Is "doing what you love" the secret to a happy life?

Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life, but this tends to be much more complex than many people initially anticipate. Many think that making a six-figure income and exercising is all it takes for people’s lives to be well-rounded and fulfilling. However, for most, this is simply not enough. In practice, choosing the most practical career can help establish your financial independence, but is it contributing to your overall happiness?

a man and woman doing what they love: exploring nature around a beautiful waterfall

It is estimated that the average person spends over 90,000 hours working within their lifetime. If this number seems large, that is because it is. It almost equates to a third of your life, so with such a large chunk of time working, your work undoubtedly impacts your happiness and wellbeing. The old adage of doing what you love may be the secret to a happy life that many people gloss over.

Below is a closer look at how doing what you love and pursuing your dream job may be the secret to happiness, and other long-held secrets to living a generally happy and fulfilling life.

Why is career satisfaction important?

Choosing a career is not a simple task, and there are a number of factors that contribute to one's decision to pursue a particular job or career. Some people are looking for a practical and stable job, while others may opt for a career full of surprises that keeps them on their toes, or one where they can do great work that impacts others’ lives for the better.

Some of the most common factors that influence an individual's decision include salary, investment in schooling, job mobility, location, convenience, and work culture. Perhaps the most critical factor that should be considered, though, is personal job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction refers to the level of contentedness you feel within a particular job. Having a high satisfaction with your job or career has many benefits, such as more motivation, being less prone to burnout, and being more likely to succeed in your work.

More motivation

Most people have had a job that they absolutely dreaded at some point or another. Simply waking up to get to work seemed like an impossible feat, and time seemed to go by at a snail's pace while working.

Feeling a lack of motivation to work is something that all too many people feel.

Having a job that provides you with satisfaction can help to keep you motivated and avoid the dragging feeling that is all too familiar for many people. When you actually enjoy your work, it makes it much easier for you to stay motivated, feel excited for your day, and improve your general well-being and happiness.

Less prone to burnout

Burnout is something that impacts people across nearly every industry. Doctors, lawyers, food service workers, and educators can all succumb to burnout, which can negatively impact not only your job performance, but also your overall well-being.

Burnout is characterized mental exhaustion, a loss of motivation, a diminished sense of achievement, apathy, decreased efficiency, and much more. Burnout can be caused by several factors, including unreasonable workloads, long hours, work-life imbalance, and job dissatisfaction.

Finding a career you generally enjoy can help to decrease your chances of burnout and allow you to have a healthier relationship with your work life.

More likely to succeed

One of the most compelling arguments for why you should do what you love is that it makes you more likely to be a successful person in your career. The common thread amongst successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Oprah, is that they all have a career that they find fulfilling. Their career path may have been long, but following their dreams not only gave them a sense of purpose, but also allowed them to be extremely successful.

Doing what you love is not a free ticket to becoming a successful person. However, when you enjoy getting your daily work done you are more likely to put forth greater effort and thus have an easier time succeeding in that career, even if it is hard work.

Doing what you love isn’t necessary to become award-winning and successful, but it sure does help.

Other aspects of living a happy life

Since the average American works for nearly a third of their life, having a satisfying career can help you live a happy life. And there are still the other two-thirds of your life left unaccounted. This remaining two-thirds refers to your personal life, and making sure you have a fulfilling personal life is vital to living happy and content.

There are other aspects of your life that contribute to your overall well-being and happiness. Work is essential, but it isn’t everything. Below is a closer look at why a work-life balance is so important for your mental health and overall wellbeing.

Family and community

Having a sense of belonging and meaning in life is closely tied to happiness. Luckily, your friends and family can help cultivate both of these.

With your family, you have a sense of belonging and meaning as you work toward family goals. Even people who don’t do what they love for a job can often live a happy life because they have a sense of purpose to be the best parent they can be or to provide for their family.

Your friends and family can also play a large role in helping to maintain good mental wellbeing. Humans are social creatures, and as such, people rely heavily on those around them to help navigate struggles, give career advice, and simply lend an ear.

In fact, meta-analysis research shows that social support has a significant positive impact on mental health.

Physical health

Having a fulfilling career and rich social life are all ingredients that can create a happy life, but the final integral piece of this equation is your physical health. When it comes you your physical health, you don’t need to be a shredded bodybuilder to live a happy and healthy life.

However, it is essential to support your body to its core, encouraging your body’s cellular health so it powers you through all your daily work and activities.

Simply taking a few moments out of your day to take care of your body’s basic health needs with MitoQ can re-energize and refresh you for everything that keeps you busy and happy, increasing your chances of living a long and happy life.


In summary, doing what you love is a solid piece of age-old advice. Dating back to the times of Confucius, this proverb has real merit as a secret to living a happy life. Having a satisfying career in addition to a flourishing personal life and a healthy body illustrates true life balance and is the secret contributor to happiness.

mother father and daughter going for a walk at the beach at sunset

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