I have a friend who — for whatever reason — regularly questions me about my level of happiness. I, of course, have theories for why she is so interested in the happiness of others, but I will keep those to myself for the time being. How is it that such a simple question can be so loaded? Our instant response is to say yes — but as soon as the syllable leaves our lips, we begin to reconsider our situation. Are we happy? I mean, we may be somewhat happy — but are we happy enough to claim ourselves as being “happy”? Well when my friend asked me Saturday night whether or not I was happy, it was the first time that I was able to say without a doubt that I was.
To be fair, I was several whiskeys in… but even the morning after, my answer held. What I would like to share with you is not the fact that I am happy, but rather why it is that I can dub myself as such. I have managed to do the seemingly impossible — okay, maybe not the impossible, but the uncommon. I came to the realization that what I am doing is what I love to do.
It came as a pleasant surprise. I am the type of person that likes to push through and not think about how sh*tty life can sometimes be, so for me to pause and to conclude that I love my life was somewhat unexpected, unforeseen. Doing what you love is not difficult, but it does require a conscious effort — it won’t happen unless you make it so.
Anyone and everyone can do what they love, even if they have yet to figure out exactly what that is. For me, it isn’t a single thing, but a collection of different projects. Each one of you can and should do what will make you happy. I understand that the task can seem larger than life. I know that many of you do not even know where to begin. So begin here:
1. Understand Why It Is That You Have Yet To Find Your Passion.
The first ingredient is the most important: finding your passion. Being passionate about something is one of the most — if not the most — important states that a person can find herself in. Passion gives you a reason to wake up each morning and the fuel to get through the day. Unfortunately, finding that something that plants the seed of passion in our souls often proves to be difficult. If you weren’t lucky enough to have passion find you on its own accord, then you have to consider why it is eluding you.
It may be that you have not done enough soul-searching. Finding something that you are passionate about requires a keen knowledge of self. You must get to know yourself, what you like and what you dislike, before you can expect to find that which drives you. Take time to try new things and to experiment. Do things that you have yet to do and especially those that you don’t think you would like doing. You won’t know what you like or don’t like until you actually try; since there will be more activities that you don’t enjoy than will inspire you, you can begin to create a list of things that won’t make you happy. The longer this list, the closer you will be to finding your passion.
The only other reason why you may have not gotten around to finding your passion is fear. Fear of putting yourself out there, fear of failing to find your passion and fear of failing once you do find your passion are all a reality that one may face. Luckily, there is one easy solution to this: grow up. If you are still in the stages of getting over your fears, then you have a lot of personal growing to do. There is nothing in life that ought to be feared. All that is will one day cease to be, so what does it matter if it ends a bit sooner? The only thing that is worth fearing is remaining in stagnancy and losing opportunity.
2. Come To Understand That You Are More Important.
Our lives can be hectic as it is, so finding time to do more may simply be an impossibility. For this reason, you have no choice but to trim the fat; in the end what matters most is you. Figure out what it is that you want out of life (once you have found your passion, this will be much easier) and then cut out all that does not work towards furthering this purpose.
The trick is to learn to say ‘No.’ I like hanging with my friends and enjoying myself just as much as the next guy, but for every hour you play cards or take shots, it’s an hour that you can’t spend doing something more productive. This is not to say that we should always say no to our friends and to activities that don’t hold any value other than the fun they bring. Having fun is important for mental health, so we ought to just have fun once in a while. The key is to be selective as to what activities we participate in and what activities we skip.
There are many times that I find myself meeting up with the boys simply because I feel as if I have nothing else to do — this is never the case; there is always something else that you could be doing. Working towards growing your passion and towards doing what you love will make you much happier in the end than will playing Call of Duty.
3. Don’t Expect The World From The Onset.
Once we find what we know we will love, something that we want to turn into our careers and make our life journey, we must come to understand and to accept that it is just that — a journey. You cannot expect to start a journey at the finish line. You will more likely than not fail to make a single dollar at the onset. It’s not easy to stick through the grit to come out the other end prosperous — it takes courage, perseverance and the passion to keep at it when things aren’t going quite as you had expected. Things never go exactly the way you wish them to and although you may believe yourself to be producing quality products or services, it will take others time to come to the same conclusion.
What is most important is to do — simply do regardless of the circumstances and failures. It is the simplest of concepts, yet the most overlooked. I know people that take months if not years to plan on how they will tackle the world, never thinking to just start fighting the good fight. Anything worth doing will require a certain level of mastery in order to be done properly.
The only way to master any task is to relentlessly do — do when you want to do, do when you don’t feel like doing. You must do consistently no matter what circumstances make themselves present. Life has a knack for trying to throw us off our planned path. If we are able to stick it out to the end, we will be happy with the rewards we reap.