The Science of Happiness and Success Step Five – Passionately Pursue What You Love

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Easier said than done, right? After all, can you pay the mortgage doing what you love? It can be tough to pursue your bliss when the wolves are at the door. Okay, so maybe you can’t make a good living at what you love, not right away, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Put a plan together. Want to be an artist, maybe you have to take lessons first while working at the cable company. But at least you can now pay for the lessons, and then build on those lessons to pursue your dream! Why stick with it? Because it turns out that if you eventually begin to make a living doing what you love, you’ll be VERY good at it, and therefore successful. It might be the most practical decision you ever make.

In his TED Talk (which is very amusing), Harvard psychologist Shawn Anchor sites statistics that illustrate that people who enjoy their work (doing what they love to do) are better at it than people who don’t, and therefore they succeed!

This means that happiness and success are linked, but not in the way we normally think. Success doesn’t = happiness, but happiness can lead to success because when you are happily making a living, your attitude is much more positive than if you are spending every day doing something you HAVE to do just to pay the bills. “Reality doesn’t so much change us as the way we look at the world shapes our reality,” says Anchor.

He sites studies that reveal that when you love the work you do your brain is 31% more productive than it is in a negative or neutral state. Salespeople are 37% better at selling. Doctors are 10% better and faster at coming up with the right diagnosis. If you’re not sure what you love, journaling (see number three) can help you figure it out. Meditation — number four – can help keep you focused.

If you missed part one of this article, you can find it here.

If you’re interested in reading more of Chip’s books and other writing, visit Look for his upcoming feature story in National Geographic Magazine this January 2015, “The First Artists.”

Related Links to this Series of Articles:

The beginning of this series.

Step One

Step Two

Step Three

Step Four

The Daily Gratitude Tool

Scroll down for more links you might find interesting…


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