Have You Been Fortunate Enough To Follow Your Bliss
What does follow your Bliss really mean? Ask yourself, “am I really happy doing what I do for a living? Is that what I live for and would rather do than anything else?”
If you answered yes to those questions you are clearly living your dream and following your Bliss. Whenever I think of someone who loves their job because it lets them do what their heart desires, I think of Joseph Campbell, the foremost authority on myth and legend about whom I wrote earlier.
Unlike Campbell whose life was dedicated early on to the study of that which he loved, most people work at a job they may not like so they can do things they enjoy on their time off. Lucky is the individual who both loves what he does to make a living and is able to do what he really loves when not working. Campbell was that rarest of all; one who turned the following of his Bliss into the career that made him a living. It also made him famous and the ultimate authority in his field.
I Follow My Bliss Early On
In my early school years I recall spending much of my time drawing the adventures of The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Gene Autry (after whom I am given my middle name), Tarzan and other wild and adventurous characters and their animal companions. I read books and comics and listened to radio shows and would recreate the episodes in my drawings. My grade school teacher made a deal with me; if I would finish my school work I could then spend the rest of my time imagining great battles with the bad guys and then putting the whole movie down on paper.
This love, almost obsession with sketching my imaginings I now recognize as the road to my Bliss. I followed that trail to some extent right up to the first year of University. But it slowly faded away as I focused my attention on the natural world, particularly the remarkable animals in it as I undertook my university studies. They had also been part of my earlier imaginings. I sketched out magnificent horses, cougars, grizzlies, bison, elk and moose as they went through their adventures in my mind. I became a zoologist ( specifically a parasitologist) and eventually a conservation biologist.
At that stage I had no time for drawing the scenes flashing through my mind. Eventually they faded away as I focused on research and work and family. I was and am fortunate that what I did and still do for a living, I also enjoy immensely. But I always come back to the idea I should get out those sketch pads and the Famous Artists Course I began many years ago, and lose myself in youthful imaginings.
To Follow Your Bliss You Need Support and Encouragement
Why did I not pursue what was an early passion for me? I think it had to do with the fact I had little reinforcement and support for that avenue after grade school. What I did have support and encouragement for was pursuit of a university degree in biology when I got to the stage of High School graduation. That’s what I chose to do and do not regret it. That was one of the choices I had in pursuing what I considered my Bliss. But when I made that choice my love of story telling through drawing had faded into the distance the years had created.
The point of this long story, which incidentally started out to be a short paragraph or two, is that if you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other young people you are close to, observe carefully what they naturally love to do. When you discover those things encourage them to keep doing them. Help them develop their sense of self. Help them nurture their dreams. Help them recognize their Bliss.
Encourage them to follow their Bliss and above all, help then do it. Don’t let the idea that “nobody can make a living doing THAT” get in the way of anyone pursuing their dreams.
May The Power Be Yours,