value of Personal Projects

woman working at home with her laptop

Most people are never satisfied with what they do for work.

Many of you have likely heard your parents or friends talking about how they are unsatisfied with their jobs, but simply have to do them. 

Why don’t they do something they like better?

Often, it’s because they never discovered what they enjoy doing for work in the first place. People need to stretch their creative muscles and try new things in order to discover what they are great at. People need personal projects to find their dream career, or even just supplement their boring one.

What Qualifies as a Personal Project?

Anything you seek to create or learn on your own is a personal project. This means you are doing it because you want to, and not because you have to. Have you always wanted to learn how to cook? A good personal project may be trying to create your own recipes and make them into a book. Or if you love to write, like me, you may want to start a blog page to show off those typing skills after work.

Your personal project doesn’t have to be huge; the point is to be creating something you enjoy creating.

Personal Projects Make You Less Boring

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Someone who is passionate about something is always more interesting. You want to be working on something that excites you so much, you almost can’t stop talking about it. I used to have nothing to talk about except school or work; now I can’t stop jabbering about my next great project… and it has had a positive effect on my relationships with others, as well as with myself.

Friends and family love to see excitement and ambition in each other. In addition, your standards for who you surround yourself with will rise; because once you’re not stagnant, it’s hard to be around someone who is.

You will grow talents and find creativity you’ve likely been missing. It only makes sense that talented people are well-loved by others and prouder of themselves.

How Do I Stay Motivated for my Personal Project?

I can totally understand feeling like there’s just no time to work on your project. In fact, I was beginning to feel like I’d never write again after trying to make a schedule for it. What I forgot, and what’s great about personal projects, is they are on your own time. There are no deadlines or schedules; just whatever you desire to do.

Another great thing is that since personal projects are something built on your own interests, once you begin to do even the smallest thing with them it will snowball into doing lots of things with them. You will start to have fun and continue on, even if you’re tired.

Maybe I’m crazy, but feeling productive in my free time makes me feel like my day job hasn’t stolen everything. When everything feels too overwhelming to work on your project, that may actually be the best time to stretch those creative muscles.

Personal Projects May Help You Quit Your Day Job

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I don’t know about you, but I really care about money. It’s not essential that your personal project rake in the cash, but it sure is a plus. A whopping 68% of Americans are dissatisfied with the amount of on-the-job stress they face. Monetizing a hobby you enjoy could be the perfect solution.

Dreaming of large amounts of money doing something that feels easy is also extremely motivating. Plus, the world needs more people getting paid for their creativity to drive the next creative generation.

Personal Pr0ject Ideas

With all the reasons you’d benefit out of the way, I will go ahead and offer some personal project ideas if you haven’t thought of one already:

  • Writing: Maybe I’m a little biased, but I truly believe writing is one of the best money-making hobbies– and it doesn’t even make me money yet! I gain the same sense of satisfaction from finishing a long essay in high school, without all the stress. And, I can write about anything I want.
  • Art: Now I’m no artist, but I know plenty. Whether you can paint, sculpt, woodcarve, or even crochet, there’s a market for you. Congratulations– you’ve lived to see the world of Etsy.
  • Calligraphy: This one is for those of you who had one hundred different gel pens just for note-taking in class. If you love making writing look good, calligraphy might be what you need to scratch your brain. Plus, people pay for you to write pretty on their invitations and flyers.
  • Techy Stuff: If you’re anything like me, your chest swells with pride when your grandparents tell everyone how good you are with computers. Personally, I just reset the wifi router, but if you love feeling like a tech expert, try your hand at making websites or apps– these go for a pretty penny.

These ideas are meant to help you jumpstart the brainstorming process and make connections between what you already enjoy and how it can somehow be something bigger. Please feel free to reach out or comment if you need help finding your perfect personal project!

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