If there’s one thing that people remember the famous scholar of mythology Joseph Campbell for, it is bound to be for his iconic statement that people should “follow their bliss.”
For years now, some variant of the phrase “follow your bliss” has been a common staple of self-help books, goal setting, productivity, and entrepreneurial guides, and various materials focused around the concept of how to live the most meaningful and fulfilling life possible.
The basic idea of “following your bliss” implies living in a way that you find deeply meaningful motivating, and… well, “blissful.”
But how can you actually set about following your bliss?
Here are a handful of suggestions.
Start doing something – anything – and fine-tune and adjust course as you go along, based on what you feel drawn to
It’s great if you have a clear passion or a calling that you are naturally drawn towards and that you know you want to pursue with everything you’ve got.
For most people, however, actually finding out just what it is that we find deeply meaningful, and that causes us to experience “our bliss,” is a much more uncertain and tricky process.
The best way of setting about figuring out how to follow your bliss, if you aren’t exactly sure what your bliss is or where it lies, is to start doing something – anything – enthusiastically.
The idea is that you will learn a lot more through being active than through being passive – and you can, and must, fine-tune and adjust course as you go along, based on what you learn, discover, and feel drawn to.
At every step of the process, you must always be reorienting yourself to pursue what you find most meaningful and motivating.
Reflect on your own life experiences to identify what you find meaningful, and consider doing something in that direction
Life is often complex and messy in a variety of different ways, but the negative and challenging experiences we are exposed to can often be a source of insight into what it is we find most meaningful and valuable.
Reflecting on your own life experiences so far – both positive and negative – can help you to identify some key clues about what you really find meaningful, so you can then consider doing something to move more in that direction.
In the case of Marc Effron, for example, his personal life experiences played a big role in inspiring him to create a rehabilitation center.
Instead of constantly setting your sights on goals down the line, ask whether what you’re doing right now feels worthwhile
“Following your bliss” is a very different thing than just pursuing some financial goals or a stable career plan.
Instead, the idea of following your bliss implies living your life – in each moment – in a way that you find powerfully life-affirming and meaningful.
So, instead of constantly setting your sights on goals down the line, spend a bit more time getting into the habit of asking whether what you’re doing right now feels truly worthwhile.
As much as possible, you should try and structure things so that what you’re doing each moment feels meaningful.