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wundayatta's avatar

Do you know what your bliss is?

Asked by wundayatta (58693points) May 7th, 2012

Joseph Campbell, the mythologist, was famous for suggesting to people that they “follow your bliss.” A lot of people may have no idea what they really enjoy doing, especially when younger. However, I’ve heard many people in their fifties still proclaim, “I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.”

Do you know what you want to do? Do you have an idea about what will really make you happy if you spend all your effort pursuing it? What is it? How close are you to doing it? Are you still trying to figure it out? Are you still preparing to follow your bliss? Or are you actually doing it?

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34 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Following my bliss is the only important thing in my life. I am a free spirited type and do not do well being caged in, wings clipped, conforming for the sake of conformity, not having freedom and flexibility in my life, work, relationships. I CAN do things I am not fond of doing, for a little while, but it is not conducive to flourishing, thriving.
I’ve spent the last 7–8 years customizing my life to be an ideal fit and nothing upsets me more than having to do something I have no spirit or motivation to be doing.

I always seek work that allows for freedom, flexibility, creativity, a showcase for my best strengths and, above all, FUN!
I excel in sales, design work, customer service, hostessing, art galleries, etc. I would not do well in a stuffy office environment full of politics and protocol, a fate worse than death for my temperament.
This is pretty part and parcel for us ENTP types, we are creative, innovative types and wither in confining environments full of boring and repetitious tasks, regimented regimes. Gah..just shoot me! :-P

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Coloma…Superb answer….and I have to agree.

entp/enfp here

Charles's avatar

“Do you know what you want to do? Do you have an idea about what will really make you happy if you spend all your effort pursuing it? What is it? How close are you to doing it? Are you still trying to figure it out? Are you still preparing to follow your bliss? Or are you actually doing it?”

Live a balanced life doing things (working) that I have talents for and that are practical and beneficial. I chose engineering. I don’t have a passion for it but I am good enough to remain employed. If my “bliss” was producing hand made flower pots. I still wouldn’t go that way career wise – probably not going to pay all the bills – but I could do it on weekends and evenings.

Put it this way, I am happier doing something for eight hours a day that is a 7 out of 10 on the enjoyment scale if it pays the bills than struggling financially and doing something that I enjoy 9/10 or 10/10. It’s a trade off.

I’ll bet a lot of people regret choosing “dreamy” careers after a while of struggling. People like musicians and actors. What percent of them ever “make it”? Many of them could have pursued a more practical career AND satisfied their music or dramatic arts desires in local venues or play houses. I wouldn’t encourage my kids to get into those fields unless I was reasonably convinced they were four standard deviations to the right of the talent mean.

SillyGirl's avatar

Bliss for me is knowing that someone out there loves me and that makes the journey of life so very beautiful….someone loves me…they love me….and in return I love them with warmth…:)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I do and at one point in my life, it was my career. I’m never too far from it that I can’t taste it so if it ever again becomes feasible then I’m there.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

“Make it”...what does that mean? “Make it”?...You are operating on a totally different paradigm. One that works for you. Did Van Gogh “make it”? Or Vermeer? Or did Kafka “make it”? Not if they were being judged by current standards of success (money, prestige). Yet, they gave us stunningly beautiful works of art and literature. All creative artists, even the ones that are wildly successful artists/actors/musicians don’t ever have a guarantee of a daily paycheck for the rest of their careers. But in today’s world, that is the same for any profession…even the “practical” ones.

@Charles, @Coloma was not taking a dig at the 9 to 5 ers. She is just choosing her own “bliss” which is exactly what Joseph Campbell was addressing in his works. You found a way that worked for you.

Not everyone wants to be an engineer. Not everyone wants to be an accountant. (Lots of people love these professions, and they are blissfully happy in them, too. I salute them because they happened to like professions that are established and often well-paid.)

I have a friend whose parents pushed him into accounting. Is he successful? Yes. But he is also miserable. He is one of the “creative” types but his parents told him that he would never find success doing that. I also know of a superbly gifted musician friend (he was insanely talented as a young man) who went into law. He is now a partner….making more money than he ever dreamed. Happy? Living his bliss? No. Living his parents bliss? Yes.

@Charles, you found something that works well for you….no need to condemn the ones who choose those “dreamy” careers…they have a right to their own bliss, too.

The world is changing…and at some point, there won’t be a schism…people will be able to do what they want to do and get paid for it…even if it is something as wild as painting sidewalks for a living. Or crunching numbers because they happen to love, love, love numbers.

To each his own…it’s only fair.

Coloma's avatar

@Charles You have no control over how your childrens temperaments show up. We are who we are and there is no fitting square pegs into round holes. You can try, but it’s never healthy having ones natural callings squeezed into a distorted mold.
Everyone is an individual and one size does not fit all.

I truly hope you encourage your kids to do and be whatever it is THEY want. :-)

Charles's avatar

“I truly hope you encourage your kids to do and be whatever it is THEY want”

What if they want to dry off cars coming out of a car wash? Or pick strawberries? I would be expected to encourage this?

