Let’s just get this out of the way. Nothing is pure joy all the time. You'll definitely have to roll up your sleeves and sweat. There will be tears. You will struggle. The question is—what struggle can you tolerate?
No matter what your joy route is, there will be a transitional period from where you are now to that ideal life you envision. And even when you're far along the joy path, there will be struggle. It's called life. The sticky little bugger of a truth is that everything sucks some of the time.
When I started to pursue freelance writing, I had to stare my fear of rejection dead in the eye and just get over it. My last book was rejected by over 25 publishers but went on to become an Amazon best-seller. Imagine if I had quit after my first rejection. Where would I be now?
Maybe you want to become a superstar tech entrepreneur, but you're terrified of failure. You won't make it far. If you want to be a professional singer but aren’t willing to play your songs in public, you might as well hang up the guitar now. If you want to be a big-name court lawyer, but can’t stand the 80-plus-hour workweeks, then you're in trouble.
The goal of finding your life purpose is to ask yourself what suckiness you will tolerate—and what kind of payoff is worth that investment.
Everything involves sacrifice. Every pursuit comes with some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting 100 percent of the time. What struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, your ability to achieve the life of your dreams is determined by your willingness to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.