No one said it was easy.
On the contrary, following your passion—whatever is meaningful to you—is likely to be more work than any job. In bringing a meaningful project to life, whether it is building a company, honing a masterpiece or writing a book, there will be many hours, days, weeks, or months, even years that pass before milestones are reached.
During the periods of nose-grinding persistence, there will be a general sense of never enough time, weariness from lack of sleep, wavering moments of doubt, fear from numerous unknown variables, multiple failures and tough lessons.
Yet, there are perks you can look forward to when you’re going through the ditches of meaningful hard work—perks that will keep you going when you would otherwise burn out and quit.
Here are 3 surprising benefits of following your passion.
1. Meaningful progress adds to your satisfaction and happiness
When you are doing work you find meaningful, there is progress towards something that is important to you.
In the pursuit of a hard and worthy goal, there is a great ability for forbearance, determination and increased satisfaction. Satisfaction increases with the learning, growth and fulfillment of self that occurs with meaningful progress.
Happiness is conceptually simple yet immensely complicated in practice.
It’s a seemingly paradoxical balance of choosing to be happy in the present moment while taking action in the pursuit of happiness in the future.
When you engage in meaningful progress, you are taking action in the pursuit of future happiness. While not the only determinant of happiness, meaningful progress is a key part of the formula.
2. Meaningful progress increases your creativity
It’s that simple—more creative juices flow when you are doing work that is personally inspiring. It’s difficult to be in an inspired state when your attention is directed towards uninteresting tasks.
When you are in a state of fascinated creation—often referred to as flow—you are connected with the core of your being, the source of your intuition and inspiration. Inspiration is like a muscle; the more you use it, the more practiced and freely flowing it becomes.
My writer’s block for years was because I was personally stagnant. In being too afraid to take a risk, to make the big changes I knew I needed to make, I was stifling my core self and any available creative energy.
Inspiring others with my words was impossible when I wasn’t inspired myself. When you shun what’s personally meaningful, you become a repetitive, broken record, unable to produce any notes of inspiration for yourself or for others.
I needed to fully represent and be a living example of what I wanted to see in the world. In confronting my fears and taking the leap, I found my voice.
The trials, failures, successes and resulting realizations were what formed and continues to form my creative source. Your experiences directly shape what you have to offer to the world. When you become your own story, the inspiration will flow.
3. Meaningful progress makes you an inspiration to others
The impact you make when you do what you love is far greater than within your own life; it expands to others in your immediate and surrounding network.
Being true to yourself in pursuing a meaningful path automatically positions you as an inspiration to the world. Your story becomes a fresh, exciting and interesting source for others to draw from.
People will begin thinking of you and reaching out to you for motivation, advice and new ideas. You start attracting like-minded people and inspiring others to make meaningful change in their lives.
You will be a source others look to for motivation when they struggle; you will be an example they use when they think of people intentionally pursuing meaningful lives.
More people following their passion will exponentially result in more people doing the same. In this way, following your passion is not only a personal responsibility; it’s also a shared responsibility to the world.
It isn’t easy, yet with all the challenges involved, the benefits of following your passion outweigh the sacrifices. Let’s start a movement, people.