You were not meant to play life safe. But maybe you find yourself complacent in this moment? Maybe the easy way has always seemed like the best way? But there’s more to life than always being comfortable, even though feeling safe can be the one thing that seems to bring the most happiness in life. This is why happiness can be a bad metric at times along the journey, because let’s face it, taking any huge risk is uncomfortable. To describe leaps of faith, the last word I would use is ‘joyful’; they’re more fearful than anything else. (Says the guy who wrote a book on bravery.)
A much better metric at all times is self-fulfillment because, in the end, fulfillment is what brings true happiness. Now, I know that you’re thinking: “Adam, I want to be happy all the time and I want you to tell me that I can be happy all the time. Where’s that answer?” Well, I hate to break it to you, but if you haven’t noticed, life is full of highs and lows. As Dr. Vanessa Buote explains, “real happiness is about taking the good with the bad, and learning how to reframe the bad.” Bad stuff happens, and your emotions are affected accordingly.
As much as I’d like to give you three things to make life perfect, I am for honesty above all else. That being said, here are some quick facts on happiness: 30 to 80% of our happiness levels are dictated by genes and much of our happiness is dictated by our overall outlook on life. So, how can you find fulfillment and happiness even after knowing that happiness can be predetermined by your genes? It comes down to three steps.
First, you must become self-aware.
Not everyone was made to be an entrepreneur, and that’s okay. Actually, that’s perfect. Some people were made to work on teams and to help their bosses succeed. Businesses need those people. Businesses also needs entrepreneurs, CEOs, and managers. Teams need risk takers, guidance and a person who will lead the way. But what we don’t need more of are people not doing what they know they ought to be doing.
What if people who are meant to be entrepreneurs stay stuck in their 9-to-5 jobs and never develop their business ideas? What if people who were meant to work for a company try to start businesses? In both cases, many times the results end up horribly. People become miserable, companies suffer, and self-fulfillment is never found. Self-awareness produces fulfillment and happiness, which in return creates personal success. Ultimately, the reason that so many people never find happiness is that they chase other people’s definitions of success.
Second, please stop long enough to come up with some sort of plan.
I believe that so many people miss out on their true purpose because they don’t take the time to make a plan. People get caught in the rat race and end up twenty years later looking back on their lives wondering where the time went. You don’t have to be that person, and the best way to avoid this regret is to make a plan. No, life never goes as planned, but with a plan you are more likely to end up closer to your destination of choice rather than letting others pull you off course for their own agenda. If you don’t chase your dreams, someone else will recruit you for theirs.
Third, seek out passion because it is the only thing that produces huge doses of courage.
You need to find passion. That’s great and all, but what most don’t realize is that passion is so important because it is what repeatedly produces bravery. When you are truly passionate about something, bravery becomes your best answer, because you will do what it takes to see your ideas come to life when you deeply care about them. And the biggest benefit from being passionate about what you do is that you will be much happier, both in the valleys and on the mountaintops of life.
When you become self-aware, stop long enough to make a plan, and seek out passion, you will find true fulfillment and begin living a much happier life.