The Key To Success Might Just Be Joy

“Passion” is a buzz-word right now. Wherever you look, there’s another guru telling you how you need to be passionate about everything you do. The pursuit of passion is so relentless, it can make you feel exhausted just thinking about it.

However, when there’s a lot of hype around something, there’s usually a reason. I’m far from telling you that you need to feel passionate 24/7 or else you fail at life, but I am telling you to take a good look at the amount of joy and passion present in your days. They might just be the key to a lot more things than you ever suspected.

What’s a “passion”, anyway?

The way I define “passion” is not just as a hobby, but something which truly lights you up. Your passion is that thing you could do all day, that makes you forget time. You feel inspired, pumped, or simply very, very content.

It could be an art or craft. For some, their passion is a particular interest they love pursuing. And there are many people who have more than one passion. The world has spent a long time telling us that we need to find our “purpose”, which is typically defined as one particular activity or career we find fulfilling. This is true for some, but not for everyone. A lot of us are multi-passionate, or multi-potentialites, meaning that we have different interests which light us up, and they may change over the years.

But I want success/money!

When I talk about passions, it’s easy to get agreement from people. Everybody wants to follow their passions, don’t they? It’s self explanatory.

The reason I get worked up about this, is that most people see passions as something of an afterthought. They have their work or business, which is ideally related to a passion, but it’s a serious undertaking and it has to come first. Passions are relegated to the 30 minutes on a Sunday evening when the “real” work is done.

And that, right there, is the issue. People focus on “making a living” – or a fortune, even – and neglect what living is actually all about: Joy, passion, love, and the moments that stay with you.

Centre or periphery?

You may well argue that you still need to pay the bills, and a business can make you feel fulfilled, too. Indeed, I’m not for one moment suggesting that you give up on the practicalities of life in favour of your passion or passions. My point is about focus.

You see, something happens when we realise that joy, passion, the expansive feeling of doing exactly what we love most, are really what life is all about. If we start putting our main focus on our passions, a shift happens. It’s like our DNA changes, like every cell in our bodies rearranges itself in a new, lighter, joyful pattern.

This doesn’t crowd out necessities like paying bills; on the contrary, once we have our priorities right, time seems to expand and “busy” becomes a thing of the past. Money suddenly flows from unexpected sources. I see it time and time again with my Coaching clients.

The highest form of Self Care

The truth is that catering to our passions, putting them front and centre in our lives, is the ultimate act of Self Care. It leads to our filling up with joy and love, to the point where we overflow and this love seeps into everything else we do, until it permeates every area of our lives.

Yes, this does include careers and businesses (and the money you earn), especially if we love what we do. It can also infuse even the most menial work with a new sense of meaning and purpose. I know, I know – “purpose” is another of these over-used words, but the truth is that it’s directly related to your passions. When you follow your bliss quite literally, you will discover your purpose.

Ever since I made the shift to passions-centered living, my life purpose has become abundantly clear. As a result, every day has become meaningful. I no longer live for the weekend. And every time I stop to think about my life, I’m immediately flooded with a deep, heartfelt gratitude, a feeling so profound it occasionally moves me to tears.

Almost as good as experiencing this profound joy, is witnessing it in others. It’s why I’m a Life Coach! I can think of no greater privilege than to be around a fully realised human being, and having a hand in bringing this about is the best job I can think of.

Remember what used to make you happy. Think of the thing you always wanted to try. When will now be the right time to pursue them? Dare it, and watch your life unfold.

Sibylle is a joy-seeker and professional Life Coach at who helps clients break out of the tyranny of “work, pay bills, buy things and consume” and instead prioritise doing what lights them up. She lives in the beautiful West of Ireland.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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