Photo issue: Four leaders give us a peek at their pastimes
The Business Record has produced a Photo Issue since 2012. The issue has primarily focused on showing the hobbies of some of our community leaders – although because of the pandemic we took a different direction to highlight front-line workers in 2020 and the return of staple community gatherings in 2021.
This year we’re again focusing on how a few of our community leaders use their leisure time. As I was working on planning this story, I couldn’t help but reflect on the first book I read this year.
In “168 Hours: You have More Time Than You Think You Do,” author Laura Vanderkam articulates the premise that if people say they don’t have time for something, it means it’s not a priority to them. Of course, there are exceptions and there’s certainly privilege at play when people are able to choose lives that are desirable to them. But through research and many examples, she shows that even those who our society may deem the “busiest” – think CEOs, community leaders or working parents – can find time in life to do the things that they really care about.
She even questions whether there is such a thing as being busy because every one of us has the same 168 hours in our week – we just may spend our time very differently.
“Broadly, those who get the most out of life try to figure out and focus on their core competencies,” Vanderkam writes. “They know that at least one key difference between happy, successful people, and those just muddling along is that the happy ones spend as many of their 168 hours as possible on their core competencies – honing their focus to get somewhere – and, like modern corporations, chucking everything else.”
What are some of those “everything else” activities that those successful and happy people may be chucking? “In our leisure time, we devote vast hours to watching television or shopping,” she writes. And I should note, the book was written before smartphones were as popular as they are now, so I can only imagine that she would add scrolling through phones to that. Yet, “few people classify these activities as meaningful or important.”
The book has made me change my own habits, focusing on eliminating as many hours as possible each week doing activities that don’t bring much meaning to my life. So I couldn’t help but think of this year’s Photo Issue through this lens, and that perspective is why I was particularly curious to know whether what people enjoy from their hobbies applies to the work they do in their day jobs.
My hope is that as you look at and read about the four people we’ve featured this year – a corporate leader, two nonprofit leaders and an attorney – you can not only learn a little more about them, but you can also think about what pastimes bring you the most happiness in your 168 hours. Enjoy!