Which makes a person happier: following their passion or following their pain?

by Joe Fontenot in Success Habits

Giant_hummingbird_Patagonia_Gigas_on_cactus_in_Peru_by_Devon_PikeWhat I mean is: Which path is the most fulfilling? Ultimately, I believe a person is happiest when they’re doing the thing they were created to do. That’s your passion.

And there’s loads of motivational advice out there saying follow your passion. I agree, you should.

But what if you don’t know what your passion is?  What then?

I know many people who struggle with this. And for a long time, I did too. How’s a person supposed to follow their passion if they don’t know what their passion is?

Here’s what I’ve learned: forget your passion for the moment. Instead, following your pain.

Lots of things make me happy, but they’re not all my passion. One of my favorite times is when Kristin and I take the kids for a stroll around the neighborhood. It’s peaceful and relaxing and we get be together as a family. I love it. It makes me very happy. But I wouldn’t really call that my passion.

But when I followed my pain, I found something I loved doing even though it wasn’t always easy. For me, it’s writing.

It hard because I have no time to do it, so I have to give up other things. It hurts because it often stretches me further than what I’m comfortable with. And it frustrating because so many times I just want to quit. But I don’t quit. Because, for me, it’s more important than the pain or frustration that comes with it. It’s my passion.

Pain, of course, isn’t always good. Sometimes it’s a warning. Sometimes breaking free, like in the cases of abuse, are very difficult and confusing. This is definitely not the kind of pain I’m talking about. I’m talking about the milder pains of discomfort or discipline.

So, that said, what are you still doing in spite of the pain?

If you’re not sure what your passion in life is, you might find it by looking at your pain.

 


This is post is part of a series on Success Habits.


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