Follow Your Bliss: Four Steps to Happiness
A Brief Introduction
Article word count: 941
Estimated time to read: 3-4 minutes
Joseph Campbell once said, "follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls". Now, this sounds wonderful in theory, but what does it mean in practice?
In this lens, I'll be putting the focus on four steps to finding and following your bliss.
Image credit: AlicePopkorn
Follow Your Bliss
The Implications of Following Your Bliss
Follow your bliss.
The appeal of doing so is quite apparent, but what does it imply?
Following your bliss implies being aware of your state of mind at all times.
It implies knowing what to say or do when you feel called to say or do it.
It implies having the gumption to move with confidence into the unknown.
And it implies blissfully connecting the dots from one outcome to the next.
In short, following your bliss and finding continuity in your fulfillment requires awareness, savoir faire, confidence, and gumption. But most of all, it requires holding a clear, firm intention.
Why I Wrote This Lens
Are You Ready, Willing, and Able?
Almost everyone wants to be happy.
Almost everyone wants to be happy and content with what they have, even as they continue to pursue, excitedly, and with optimism, more and better things with which to be happy and content.
To be happy, people must feel free to be, have, and do whatever they feel called to be, have, and do - or at least enjoy the positive illusion that they have the freedom to be, have, and do such.
All the while decreasing the number of their 'have-to's' and increasing the number of their 'get-to's'.
All of which brings us back to the topic of following your bliss.
At some point in our lives, we must take a stand and declare our intention to be happy and free so that we can develop the awareness, confidence, and gumption to follow our bliss.
I understand that you might not yet be ready to take such a stand.
Or, if you are, you might not yet have the awareness, confidence, and gumption to carry it forward.
And even if you do have these fine qualities, you might not yet have the stamina and persistence and perseverence to follow your bliss every waking moment of your life.
Which is why I wrote this lens: I want you to feel ready, willing, and able to follow your bliss.
Set Your Intention First
The implications that I discussed in the first part of this lens led me to identify four steps that move you in the direction of following your bliss with awareness, savoir faire, confidence, and gumption.
But before you can even take these four steps, you must set your intention.
And the intention you set must be clear and firm enough to carry you forward into action.
Setting your intention to follow your bliss is quite easy to do.
In fact, I can articulate the essence of this intention for you.
All you need to do is declare it before you prepare yourself to reinforce it.
Here's my version (please feel free to tweak it to suit your own sensibility): Today, I allow myself to follow my bliss with awareness, savoir faire, confidence, and gumption.
As preparation to reinforce this intention, all you need to do is keep it in a place where you can review it as often as you need to do so, or as often as you wish.
If your intention is soulfully motivated, just make sure you can review it regularly at a quiet time, in a quiet space, without distractions or interruptions.
If your intention is spiritually inspired, just make sure you can review your intention on the go, which means having it stored digitally or written down for ease of access.
And Then Follow The Four Steps
Now that we've covered the basic intention, we're ready to look at the four steps.
With these steps, you simply need to get to a place of understanding about them before you can appreciate them through daily practice.
I'll present these four steps and then I'll provide some tips on how to best follow them:
1. Be aware. Stay in the moment and be aware of your state of mind at all times.
Tip: make it a regular daily practice to sit quietly with yourself in solitude and silence.
2. Know what to say or do. Say or do what you need to say or do when you feel called to say or do it.
Tip: affirm your truth with assurance; resist the temptation to react with aggression.
3. Move with confidence. Summon the gumption to move with confidence into the unknown.
Tip: if desired, take small steps at first; with practice, increase the number and size of your steps.
4. Connect the dots inside your bliss. In your bliss, let one outcome flow with ease into the next.
Tip: get in touch with your own experience of bliss, even if you can only do so for a few seconds or minutes; gradually increase the time you spend in your bliss by making more time for yourself.
I've given you a snapshot of what it means to follow your bliss in practice.
Of course, there's more to it than this - like clearing away the complications that arise as you go your own way.
You might want to keep a journal of discovery to document your progress.
You might also want to find a partner or buddy who is willing to do this with you.
Persistence is key. Gracefully release the things in your life that block your bliss.
Recommended Reading - Books to help you follow your bliss
Here are a few books that I've found helpful and that might help you find your flow and follow your bliss.
Please feel free to leave a comment on this lens.