True long-term happiness is found in doing work that you love and which, at the same time, enables you to meet your needs and financial obligations in life.
According to my research, over 95% of the 361 individuals in my study did not love what they did for a living. Even more revealing, 96% of those struggling financially indicated that they did not even like what they did for a living. How on earth can you be happy when you hate what you do for a living? The answer is, you can’t.
Odds are, if you’re reading this and are struggling in life, you probably don’t like what you’re doing for a living. And, as a result, you are unhappy most of the time. The solution is to find something you love to do that can produce enough income to support your lifestyle. But how do you even start the search?
There is only one way. Experimentation. You have to devote time, on the side, to experimenting with different activities. At a minimum, you must devote six months of concentrated side-time to each new activity. Six months is all it takes. Within six months you will either feel passionate about the new activity, or you won’t. If you don’t feel the passion, move on. Passion is your brain’s way of communicating to you that it loves the activity. When you are passionate about something you will want to do it all the time. Passion is the driver for finding something you love.
But what does passion look like? Think back to when you were a child. Do you remember any activity that you did as a kid that you could spend an entire day doing? That’s what passion looks like. Any activity that you can engage in for hours at a time without wanting to stop is a passion activity. When you find a passion activity that requires developing any marketable skill (can generate income), pursue it.
I had the opportunity to talk to Richard Branson at a speaking engagement we both spoke at last year. One of the things I asked him was if he would define what he does as work. He said no. He never saw what he did as something most would call work. So when you read about the work ethic of individuals like Richard Branson or Elon Musk or Warren Buffet, dismiss it. What the world calls work, they call enjoyment. Do you think you could do something for 14 hours a day that you enjoyed?