How Living Your Passion and Working Towards A Goal Leads to Happiness

Mark WaldmanThis time I’m sharing a post from one of my mentors Mark Waldman which he initially posted in the private Neurogym Facebook Group I’m a member off. It’s been published here with his permission.
Mark Waldman is one of the world’s leading experts on communication, spirituality, and the brain. He is on the faculty at Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business and the Holmes Institute.

In this post he talks about the meaning of passion and purpose in terms of our happiness and also shares 5 steps you can take to find your passion and lead more meaningful life.

As it turns out ‘Living your passion’ is just not some New Age slogan, but it has been scientifically proven by Neuropsychology to help you lead a happier life! And here’s why!
Over to you Mark…

LONG-TERM VISION OF ONE’S PASSION AND PURPOSE BUILDS LIFE SATISFACTION… that’s what the newest Positive Psychology research shows. The more you can identify a meaningful goal that will take years, even decades, to reach, the happier you’ll be. But how do you find that deep passion, especially since the brain is built on the greedy selfish principle of immediate gratification?

Since the primary motivating drive in all mammals is to acquire as much of everything as possible (the seeking/desire emotion located in the lower regions of your brain), we can use this to identify what we are passionate about.

Here, passion is defined as anything that interests, inspires, or intrigues you. The human brain loves anything new (knowledge, material objects, relationships) and you cannot nor should not go against this biological imperative. But passions and desires change often throughout one’s life, and many people struggle with identifying what they want to do next.

Neuropsychology finds that money itself does not bring long-term satisfaction.

Making it is clearly a strong biological driving force, but what we DO with it brings that deeper satisfaction. I have found that creating a Passion Board will help you connect to a deeper purpose. If you make a list of everything you have been passionate about in the past, you’ll see that in each decade of your life you had different passions, different desires. But if you study your list closely, you’ll discover certain patterns that repeat.



STEP 1: First establish what your core values are surrounding yourself, relationships, and work. It’s best to ask yourself the question “What are my deepest values?” while in a relaxed meditative state, listening to your intuition rather than your cravings.

STEP 2: Make a list of 5 deep passions you’ve had in every decade of your life. For example, prior to the age of 10, what were your main interests? (on my list was ping-pong, bicycling with friends, inventing stuff in the backyard, and most important: immersing myself in imagination games, which I still do to this day). What were your passions between 11-20? 21-30? 31-40….and so on. Look at your list and circle those passions that feel the most meaningful and exciting today. These are your “skill-sets” for the next step of this exercise.

STEP 3: Imagine that you are the wealthiest person in the world. Immerse yourself in the fantasy and really feel it. Now consider this: What will you spend that money on? Who would you help? What would you change? Reflect again on your deepest values, and then let your imagination soar as you create a vision board of all the projects you would initiate. Often the images and answers will expose the primal roots of your current passion. Whatever passion or purpose you commit to must reflect your deepest values.

STEP 4: Write down 3 “big” passions, even making something up if you’re not sure. Post this where you can meditate on it for a minute every day or two. Add and delete items to your Passion Board. After a few months, you’ll begin to intuitively know what direction will bring you the greatest pleasure and satisfaction.

STEP 5: What can you do tomorrow to take a tiny step toward that ultimate purpose and goal? Keep a journal for the next ten days documenting your feelings and thoughts, and begin to build a Strategy Board outlining how to bring your passion into the world in a meaningful and profitable way.

To learn more about Mark’s work, go to:

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Minna Salmesvuo

Owner & Social Media and Online Marketing Consultant @ Social Media Tribe



1 Comment

  1. Minna Salmesvuo on August 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Through Mark’s work I have absolutely fallen in love with Neuroscience, because it proves how our brain works and how we can work with our brain instead of against it! Were there any surprises here for you?

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