“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”
Anais Nin, "Winter of Artifice"
"Life is a process of becoming.....” simple as that may seem, think about it. Much of what we do and become in life can be looked at in "process" terms. Take learning a new skill for example, learning a skill involves process. Let's say we want to learn how to drive a car. Several steps must be followed; we start by turning on the car, followed by putting the car in gear, taking our foot off the brake and so on. Processes involve steps, and when taken in the right order these steps produce our desired result. Begin to look at the pursuit of your life's passions in this way and you will begin to make strides toward getting the results you want.
Happiness - a Wonderful By-Product!
I define happiness as "a feeling we get when we experience things we enjoy, things that make us feel good." It really is a by-product of our actions. In the context of Live Your Passion, happiness is the by-product of engaging in those things we choose because they are consistent with what we want our life to be about - our passions.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, has conducted extensive research on the study of happiness in our society. Currently, she holds a 5 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness. Her research points out some interesting facts:
- Most of us are not flourishing. Only 54% of Americans are considered moderately mentally healthy but not flourishing. That is, we lack enthusiasm for the world and participating in it.
- Studies show that 50% off differences in happiness are determined by genes, 10% by life circumstances and 40% by intentional activities!
- Rich people are not as happy as we might expect. Studies show that the richest Americans, those earning over 10 million dollars per year report only slightly higher levels of happiness.
- Happy people accrue more money! One example - a study that shows that those college freshman that were reported as happiest - 16 years later have accumulated more wealth as compared to others in their freshman class.
While conducting research my book I discovered many credible studies from colleges and universities around the world pointing to some general conclusions; we are happiest as human beings when we are engaged in pursuits that we choose and that give us a sense of purpose. Happiness often stems from the following:
* Making connections with and offering service to others
* Practicing gratitude and positive thinking
* Living in the present
* Maintaining good health - body, spirit, mind
* Living an active life
The Live Your Passion process can help you achieve happiness. How you apply the process in your own life is up to you. It will be different for each of us. The key point here is that the process can be used by anyone to achieve the same, wonderful by-product - happiness!