The most successful people know how important it is to have interests and hobbies outside of their work lives.
Some of these hobbies are useful and considered important networking tools, while others are more focused on personal development and pushing themselves. Some are purely thrill-seeking and allow people in high-stress jobs to forget about their day-to-day responsibilities.
George W. Bush, for example, is an avid painter. The adventurous Richard Branson’s favourite sport is kite boarding, and investor Warren Buffett plays online bridge.
Here are the hobbies of 9 highly successful people.
Since golf is such a popular sport in the business world, women can miss out on important networking opportunities if they don't play. Rice knows this and started playing golf when she was working as Secretary of State and even often played with former President George W. Bush.
Six years later, Rice is a member at the Augusta National Golf Club, one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, and continues to play golf regularly. Rice and business executive Darla Moore were the first women granted memberships to Augusta.
'I'm very aggressive,' Rice told John Barton at Golf Digest. 'My inner Phil Mickelson comes out quite frequently.'
India's fourth-richest billionaire and chairman of Reliance ADA Group, Anil Ambani often runs the streets of Mumbai before dawn with his bodyguards. He first trained for the Boston Marathon in 2003 after someone questioned his weight at an investor's conference in New York. Since then, Ambani has pushed himself and is now a serial marathon runner.
'At a deeper level, running is about pushing the limits, of realising one's possibilities,' he told Businessweek.
The oracle of Omaha is a man of many talents. Buffett's been playing the ukulele for decades, but he also told CNN Money that he plays online bridge most Mondays with three other partners, sometimes including Bill Gates.
In a report titled 'Why Warren Buffett Plays Bridge,' economist John P. Hussman reasoned that Buffett's love of the game could be because it places emphasis on 'playing a hand right rather than on playing it successfully':
'It seems to me (and it has certainly been my experience) that it takes an enormous amount of restraint to focus on playing every investment hand 'right,' according to an established discipline, allowing the law of averages to work in your favour, rather than trying to win every hand. I would guess that this is exactly what appeals to Warren Buffett's temperament. Over the long-term, good investing requires it.'
Sarandon loves playing ping pong so much that she gives ping pong tables to friends and to inner-city schools as gifts, reports The Associated Press.
'I love the game because it cuts across gender and age and body type, and you can play it until you die, unlike other sports that you have to abandon at a certain point,' said Sarandon.
She even helped launch a sports bar with ping pong tables called Spin in New York.
'It's funny, I realised after losing the America's Cup twice, my personality didn't allow me to quit while I'm losing,' Ellison told Charlie Rose. 'After winning the America's Cup, I discovered my personality doesn't allow me to quit while I'm winning. So I'm kind of trapped. I just can't quit.'
Ellison became interested in sailing when he read a story in National Geographic about Robin Lee Graham, who was the youngest person to circle the globe by himself aboard his sailboat. At the time, Ellison was a teenager and envied Graham's adventurous spirit. He's been sailing ever since.
'The Price is Right' host is a karate expert. In his autobiography 'Priceless Memories,' Barker writes about his long-time friendship with martial artist and actor Chuck Norris, including eight years that he spent training under Norris.
In an interview with Vegeterian Times, Barker explained how karate became his exercise:
'I took karate lessons from Chuck Norris before he became an actor. Chuck was a guest on the show 'Truth or Consequences,' which I hosted. I was so impressed that I asked him if he would give me lessons. He used to come to my home and we'd do karate. We started out here on my lawn, and then I started parking my car on the driveway and made the garage into a karate studio. I took lessons for eight years. Then Chuck got into acting and stopped teaching. I then worked with Pat Johnson.'
'I started doing karate when I was around 45, and I did karate until my early 70s, but to do karate, you have to be very stretched out.'
The Virgin founder has explored space, the deep sea, and flown in a hot air balloon across the Atlantic Ocean. Branson loves doing anything that will keep him fit and productive, which explains why his favourite sport is
Kite boarding, or kite surfing, is a water sport that uses a large power kite to keep people balanced while on a a kiteboard, which is similar to a wakeboard or surfboard.
Retired from official state business, the former president has taken up oil painting since leaving the White House. Last month during an appearance on The Today Show, Bush presented Jay Leno with a portrait of the host and revealed that painting contributed to his new relaxed lifestyle.
Bush loves his new hobby so much, he told Rachel Weiner at The Washington Post that he spends two to three hours a day painting. 'I love to paint, painting has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way,' he said. 'I look at colours differently, I see shadow.'
Bush prefers painting animals -- usually dogs -- but sometimes paints himself.
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