The pursuit of happiness is a lifelong process and it is continually changing depending on the definition of the individual. Some find it in the most random places while doing something trivialities, but amazingly, they have attained happiness.

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For many, happiness can be elusive and an illusion. At times, our definition of happiness is heavily influenced by social media and other media platforms. Majority of us want to be famous and lead a celebrity lifestyle because after all if you have all the money, fame and recognition in the world, what can go wrong.

Nowadays, online content is filled with YouTube and Instagram influencers sharing how they have achieved the best version of themselves and how to lead a digital nomad lifestyle.

“That hypervigilance about how others see you is supposed to go away in adulthood,” says Mitch Prinstein, PhD, ABPP, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina. “But social media has created this lifelong adolescence. It makes it too easy to keep making comparisons in a very adolescent way.”

While there is nothing wrong with these goals, it is best to seek from within and get to know yourself before chasing false dreams.

The Passion Project

Many successful individuals said that they found happiness, contentment, and fulfillment by starting a passion project. Passion project is side project outside of work and the variety of interests is endless and differs on the preference of the person.

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Frequently, imagining dreams coming true are the best way to let the mind wander; while, our ideas can be wild and limitless we are paralyzed by the fear of unknown and uncertainties that before we know it, our lives have passed us by. The passion project can serve as your personal counseling experience to help with feelings of depression or hopelessness.

Here are some ways on how to start your very own passion project:

Just Start. More than ever, information is readily accessible and available to the public. There are numerous articles, how to videos, and hacks on the internet. Use it and take advantage of the situation. The project you choose to work on should fit your personality and the things that you always want to do. It can be starting a craft business on Etsy or going to a Child Day Care Center and volunteer your time to help.

No Perfect Condition. Waiting for the ideal circumstances to start a project is the worst way to jumpstart a goal. It is recommended to first, make a business plan; then, begin with a timeline and stick to the set date. No excuses. “Sure, it might be nice to ‘be in the mood,’ but waiting for that to happen can mean you never start your project,” writes Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D.

Master Time Management. Since passion projects are done as a side hustle, productivity is the operative word in this scenario. Squeeze all the tasks possible in 24 hours meaning no more time for senseless scrolling in social media or lesser leisure time for movies and television series. “There are a limited number of hours in the day, and focusing on time management makes us more aware of how many of those hours we waste,” Adam Grant, PhD, a professor at The Wharton School of business and an organizational psychologist, says.

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Give It Your All. Remember, this is your passion. This is the thing you daydream about. Give it your all and immerse yourself in the activity. It will serve as a fire to your daily routine and a spark in your rather mundane daily tasks. Yes, you will be tired, but you will also feel a broad sense of purpose.

Get A Partner. Find someone to share your project with. It would be a great bonding experience to spend the most fulfilling times with someone who shares the same passion or someone dear to your heart; However, if your passion project is out of this world and it is highly unlikely to find someone in your wavelength. Then be independent and brave unchartered seas alone.