Before I go any further with this entry, I should confess something. I watch OWN. You know: the Oprah Winfrey Network. Yup. I do. Maybe you aren’t too surprised, so the pause to catch your breath on that won’t be too long. In which case, let’s move on.
There are a couple of shows in particular that I really like: Super Soul Sunday and Oprah’s Master Class. Essentially, each episode of those shows has a guest who shares what they’ve learned about life. It might be just regular, every day “how to deal with stuff” stuff, or it might be on the spiritual side of things. People from all walks (associated with a specific faith or with no faith, denomination, or particular belief) just share ideas and thoughts. Frequently they resonate with me, and the topic for this blog was one of those instances.
I had previously been of the mind that “finding your bliss” (please pardon the cliché), meant getting a job in the thing that was your bliss. So, step 1: What is your bliss? And Step 2: Get a job doing that. And, really, there is a lot of talk out there that says that very thing. And if you don’t get a job doing your bliss, then you have somehow failed at life.
Now, I love teaching people, but having had the job title of “teacher” for three years, I have learned that continuing on that career path would absolutely not bring me to my “bliss”. Subsequently, I spent a lot of time thinking about the types of jobs that might bring me to that “I found my bliss” point. A couple of possibilities were (insert corny alert here) motivational speaker and/or life coach. I do think I could be good at those things to a certain degree, but the more I looked into doing them as actual jobs, the less appealing they became. So, I put them aside.
In doing so, I felt a little as though I had “thrown away a dream”, and was failing miserably at the whole bliss search thing. Strangely enough, though, I also felt good about it. I started thinking about it in a different way at that point, and that was when I started writing this blog. I get to write about things that I find interesting and/or important, and while there certainly aren’t a kajillion who people read this, maybe some of my ramblings will strike a chord with someone and that’s enough for me. I get to share AND keep my day job!
Anyway, when I watched a particular episode of Super Soul Sunday sometime last year, the guy talked about how we don’t have to be a particular thing, in a job description sort of way, in order to really “be” that thing in life. To really “be” something, we just need to “do” it.
I don’t have to be a teacher… I just need to teach and voilà, I’m a teacher. I don’t need to be an up-on-the-stage, cutting-an-album singer. I just need to sing – in the car, at my desk, in the shower, at home…wherever – and I am automatically a singer. I don’t need to be a published writer…I just need to write. You get the gist. There are many and varied aspects of my life that offer me the opportunities to do the things I love – the things that give me my bliss – and all I need to do is take advantage of them. If someone can’t figure out how to set up a meeting in Outlook and I show them how – Poof! I’m teaching! It’s so easy, really.
That, in retrospect, sounds so totally obvious to me now. And I think that on a certain level, I already knew it. That’s why I felt good about throwing away what I thought was a dream and the only path to my bliss. But the guest on the show put it in the words that I needed to hear and it all twigged into place.
There’s a lot of pressure associated with that whole “follow your bliss” thing. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to do. I just think it’s important to understand and realize that finding, and consequently following, your bliss doesn’t mean your job title will change. Sometimes it might. But I’d say probably most times it won’t. And that’s ok. In fact, it’s more than OK – it’s wonderful! The important thing, I think, is to just find ways to incorporate things you love into your life. Just because you might never make money at it doesn’t mean you can’t feel fulfilled from it, or that your life can’t advance or expand because of it. You don’t have to “be” it; you just need to “do” it and you automatically “are” it. And it was actually a relief to figure that out. I was able to totally put aside what I thought it was supposed to look like and just look for and take advantage of the opportunities that bring the bliss.
I wish you success in learning what it is that makes you happy and then in finding ways to incorporate it into your life!