Passion and purpose lead to hard work, which can, in turn, lead to fulfillment and happiness
“What makes you happy?” seems like a simple enough question but when people are asked, many are stumped and cannot answer straightaway.
Three decades ago, in the mid-‘90s, “scientific journals published about 100 studies on sadness for every one study on happiness,” according to an article in USA Today. Today, however, “positive psychology” is emphasizing “people’s strengths and talents instead of their weaknesses.”
“Happiness isn’t something that just happens to you. Everyone has the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships that can help set us on course for a happier life,” according to another study.
When talking about happiness and fulfillment, people often mention three things: passion, purpose and gratitude.
If you have these three things, then you are halfway on the road to success. The secret to success is knowing who you are, your goals, and what brings out your passion. The other half is all about hard work and perseverance, but this commitment comes naturally when your actions are fueled by passion and purpose.
Passion and purpose
Looking back, I had a tough start. After graduating from high school, I did not know what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was I wanted a challenge and so applied for a quota course at the University of the Philippines. It seemed easy enough because I was accepted! But the hard part was keeping me interested. When I took my first accounting class, I knew it wasn’t for me.
I then shifted to a communications course—communication research—but again it wasn’t the right fit for me.
It was not until my father encouraged me to apply as a trainee at MBS 4 (Maharlika Broadcasting System), which was then the government television network, that I discovered my life’s purpose and passion.
I instantly knew it was the career I wanted to pursue. The frenetic energy of the newsroom was electric, loved the challenge of the work. I was a quick learner, propelled by the desire to excel and be the best at what I did.
Success doesn’t happen overnight but over time
Success is never instant. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a professional, the road to success is not without long nights and sacrifice. But these make you tougher, prepare you for bigger goals.
My very first TV script was given to someone else to voice over. While I felt bad, it did not discourage me and instead pushed me to be better. I constantly studied, practiced and, before I was 30 years old, I became a news anchor. I am proud to say that I never left field reporting, which became my strength.
I was not content to be a news reader. I worked hard, was determined and I persevered. I worked long hours and strove to give my best. This was because I loved what I did. I knew my purpose and I was very passionate. But I was also patient. Good work always gets noticed as long as it is consistent.
Setting clear goals
Psychologists believe that setting goals “helps trigger new behaviors, helps guides your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life.”
Manifesting or creating a vision for the future has also gained popularity in the past years as people are taking control of their own happiness and lives. According to Google Trends, the past five years have seen a spike in interest and searches for the word “manifesting.”
Once you’ve got that clear vision of what you want to do in life, prepare yourself by being a sponge and absorbing everything there is to learn about your chosen path. Be ready to do the hard work because there’s just no substitute for it. Be diligent. Also seek a mentor or mentors, those who can guide you along the way.
Starting with a plan
Having a plan is crucial because it motivates you and keeps you going when the going gets tough. For instance, my goal was to have a show about business. From conceptualizing it to having it finally go on air was a long, tedious process. So, it is very important to have clarity in your personal purpose because this is why you get up every morning, it is what drives you.
If your goal is to live a financially comfortable life, then you have to plan the trajectory of your career, your income and investments. But also be prepared for the unexpected things in life or not getting what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from experts.
In my life, sometimes not getting what I set myself to get turned out to be a blessing—and having gratitude gives you the right mindset to receive the unexpected.
Don’t let disappointments dishearten you. Adjust and look for other opportunities, learn from your mistakes, and try to connect the dots. Maybe you were so single-minded about a certain goal that you failed to see other opportunities that will enrich and challenge you even more.
In your own journey towards manifesting your dreams, always remember that life is a big adventure, don’t forget to have fun and to celebrate your little victories. Always keep in mind that the journey is as important as the destination.
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