What are the things that make you happy? What is that one thing you can see yourself doing your whole life?

Be it painting, reading, writing, helping someone, cooking, singing, playing an instrument, or any other passion you have, philosophers have reflected on the power of following your passion, how it can bring you happiness, motivation, but how it can also help you bring some creativity into the world.

“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” – Georg Hegel, German philosopher

Following your passion can also inspire other people around you to do the same, and we have listed 3 ways that following your passion can benefit you and others around you.

Following your passion brings happiness and inward motivation

First of all, it is important to have a passion. Ask yourself what that one thing is that you can see yourself doing all of your life with love and dedication. As Allie Lefevere, the founder of the Obedient: Humor Marketing Agency, said, “Figure out what lights your fire. Then chase the match.”

If you follow up on the things you care about, according to psychologists, you will be able to reach happiness and “intrinsic motivation in life,” as AISB HS Counselor Oddny Bakke says.

“Having a passion you believe in helps with…the way you perceive things – the energy and time that you are putting to something that you are passionate about,” says Bakke. ”I think it can serve as an affirmation that you are doing the right [thing], that you are on the right path, and it is a pathway to a happiness. And happiness is the ultimate success.”

However, in the society we live in, in a world where following your passion is not as important as the rush for money and fame, there will always be challenges when chasing the activities you love.

Bakke illustrates these challenges with a backpack. She says that when you have worries or stress, it adds to the backpack. When you don’t try to solve those issues or share them with someone, your backpack “gets so heavy that you can no longer walk.” If you don’t follow your passion, there is a danger of your “backpack” being filled with other things, things that don’t excite or motivate you, so you end up just “trudging along.”

That is why following your passion, whatever it may be, will reward you at the end of your path with a backpack full of the things you love and brighten up your life despite the obstacles which might come your way.

Boost your inspiration, creativity, and knowledge

At AISB, similarly to many schools around the world, a lot of projects have been added to the curriculum regarding following one’s passion. Among some of the most well known are “The Genius Hour (20% Project)” and “the Personal Project,” which have been successfully implemented in our school for 9th and 10th-grade students. In both projects, students have to choose a field they are interested in and conduct their own research while tracking their process.

MYP Coordinator Andrew Pontius explains that these projects help you to “create, analyze, or produce something,” but that the most important thing is to be able to look at the process, look at what you gained from it, and realize that following your passion leads to success.

But it is not only in schools that people are encouraged to follow their passions. Respected companies like Google and 3M have introduced their own projects. Employees are encouraged to use their free time to create something they care about, and it turns out that some of the most useful inventions have started from these types of projects.

Google writes that this “empowers [the employees] to be more creative, innovative,” and many significant advances such as Google News, Gmail, and even AdSense have emerged from these projects.

Pontius also states that following your passion can also be an effective learning and researching process. He says that when students explore their passions in this way, they will learn a lot about themselves down the path, and other skills that they need to make things happen will follow along. So projects such as Genius Hour or the Personal Project are “project-based learning, but connected to something that people really care about, [and] the learning is definitely there.”


You inspire others when you love what you do

Be it inventing sticky notes as the 3M engineers did, improving the websites we all use such as Gmail, inventing the plane because you are passionate about the unknown of the horizon, boosting your creativity, or simply following what you are passionate about, you will ultimately end up inspiring others.

“I used to hate high school because I hated math,” says AISB Journalism teacher, Jennifer Stevens. “I had a real negative attitude until I was admitted into the Creative Writing program at my university and realized how passionate I was. Then I started to love learning.”

Stevens has since created the Journalism program at AISB and the online newspaper, The Bite, and she is now inspiring her students to follow their passion – writing.

People who discover their passion in their lives are able to touch and inspire others when they follow it with love and commitment and share their work with their community or the entire world.

Following your passion is truly important. So, if you are passionate about reading, open your favorite book and enjoy every word. If you are passionate about playing an instrument, put all of your love in the chords and keys. Paint all of your extraordinary and colorful ideas on paper. Score and celebrate with your team. Add your passion in your favorite recipe.

Do more of what you love. “By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.” – Satsuki Shibuya