SpatzieLover's avatar

You do realize @Charles that some people have special needs children? Right?

In some cases (I know some very personally) both of the jobs you listed would be dreams come true.

Sunny2's avatar

Mine is learning, love, art, music, nature, and delicious food. All of these I have woven through my life since my childhood.

Facade's avatar

Yea, I think I’ve identified my passions, but it took a while…
Music– I love to sing, create arrangements, and some aspects of producing
Yoga– It really can change your life!
Natural hair– Self-hatred is an epidemic among women, especially Black women, but I encourage women of all races to give up their flat irons. Wearing your natural strands makes you so much more beautiful!
Health– I have a holistic view on what “health” is. I love learning as much as I can.
Human rights– I feel very passionately about issues concerning sexuality, gender, race, socio-economic status, religion, etc.
Psychology– I’m most interested in Humanistic, Psychodynamic, and Existentialist viewpoints, and I get a lot of fulfillment out of helping people with psychological/emotional issues.
Food– I don’t think most people eat real food anymore, and it’s upsetting. People should get back to frequenting farmer’s markets and using whole foods instead of “food products.” I also really like to cook.

I probably left out a few things… It’d be great if I could work my passions into what I do to make money, and I plan to start pursuing that after I get my degree. Did I mention going to school is absolutely not something I’m passionate about? =(

Ela's avatar

Other than being a mother, and certain NSFW things, I haven’t found my bliss yet. I was in a relationship that stifled my discovery. But… I love going to school, I love the classes I am taking and I am hopefully on the right track to finding it.

In all fairness, I believe @Charles is referring to his own children, not children in general.
@Coloma It sounds like you are typecasting and labeling yourself and hopping in a box there : )

Blackberry's avatar

I can’t completely follow my bliss, because that would require me to be a complete slut with little regard for social norms and practices. Lol!

ragingloli's avatar

When a huge sausage has left my colon. Almost as good as an orgasm.

wundayatta's avatar

@ragingloli Italian sausage? Bratwurst? Weisswurst? Andouille? What kind of sausage are you talking about? Hmmm?

Cruiser's avatar

My bliss was to have my own children and I am well into that process and in a few short years the house will be silent. After that…traveling and then hopefully I will be around long enough to get to teach a grandkid or 2 how to have fun and really cause trouble!!

Coloma's avatar

@Charles Yes, you should support your kids in whatever they choose. If they want to be tomato farmers, then daddykins need to let go of his narcissistic need for the kiddos to be a carbon copy of him.

@Ela Not sure I follow, I’ve taken myself OUT of the box, I know myself well and I honor my knowings. :-)

josie's avatar

Pursuit of my career and the goal of becoming wealthy enough to contol as much of my life as nature will allow ( or maybe as much as the government will allow).
A dinner in a cool restaurant with my girlfriend.
Can’t get better than that.

likipie's avatar

Bliss is the feeling I get when he holds me in his arms. Bliss is the feeling I get when he tells me he’s been thinking about “that one time”. Bliss is knowing that he wants to be around me. Bliss is seeing him walking through town and knowing I’m his….. Bliss is gone.

Coloma's avatar

@likipie I don’t think we’re talking romantic bliss, we’re talking about following your bliss in terms of how you live and work, how you show up in following your own unique life path.

Ela's avatar

@Coloma It’s early and I’m tired already lol I’m banging my now mush brain on the table trying to figure out my homework, wishing someone could explain it to me and I was momentarily confused by your last statement saying you were one of the sixteen personality types (which I consider boxes).

Coloma's avatar

@Ela Well, of course there is no perfect type, but I do believe in the Enneagram and the Meyers/Briggs as a useful “tool” to know ourselves and others better. ENTP is dead on for me, or Enneagram type 7 “The Enthusiast/Epicure/ Inventor”. All works have value IMO. No offense taken hope it’s likewise, I always like to clarify. ;-)

Salem88's avatar

Took Meyers/Briggs twice cause Ph.D’s I ran office for couldn’t believe I came out straight down the middle. Said it shouldn’t be possible. So, took it again. Same results. Sometimes psych people won’t take the time to truly know you…even when you’ve offered to share. Then again, maybe I’ve changed just a tad in the last 25 years. Who hasn’t. My core is solid….but oh, the calypso colors.

Ela's avatar

@Coloma no offense meant nor taken : )

Coloma's avatar

@Ela Ditto. I’m very easy going, it’s my inquisitive mind that gets revved up. lol

yankeetooter's avatar

I just figured out my bliss less than a year ago when I took a java programming course, and knew that I wanted to take more computer science classes…

yankeetooter's avatar

Oh…and I had bliss for fifteen minutes or so last night too…

Ela's avatar

<—- is jealous of that ^

yankeetooter's avatar

Well, @Ela…maybe not everybody would define bliss in the way I was this other night, but still…

Ela's avatar

@yankeetooter Bliss is bliss no matter how you liss it ; )

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