Happiness is one of the great goals in life. Asked why you do the things that you do, why you want the things that you want, wouldn’t you ultimately say that it was to be happy?

We often go against that happiness, giving up on our dreams for what others call realistic. But if you can find your passion, something that you want to pursue for its own sake and not just for the sake of the pay, then you will be happier.

And the best part? Happiness can help you to pursue that passion.

Finding your passion

Do you even know what you are passionate about? With so many different things to interest us it can be hard to tell what really motivates and what is a passing interest. So how do you find the purpose that will keep you engaged?

A lot of this comes down to listening to yourself, letting your emotions and your subconscious speak. If you are weighing up options for which path to take then don’t just balance them in a calm, logical way. Think about each one in turn and see how you respond emotionally. Which ones make you happy? Which make you excited? Which make you uncomfortable? That’s the real you speaking, a part that understands more than your conscious mind. Make use of it. Only afterwards try to work out where its answers come from.

Your emotions are an asset. Use your happiness to guide you down a path to further happiness.

Pursuing your passion

Once you’ve found your passion you’ll want ways to stay focused on it. After all, those distractions are still out there.

Work out what your goal is, both in the long and the short term. If you are passionate about art then perhaps your goal is to find funding and a major gallery to be shown in. Make sure that all your activity pushes towards those goals. Are you practicing skills that will help you to get there? Are you developing contacts within the community? Are you getting paintings shown in other galleries to prove your worth?

Just because you’re pursuing your passion doesn’t mean you can skip straight to the end. The intermediate stages are what make it achievable. But if your goal is something that you’re passionate about then the same should apply to the steps along the way. An artist loves to practice and talk about their art. A dedicated marketer loves to refine and debate marketing. That passion will carry you through.

Sticking with it

There are two ways in which it’s easy to be nudged away from your passion – distraction and demoralization. But you can use your happiness to battle both.

Notice how you feel about the tasks that you’re doing. If you start to get fidgety and uncomfortable, to find excuses not to do them, then maybe you aren’t really pursuing your passion. Are these really the right steps towards your goal, or would something else make you happier and keep you on track?

And when you’re feeling demoralized stop and think about your passion, about what you’re trying to achieve. Let the positive emotions in. Bask in what you’ve achieved so far and what you’re going to achieve in future. Let the happiness carry you through.

It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.

The tool and the goal

Despite what the puritans would tell us, happiness is a worthwhile goal and a way of ensuring productivity and dedication. But it’s more than just a goal, it’s a barometer of whether you’re doing the right thing, of whether you are on track in pursuit of your passions.

So listen to your happiness, seek out your passion and never let go.