What are the secrets to a happy life? Have you at any point in your life asked this question?
Most of us spend the greater part our lives looking for happiness and satisfaction in the wrong places and activities. That’s because we attach happiness to money, fame, and other benefits. We erroneously think these benefits are all we need to be happy and fulfilled in life.
But interestingly, we’ve heard stories of people who had all the money and fame that anyone could dream of and yet didn’t live happy lives. Those stories drive home the point that money and fame – while good to have – aren’t the recipes for happiness and fulfillment.
Now, what’s the secret to a happy, fulfilled life?
The answer is simple—acting out your passion to achieve your dreams.
The happiest people in this world aren’t necessarily rich or famous. But, most of them are fulfilled because they nursed passions, acted on those passions, and ultimately achieved the great goals they’ve always dreamed of. These are the simple secrets to a happy life.
If you want to be one of them, simply follow their footsteps.
At this point, I want to assume you’ve already defined your passions. If you haven’t yet, then start doing that right away. After defining your passion, turning them into actions comes next.
Here are 10 different ways to take that all-important step.
1. Volunteer for a cause
Taking up a volunteer role could be all you need to turn your passion into actions that will help you to achieve your dreams. For example, Mother Theresa had a passion for helping the poor. That passion would have died with her if she hadn’t volunteered to help the poor, the sick, and the helpless by building homes and facilities for them. She lived a happy and fulfilled life, and was widely celebrated before and after her death.
2. Start a non-profit
Another way to actualize your passion could be to start a non-profit. Although this could be challenging, the results would be worth much more than the stress.
I’m sure you know the International Red Cross. It was founded by Henry Dunant in 1863 as a way to actualize his passion—helping the injured. Today, it’s one of the world’s largest and most effective non-profit organizations.
3. Write a book
Writing a book is also one of the ways you can express your passion. Many celebrated authors lived happy and fulfilled lives because they were able to turn their passions into influential and life-changing books.
Now, ask yourself, “Can I express my passion through writing a book?” If you can answer that in the affirmative, then start writing right away, and you’d be on your way to lifelong fulfillment.
4. Start a blog
Blogging is now one of the most widely used platforms for expressing passion. And if you adopt the right approach, you too can achieve success with it. The world’s most popular blogs all started as someone’s passion.
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger had a passion to help other people avoid blogging mistakes and become successful bloggers. And Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome had a passion for teaching people how to earn passive income online. I started my blog to further my passion for helping people learn to write better through blogging. Other examples abound.
5. Start a petition
If your passion is to correct a wrong—especially one that has remained for ages—then your best bet is to start a petition. It could be through a letter to the relevant authorities or any other appropriate medium, such as online petition sites (Change.org, etc.).
Malala Yousafzai, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Peace, was passionate about women’s rights. And she started out by making public petitions against the suppression of children and women in certain parts of the world. Today, she’s a globally celebrated figure.
6. Get a relevant job
While most people will tell you that you can’t achieve fulfillment as a paid employee, this is not always true. Sometimes the only way to turn your passion into reasonable action is to take up a job that aligns with that passion.
For example, if your passion is to teach little kids, your best bet is to take up a job that requires you to do just that. The more you see those kids implementing what you’ve impacted on them, the more fulfilled you’ll be.
Better yet, you can work as a freelancer if you’d prefer the freedom that comes with that.
7. Start a business
All of the world’s biggest brands started as someone’s passion. For example, Julia Hartz started Eventbrite in 2006 because she was passionate about helping to people organize events and buy or sell event tickets over the Internet.
If your passion is to help people fill a pressing need, then act by starting a business around that passion. Aside from the fact that a successful business will fetch you money, you’ll be fulfilled and happy.
8. Invent a new product
They say necessity is the mother of invention, but I say that’s partly true. Without the inventor’s passion and subsequent action, the invention won’t have happened. If your passion is to fill a need or solve a problem, you can actualize that passion by inventing a relevant new product.
For example, Bette Nesmith Graham invented the Liquid Paper correction fluid in the 1950s after observing that there was no way to clean up typing errors. She became passionate about filling that need, and was able to invent the right product.
9. Become a teacher
If your passion is to increase other people’s knowledge about a subject that interests you, then becoming a teacher is one of the best ways to turn that passion into action. We’ve heard of many retired teachers who still teach after retirement because teaching is their passion and the only way they can keep themselves happy is to keep doing it—even if for free.
10. Become a good example to others
Leading by example is far more effective than merely giving good advice. So, if you’re passionate about correcting a long-standing societal anomaly, the best action you can take to achieve your goal is to lead by example while championing your campaign. In fact, this could be all you need to live the happy and fulfilled life you always wanted.
Did any of the above action plans resonate with you? The secrets of a happy life are only as useful to you so long as you can make at least one of them actionable. Actualize your passions!