Follow your bliss.
I first heard this wisdom in a non-fiction writing class at university. I loved it. My professor made the point that this is a must if you are going to be a writer. You must be doing what you love and you must be writing about what you love writing about or you will not be successful. He said, “surround yourself with art, and you will be able to create art.” I loved that too.
Not only did I just hear these words and smile at their implications, I took them home with me, cuddled right in the front of my brain, and puzzled over what that would look like for me. I’ve always been terrified by the thought of working in a hall of cubicles, dreading my workday, and being part of the rat race. Surely, with so many delicious things in life, we shouldn’t have to spend most of our lives enduring days we hate. I decided I would adopt follow your bliss into my ethos, to the list of things I value and believe to be true, the things which I repeat to myself daily, Already there were my favorite Bible verse, “Don’t be afraid, just believe. (Mark 5:36),” and my habit of making a list of things to be thankful for before I get out of bed each day.
It was with this mindset that I decided to leave America as soon as I graduated school, determined that I would follow my bliss to Greece, to travel, to see the world, to eat delicious food, to converse with strangers until odd hours of the morning. I did just that, and I adored it. I got my TEFL certificate in order to finance my travels. Lucky for me, I got a good paying job in Singapore, teaching children reading skills. From here, I have continued my travels, my pursuit of bliss, and my manifestation of the type of life I’ve always wanted.
However, it wasn’t until the charm of living a life abroad wore off that I realized to follow your bliss wasn’t exactly the end all wisdom. As an overarching, blanket statement, yes I think you should pursue a life you enjoy, a life filled with things you revel. On a day to day basis, though, it might not be that simple. I realized that sometimes to get to the place I want I will need to go through some valleys and perhaps endure some things I’d rather not. Sometimes what I want changes on a day to day basis. Sometimes I simply don’t know what will make me happy. Sometimes I think I know what I want, then I get it and I realize the feeling is completely different than I thought it would be.
How then, are we supposed to follow our bliss, when we’re not sure where it’s going or if it will even be bliss when we get there?
I started reading books such as A New Earth, The Four Agreements, and The Vortex. A common theme in all is the importance of incorporating positive vibes and attitudes in everything. As stated in The Vortex, like attracts like. In order to receive good things, we must focus on the good things we already have. In the same way, if you leave a job you hate, and keep focusing on how much you hated that job and never again want to do that kind of job again or work in that hated type of environment again, you surely find your next job much the same as the last. In this book, they suggest you come to terms with your work, find the things you like about this job, try every thing in your power to foster good feelings about your job, before leaving it. And then focus on all the things you want in your next job, rather than the things you hated about the last. Makes sense. In The Four Agreements the author illustrates how words shape our world, and how all it takes to be happy is a simple decision.
This, and the recommendation that you never look forward to the future really stuck with me. The teaching is this: if you look forward to a certain event in the future, and place a great amount of your happiness on that moment, then you set yourself up for sadness. Either the moment won’t come, and you will be left depressed and dejected, or it will come and pass, as all things do, and again you will be depressed. It’s better to be as happy as possible in this moment, cherish this moment and this time, and learn to find the best things in life wherever and whenever you may be.
Hence, I decided to change my outlook. Surely, if you follow your bliss, you will always be chasing something. Searching for something that makes you happy causes a roller coaster effect–sometimes you find it, sometimes you don’t. I’ve decided to simply chose bliss, wherever and whenever I am. If you chose to align yourself with happiness, then happy things will find you and you will become a snowball of positivity.
This is what I hope to show in this blog—a million little ways I chose bliss, everyday.