“Follow your bliss.” Joseph Campbell
Greetings from Boulder, Colorado!
56 days ago, I packed up my home, gave away most of my belongings and said goodbye to my loved ones. I left Melbourne with a carry-on bag and a backpack for a 10-week book tour to Sydney, Toronto, New York, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Boulder, Los Angeles, Sydney and Brisbane.
So far I’ve visited 8 cities, slept in 15 beds and met hundreds of beautiful, generous human beings. It’s been a tour of both trials and triumphs. For every up, there’s been a down. For every success, there’s been a failure. For every moment of happiness, there’s been one of sadness. There’s even been times when I’ve wept uncontrollably and times I’ve danced with joy.
Throughout it all however, I’ve been fully alive. “Good things will always come from being fully alive,” a wise man told me during one of my down moments. I continue to believe that is true.
When Joseph Campbell wrote “follow your bliss”, he wasn’t suggesting that we all become selfish and hedonistic. He was suggesting that we find that thing we’re truly passionate about and attempt to give ourselves wholeheartedly to the pursuit of that passion. He was suggesting that in doing so, we’ll reach our highest potential and become the best version of ourselves so that we can be of service to others.
But here’s the thing. Following our bliss is hard work. It’s messy and mighty uncomfortable. It takes great courage. It takes us far outside our comfort zone and it can even put the fear of God in us. It brings with it, many ups and downs and equal measures of pain and pleasure. It takes persistence, patience and years of practice. What’s more, following our bliss comes with no guarantees; that we’ll be supported by others; win accolades; be successful; make money; have an impact; or whatever other reassurance we believe we need to take the leap.
In truth, it’s much easier to be a dead-person walking (and working) than it is to follow our bliss. Following our bliss is truly scary because it requires us to become fully alive, to feel all the feelings on our emotional paint palette in the understanding that it’s from this place that we’ll be able to paint our masterpiece.
But here’s the other thing. There’s a price to pay by not following our bliss. If we don’t, we can’t ever be fully alive. We never get to really experience what we’re truly capable of. We never reach our highest potential or make the difference in the world we desire to have. We leave our masterpiece unpainted and we never become wicked role models for our kids, our family, our co-workers or the people we lead.
The cruel reality is, that it’s actually riskier to not follow our bliss than it is to pursue it. That doesn’t mean giving everything up and searching for it in some other country or company. It means starting right where we are, with all that we have right now, where ever we work.
It’s never too late to follow our bliss. Even at 54 years of age, I still feel like a beginner at it. It was only seven years ago that I first made the choice to uncompromisingly follow it to become a writer. I know that writing is my bliss because I’ve written and published five books and I’m already plotting and planning my next one.
Gloria Steinem once said “Writing is the only thing, that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” That’s how I feel when I write. It’s that thing that I can’t not do.
Right now, as I step into the final 23 days of my tour to arrive back in Melbourne on 11 December, I’m as dedicated as ever to following my bliss while working on becoming more prosperous from it. The Purpose Project is taking off with solid sales to individuals via online book stores and lots of wonderful feedback, but I’m not getting the bulk-book sales or number of impacts I’d hoped for. We’re currently only at 39,043 with a long way to go to reach 100,000.
Can you help me get there?
The end of 2017 is almost upon us and it’s a good time to set intentions for 2018. I’ve just released The Purpose Project e-journal which is available for all sales of 10+ books sold through our website. There’s also some great prices and bonuses for sales of 100+ and even 1000+ books! CLICK HERE
Thank you for helping me continue to follow my bliss while I help you follow yours too.