Person making objects with clay

Your Result

Boost your sense of creativity and play by developing a new interest or skill

To be happier, consider a habit that will boost your sense of creativity and play by developing a new interest or skill.

Why this aim is likely to make you happier

An atmosphere of growth is a key component of a happy life. Research shows that we’re happier when we feel that we’re being challenged, developing mastery, learning new things, and pursuing our passions. Plus, novelty can make time feel slower and our lives feel richer.

When was the last time you lost track of time going down a research rabbit hole on a fascinating subject or completely absorbed in a project? That flow state can help our brains feel more energized and creative.

Aims you might consider

Take an art or dance class—get out of your comfort zone

Take music lessons to play an instrument or sing

Set aside time every week for creative play—you might get your kids or friends involved or protect that time for solo exploration

Spend an hour at the bookstore or library once a week perusing magazines on topic that interests you

Learn to cook dishes from a cuisine that’s new to you

Subscribe to a podcast on a topic that interests you and listen to an episode every week

Host regular gatherings with friends to work on creative projects

Start or join an interest-based book club

Take an online course to develop a creative skill

Know Yourself Better

Self-knowledge is an essential aspect of happiness, because we can create a happy life only on the foundation of our own nature, our own values, and our own interests. 

As you consider ways to boost your sense of creativity and play by developing a new interest or skill​​​, ask yourself:

  • What’s a skill you’ve always wanted to learn or a topic you’ve always wanted to know more about?
  • What did you do for fun when you were a child? You’d probably enjoy the adult version of that activity.
  • Are there certain places or environments you find inspiring or energizing? Browsing an art supply or hardware store, being out in nature, sitting in a busy coffee shop or quiet library?
  • Consider your Tendency. Learn whether you’re an Obliger, Questioner, Upholder, or Rebel by taking the free Four Tendencies Quiz.

    • If you’re an Obliger, joining a group can offer the outer accountability you need. 
    • If you’re a Questioner, embrace your love of research and information.
    • If you’re an Upholder, schedule time to be unscheduled—if you put recess on your calendar or book a class, you’re more likely to do it.
    • If you’re a Rebel, you may resist the expectations of a class or group that meets at a certain time, so you may have more success reading books or listening to podcasts on your own schedule.

A few notes of caution…

  • Enjoy the fun of failure. Part of cultivating an atmosphere of growth is trying things we’re not very good at (yet), making a mess, and learning from our mistakes.

  • Remember, what’s fun for you may not be fun for someone else. While it can be enjoyable to do activities with friends, their interests might not always align with yours. Follow your own enthusiasm.