“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”
Follow your bliss. It sounds like a damn bumper sticker. Or the title of an Oprah-book-club-endorsed-best-seller. It’s probably both. But my wise Mentor, Obi-Wan Campbell coined it first. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel stupid saying it. The word reeks of a convention center filled with cultish devotees of Tony Robbins.
I don’t know much, but I do know where my rapture is and I know where it is not.
It is writing. Creating worlds. Birthing characters. Inventing situations. It is not my job at the parking meter factory.
It is spending time with my little brood. Stolen moments with Rachel. Sharing the discoveries and enthusiasms of my girls. It is not spending time with other private sector robots, suffocating in conference rooms, creating synergies or changing paradigms. Whatever the ever-loving hell that means.
It is traveling. Exploring. Putting new dirt on my old boots. Seeing what a new place has to offer. Because every new place has something to offer (except Gary, Indiana; that place is a Cosmic Mistake). It is not letting a busy schedule, a full dance card, a relentless calendar keep us from seeking and finding Rollicking Adventure.
It is meeting people. Interesting people. Strange people. People with stories to tell. It is not staring, mouth agape, at Reality TV “Stars”: technicolor, high definition train wrecks, brought to you by Taco Bell.
It is reconnecting with old friends and family. Reliving old memories. Embellishing old memories. Completely fabricating old memories. Making new ones. Always making new ones. It is not accepting obligations that keep you from the people who know you best for too long. People who know your secrets, and you know theirs. Shameful things and noble things. Things that ache your ribs from spasms of uncontrolled, snot-inducing laughter. And you love them all the more for it.
The most important question we must ask when we decide to Write Our Own Story is this: What do I want to do with my finite hours on this planet? Do I want to spend my life making someone else’s dreams come true? Being a supporting character in someone else’s story? Sitting in rooms, with people, doing things, but the wrong rooms, the wrong people, the wrong things?
There is much in life you cannot control. Most of us have to work for a living. Most of us are not wealthy or famous; we have unavoidable limitations. Sometimes, even small changes can seem impossible.
But there are things you can control. Find those individuals, those locations, those endeavors, those adventures that leave your spirit satisfied. Find your bliss. Whatever. Your rapture. Your absolute euphoria. Your fulfillment. Whatever you want to call it. Think of moments in your life that you wished would never end. Think of moments of perfect peace, of transcendent exhilaration, of impossible hilarity. Embrace them, seek them out. Savor them. Concoct auspicious occasions. Dream impossibly.
Maybe more importantly, know those places, situations or people who consume your time without consideration, your energy without hesitation, or your bliss, without remorse. Reject them. Deny them. Cast them out. They keep you in the dark. They keep you from the life you were meant to live.
It’s out there waiting for you. Throw down your burdens, and run, don’t walk, in the direction of the light.
All kidding aside, T-Robb is good at what he does. Here is a talk he gave on chasing your dreams.