Finding Happiness in Your Passion

Posted by | June 10, 2014 | Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Since the age of 8 or 9 the idea of being anything other than a “business man” has literally never dawned on me. I never ever dreamed of of doing anything else. So when I was asked this question:

It stirred something in me that I think about quite often, but have never really articulated.

A lot of times I think about the fact that my passion, the one thing I want to to in life, ended up being so practical. So much of one’s life is predicated on the practicality of what that person wants to do. It turns out selling stuff and making money is super practical, but what if your passion is to make art installations out of old pizza boxes? I dream that if my children want to be starving artists that we go all-in on that.

I talk a lot about buying a billion dollar sports team, but the truth is that finding happiness in what you do every day is so imperative. Outside of your health and the health of your loved ones, that luxury of being happy every day is absolutely humongous. We spend an ungodly amount of time on the thing we “do for a living,” the thing we do “when we’ve grown up.” I’ve been fortunate enough to see some of my friends and close acquaintances become ten/hundred millionaires two or three times over, and I’m very aware that I have other friends who are making $50,000 a year. Having seen all that, I can honestly say that there is very little correlation between the amount of money someone has and how happy they are. There are those who say money can buy happiness, and I respect that, but then there are studies that say $75k is the threshold to happiness.

So to answer the question, I never thought that I’d become anybody other than what I’ve become. At some level, I wish everybody could have that luck.

Read more of my writings on MEDIUM and LINKEDIN

  • Terry

    When I read this, I relate back to a comment you made in one of your videos about being a real human being to people (with a swear word or two in there) and how being the real you and being a real human to others is what truly makes us happy. If you can find a job or do the work that allows you to be the real you and to be a kind human being to others than I think you will find happiness. Money can buy experiences sure, but if you suffer a lot to get that money than is it worth it? Nope!!!

  • Suraj Sodha

    I grew up around uncles who all run successful businesses and I was always fascinated that they could work when they want, go on better holidays than my parents and drive nicer cars than we had. The difference was my folks were in the rat-race and my uncles weren’t so that difference was always very blatantly obvious for me as a child. I decided very early on that I wanted a lifestyle more like my uncles’ which meant one thing only – run your own show.

    I did get sucked into cultural and society pressures and got a Law degree to start a career as a Lawyer, but I quickly broke free when I snapped out of that mindset and realised what path that would lead to.

    So I guess I always knew I wanted to be a business starter. I was that kid selling crap in the playground to other kids because I was always fascinated by the fact that I could buy something for £1, add some value to it and sell it for £2 to make a profit.

  • James Callahan

    Good post, really looking forward to the other post on the question you choose to answer…Super excited to see some of the videos that come out of you October 2nd event with Dave and Seth. Don’t think I can swing attending but lookin forward to seeing some of those videos on Youtube.

  • Sean Dawes

    Happiness is not the actual money that comes from business success but the freedom that comes with it. That freedom may come at $75k a year or even less. When I originally quit my job years ago, I took a significant pay cut from the corporate world in order to invest the difference into growing the business. Although I was making less, I actually was happier as I became free. Want to travel with my fiance to her work conference, done. Be in the hospital everyday with a sick family member, done. All the while still working on my own time and from all over the United States without anyone really caring. I don’t really care about the money, my drive to be even more wealthy is only so I can help the people around me become free.

    • Astrogal1

      Separation from my last job came about suddenly and against my will, but the net result is the same. I started my own business, and am loving the freedom that comes with it. My needs are fairly modest and extra money just helps me help those around me. I’m a more fulfilled human being than I was when I was working full-time for someone else.

  • David Rock

    So insightful, Love it.

  • ioan pongrat


    Gary Vaynerchuk sure is very interesting your comment , all apreciation

  • Astrogal1

    I have, for many years now, been in the career I dreamed of when I was younger. It’s provided me with a good income, has kept me challenged, fulfilled and provided me with opportunities I never imagined as well as the ability to help others. I do count myself blessed. Almost a year ago, my position was eliminated. I lost the income, I lost the sense of who I was for a little while. But I’ve been able to spend more time helping my father (who’s suffering from memory issues), volunteering in the community and taking on new personal challenges (including my first 5K a few days ago.) I’ve started my own business to continue doing what I love, it’s allowing me to bring in some funds but also provides me with great flexibility to do things I enjoy and care for my dad. While a little more money would be good and may come as the business grows, I have to say I’m living more now than when I was making $100K a year and working far too much.

