Do you want to have a meaningful life? Then one thing you should do is having personal projects.
I first heard about it from Brian Little. But when I looked at my life, I realized that I have been doing it for a long time. I have always had personal projects. And indeed, they make me feel fulfilled.
Here are some of my personal projects throughout the years:
- Writing simple computer games when I was in high school.
- Writing a published book on Linux when I started working as a lecturer.
- Building a personal development blog when I took my master’s degree abroad. That’s the blog you are reading, by the way. 🙂
I continue to have personal projects to this day.
Why You Should Have Personal Projects
Let’s look in details why you should have personal projects.
1. It gives you a sense of autonomy.
We often spend time doing things that other people tell us to do. Those people might be your boss or your clients. But your personal projects are different. You choose to do them. That’s why having personal projects can give you a sense of autonomy.
2. It gives you meaning.
What would you choose to do when you have freedom? Of course, you would choose something that’s meaningful to you, something that resonates with your heart.
3. It allows you to realize your potential.
In addition to being meaningful to you, most likely you would choose something that’s related to your potential. That means having personal projects helps you develop your talents.
4. It opens doors of opportunities.
You might start it merely as a personal project, but who knows where it would lead? That’s what happened to me with this blog. It started as a personal project, but eventually, it allows me to become self-employed.
How to Do Your Personal Projects
Having looked at the why, let’s now look at the how. Here is how to do your personal projects.
1. List your ideas.
When you come across something interesting, write it down in an idea journal. You might not do anything about it now, but it could become your personal project one day.
2. Have a margin.
If you are too busy, you might not have the time or energy for personal projects. That’s why it’s important that you have a margin in different areas of your life. Check out this article to learn more.
3. Have the experiment mindset.
The experiment mindset pushes you to try things out without fear of failure. This mindset helps you explore more of your potential through your projects.
4. Make time for them.
Having the best of intention wouldn’t be helpful if you don’t actually spend time on your projects. So make time for them. Consider it an investment in your personal growth.
5. Aim for tangible results.
To stay motivated, you should aim for tangible results. When I played with Linux, for instance, my tangible result was a published book. Such a result will give you a sense of accomplishment.
6. Share the results with others.
While you do the projects primarily for your personal growth, there is a good chance that others will benefit from them as well. So share your results with others.
In my case, I share my thoughts on personal development with others through this blog. And guess what? It feels good to help people.
So those are the why and how of having personal projects.
Any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments.