A short guide to help you pursue your passion for your greatest happiness.
By Bella Filippi
Doing what makes you happy is self-care. Are you doing something that makes you feel good, today?
If the answer is “no,” I get it. That was me a few years ago and it felt like hell. I worked a job that I loved but at the same time felt stuck because it was not challenging me enough. I was in a relationship that was not giving me butterflies and felt stuck in that too. What was I waiting for?
Why I was not able to take a different direction? After some thinking, the answer was there in front of me, I was scared. And while that's normal, but I didn’t want to keep putting my life on hold instead of following my dreams. I decided to be selfish and make a decision that not everybody supported.
One day, I asked myself what I would do if I wasn't afraid to be judged? What if I spent my days traveling, reading books and writing instead of spending my days in a cold office where I was barely noticed for my work? The answer was loud and clear, “Let’s do it.”
In the last year, I traveled to more than five destinations in the U.S. and read over 50 books. I discovered my favorite hidden gem, a small town called Chico in California, and the books that I enjoy the most are the ones that make me believe in love and goodness again. After quitting that job, moving from Caracas to Chicago, and ending that feelingless relationship, everything started to look brighter.
Standing up for myself and the life I wanted was the best decision I ever made. I felt honest with myself for the first time in years and I was determined to make some of my dreams happen. But enough about me, let’s talk about you. Here are four easy steps for finding your passion that helped me find mine.
EVERYTHING WORKS BETTER IF YOU HAVE A PLAN
Find some time to sit down and put your ideas on paper. This exercise will help you visualize your goals. What helped me most was reading What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey. I was desperate for some guidance, for someone to tell me the good and bad of making life-changing decisions. Besides reading, I looked for guidance from my grandmother. She told me how she regretted not taking the chance to travel more when she was young. Today she is 85 and these things are just not possible for her. “I’m too old for that now,” she tells me. Elders and books always have that piece of information that we need, to tell us what our souls are craving.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
This is the most important one because if you are not honest about what you want, about what exactly makes you happy, then what is the point of marking a change? Maybe I’m not going to make a lot of money pursuing a writing career, but I’m sure it will pay my bills and I will feel happy because I did the right thing for me. The money will come. Try to listen to your heart, even when it sounds cheesy, stay true to yourself. I’m a true believer that the answers are always hidden deep down in our hearts, in that place where we nurture and protect our most precious dreams. Take a walk along the beach or sit down on a church bench. Go to a place where you know you can connect your thoughts to your intuition and give yourself time to listen to that voice in your head.
ATTEND EVENTS YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT
First, mingling with others and learning more about certain topics will help you find out how much you really want it. Second, you are going to meet people that are actually doing it and they can share their experiences with you. My secret weapon is Eventbrite or MeetUp, two huge platforms that have all kinds of events all over the world where you can meet others and learn more about different topics before diving in.
Nothing happens overnight. You know it, Rome was not built in a day. Focus on yourself, listen to your inner self and you will find the answers that are right for you. If you are not feeling motivated enough or feeling stuck, try to look back and see how much you have accomplished. You set your goals because you knew you can make them happen, continue believing in yourself. A good exercise is to do some yoga to keep your anxiety under control, breathing exercises are always helpful too.
And remember this quote, “success does not come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.” If I did it, why can’t you?