  • Turney Duff

    Gary, I enjoy following you on Twitter and I’ve become a fan. Thank you for sharing so much wonderful content with the Universe. When I saw the subject matter I was excited because it really resonates with me.

    I chased happiness for the better part of my life. So much so, I had enough material for a book. I ended up having so much happiness, I earned a return visit to drug and alcohol rehab in October 2009.

    In 1994, I showed up in New York City driving a giant U-haul with a lobster on it saying, America Moves from Maine, wearing my L.L. Bean boots and a flannel shirt. After accidentally securing a job on Wall Street and fast forwarding 7-10 years, I was making multiple seven figures a year, flying around on private jets and having as much fun as I could. The decent to hell didn’t start until I got the girl, had money in the bank, the job, the social life, the house and the apartment. And I still wasn’t happy.

    My whole life the most uttered words out of my mouth have been: I just want to be happy, I just want to be happy. That’s all I ever wanted, but I didn’t understand the meaning of happiness.

    2011, two years into my recovery, late at night, I was alone in front of my computer wondering why I still wasn’t happy. I just had received a huge book deal from Random House, I was seeing / talking to my daughter every day, all of my amends had gone flawlessly and I still wasn’t happy.

    My first thoughts were: “I’m an A-hole. What’s wrong with me? Why aren’t I happy?” I should be skipping down the streets of NYC waving to the grocery store lady, construction workers and whistling the whole time. So I said, “F… Happiness. I don’t want to be happy. My goal is no longer happiness, it’s serenity.”

    And ironically, since that day, I’ve never been happier.

    I wanted to be the best dad, son and friend I could be. I wanted to have integrity and honor.

    Then I recalled the most famous phrase from The Declaration of Independence… The pursuit of happiness. So I looked up what that meant in 1776. It seems there are several different theories, but from what I gathered it meant having moral, virtue and honor in your life. That’s what I wanted.

    I still fall into traps though, about a year ago I thought making the New York Times bestseller list would bring me happiness, it would solve all of my problems. Then the day came, my publisher notified me that I had made the list. The initial high rivaled crack cocaine. But slow at first, and then crashing down the high subsided and I was still left with myself. Nothing had changed on the inside.

    I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve been giving and I’m very passionate about storytelling. I’ve been working on my craft for 4 1/2 years and can honestly say there hasn’t been a single day where it’s felt like “work.”

    My definition of happiness has changed. The old happiness was a hell of a lot of work and could never be sustained.

  • mrjeffrivera

    Happiness to me is freedom and it’s a mindset. It’s the freedom to do what you want, when you want to without restriction. And happiness to me is a choice. I’ve been very blessed financially the last 6-8 years or so but I know people who make 100 times as much as me and are miserable and I know those that make that much and are happy. I made a decision one day years ago that I would no longer just survive but instead, I would thrive. It was a decision, not an accident.


    Right now I am just getting my company off the ground but luckily for me I have a wife that is also an entrepreneur who has an already successful business who took over the bills so that I might pursue my dreams. I say that to say this. Right now for me the financial number that would be great for me would be 5000/month so that I could take over the bills and relieve my wife of all of her stress. Having said that my happiness has less to do with a number and more to do with making sure my wife is happy.

  • Scott Asai

    Things change and we change, so I think following your passions is key. It’s also important to look at life as a journey too. It’s not like we’ll ever “arrive,” but instead keep making progress and moving forward.

  • Paul Bond

    Happiness is your kids buying you a giant ‘Oscar The Grouch’ mug and a DVD of ‘The Jungle Book’ for your birthday.

  • @sutradharinfo

    Happiness is a state of mind. What makes me happy, might not make you happy. There is a big difference between happiness & excitement. Getting new car, new job, winning matches, falling in love all are excitement. Excitement vanishes over the period of time whereas happiness is permanent. It is a state of mind which is independent of outside achievements. We become happy when our thoughts, feelings, actions & intentions are in harmony. When there is no fluctuation of waves in mind. To achieve it one need to be fully self aware and it’s need practice. At that stage one will be beyond space & time. He will live beyond Newtonian model of reality.

  • Crystal Foth

    Great post. Happiness comes from fulfillment and accomplishment in whatever you choose to “do for a living”. Money makes things a little easier sometimes, but the feelings and happiness that one gets from fulfillment cannot be bought. Those are earned.

Want to become a GaryVeeIP? Subscribe!