Leisure is a term with unclear meaning, implying that it does not have a universally agreed definition. Leisure is something personal, a state of mind, or quality of emotion (Olson, 2008). People use their leisure time differently, but some terminologies are fundamental, one of them being perceived freedom, which means that an individual ought to be aware of his or her state of being to enjoy the available free time.
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This suggests that leisure takes place at an individual’s free time. Whenever an individual engages in an activity, he or she evaluates its effectiveness and value to determine whether to continue doing it or to abandon it altogether. If an activity is satisfying, an individual will continue with it. This implies that people evaluate several activities before deciding on the ones to take part.
Intrinsic motivation implies that something that an individual does is by choice, meaning that he or she is motivated to do it. Each time I participate in any leisure activity, I am motivated to do so, and I aim at achieving satisfaction rather than saving time and resources. Casual leisure implies that an individual should not have special skills to engage in it; hence, it is informal (Olson, 2008).
Each person engages in this type of leisure each day and includes activities such as talking to a friend and watching television. Regarding casual leisure, I participate in it each day, as it does not need any special skills. Serious leisure entails engaging in intense activities that need high levels of skills, including reading and solving a complex problem that cannot be handled by an individual without specialized knowledge.
In school, I am motivated to engage in leisure activities that are beneficial as far as my academic career is concerned. This means that I base my leisure activities on the idea of perceived freedom, and the motivation for these leisure activities is intrinsic. Activities, such as engaging in a group discussion and liaising with the teacher, take the form of casual leisure whereas other activities, including reading and presenting my work in class entail serious leisure.
At work, some form of leisure usually takes place. When I aspire to realize organizational goals, I am intrinsically motivated to do so. As I talk to colleagues, I would be engaged in casual leisure, whereas addressing important issues that touch on the organization and clients entail serious leisure.
Several theories of leisure exist, but the one that best describes my situation is the one formulated by Erickson in 1950 and supported by Piaget in 1962, which states that leisure is a state of mind. Based on this, leisure is a result of intellectual and physical development.
Erickson confirmed through research that leisure activities originate from the mind, and an individual is motivated to engage in it whenever he or she feels that it would be beneficial. It should be noted that no single theory of leisure best explains the reasons why an individual would decide to engage in one activity and abandon the other.
Research shows that several factors encourage an individual to engage in an activity, and several theories ought to be used to explain the exact reasons that motivate people to engage in an activity. Olson (2008) noted that numerous factors that influence our leisure choices to exist.
Olson, E.G. (2008). Perspectives on Leisure: Toward a Quality Lifestyle. Kendall Hunt Pub Co.