Should you forget your passion in order to find happiness?

I kept reading this article and the comments.

I could appreciate the Wisdom of the Crowds when it comes to topics like happiness and passion.  There are so many wonderful comments that sparked further insights into happiness. Let me quote a few comments that I particular liked:

A few people running into trouble following their passion is not sufficient reason to abandon passion altogether.  Life is full of difficulties, and most things worth achieving are difficult.  Should we abandon our dreams because there is a chance we’ll fall on hard times?  No.  There is a chance that we will fall on hard times no matter what field we go into.  Perhaps if you are a banker you will be safe, but if you are a person who loves the outdoors and can’t stand being cooped up at a desk all day, should you really become a banker just for the job security?

I don’t agree with the assumption that following your passion is all about ‘self’.  It can equally be about your contribution to society in a multitude of ways and be far more outward looking than you imply.  The sweet spot is when your talents and passion find opportunity, as Sir Ken Robinson has astutely said.  Also, focusing on problems is only one end of the telescope – finding solutions is the other and it’s a whole lot more positive and enriching.

First, everyone’s definition of happiness is different.  In my previous post that relates to happiness.

Here is a story adapted from The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr David J. Schwartz

Our six-year-old son David felt mighty big when he was graduated from Kindergarten.  I asked him what he plans to be when he finishes growing up. David answered, “Dad, I want to be a Professor.”

A Professor? A Professor of what?” I asked.

Well, Dad,” he replied, “I think I want to be a Professor of Happiness.”

Isn’t it pretty ambitious?  But is there such a Professor of Happiness in the world? Here Daniel Gilbert, Professor Happiness says:

We know that the best predictor of human happiness is human relationships and the amount of time that people spend with family and friends.

We know that it’s significantly more important than money and somewhat more important than health. That’s what the data shows. The interesting thing is that people will sacrifice social relationships to get other things that won’t make them as happy — money. That’s what I mean when I say people should do “wise shopping” for happiness.

Human relationships could be best predictor of human happiness.

I found this last lecture inspiring – achieving your childhood dream.

If I were to re-write the article: I would ask a few questions: What is your purpose of life? Is it just to find happiness? How about your passion? Would your passion lead you to a happier life? If yes, great. If not, why not? The focus should be how to lead a happy life, if happiness is so important in our life.  Everyone has his/her definition of happiness, and what it means to have a happy life.

Be passionate about life, to me, that is the way to happiness. Happiness is a way of life, not a goal by itself, if we are to live our life in meaningful way. You could be happy some time and unhappy at other times, due to various reasons.  Being happy is what makes life better for most of us, not only in good times, but also in bad times.


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