Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, once said: ‘Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you, where there were only walls.’ I really like that quote. When I recall that phrase, I am often asked what it means. So, what exactly is the quote about? What does it mean?
The Oxford dictionary defines the noun ‘bliss’ as ‘Perfect happiness; great joy’ or as ‘A state of spiritual blessedness, typically that reached after death (e.g. the bliss of heaven)’. Moreover, the verb ‘to bliss’ is described as ‘[to] reach a state of perfect happiness, oblivious of everything else’. Another website describes ‘bliss’ as ‘that deep, fulfilling, sustainable, driving need you have. That thing that is the true ‘you’. Your bliss is your life’s purpose. Your bliss gives your otherwise meaningless life meaning’. Now let us focus on ‘follow”: When you follow something, you are undertaking several footsteps in one direction. You are going along a path. To ‘follow” means going on a journey. It is not the final destination.
Your deepest dreams and desires are your bliss.
Like Tupac Shakur’s mother told his son: ‘If you can’t find something to live for, you best find something to die for.” This quote describes really well what bliss is. Following your bliss is simply doing whatever makes you happy. In every moment. That is it. ‘Happiness is when your life fulfills your needs. Those needs can be organized into nine categories:
- Wellbeing – mind-body connection
- Environment – climate, beauty, your ‘space’
- Pleasure – joy, fun, sex, positive emotions
- Relationships – parents, spouses, friends, etc.
- Outlook – self-control, adventurousness, optimism
- Meaning – reason, goals, purpose, awareness
- Involvement – action, challenge, creativity, flow
- Success – learning, accomplishment, value
- Elasticity – resiliency to inevitable troubles” (happinessinternational.org)
WE PROMISE. Life, like happiness, is in the living. It is the journey, not the destination. It means being present and fully alive, even when that hurts. It does not mean distracting yourself from what feels uncomfortable. It also does not mean what you have been told by others (e.g. family, friends, commercials, teachers or religious leaders…) what makes you happy. You are the hero of your life-story! If you go on someone else’s path, you are not following your bliss; you are following someone else’s bliss. Following your bliss is a journey. Your journey.
By doing this, you find ‘ doors open where there were only walls”. You will see unlimited opportunities. They will present themselves in the face of what appears to be impossibilities. Other will call you ‘lucky” because things always seem to go your way.
In conclusion, follow your bliss means to follow the message you have deep inside your heart. Follow your passion and you will follow a path of self-discovery that leads to the true ‘you’. Focus on that. Although it may result in a field you do not earn that much. However, if you are happy doing so, you are following your bliss. Do, moment-to-moment, what brings you joy; what makes you happy. Now find your own bliss. Your journey starts here.