"If you do 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. When you can see that, you begin to meet people
who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be
afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be." – Joseph Campbell
"Let us then, be up and doing. With a heart for any
fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait." – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Before the first of the year I had no direction for my life. I
didn’t have any hopes for the future, and my dreams were stuffed into
the back of my mind. I went to
work, came home and went to sleep a few hours later. That was my life
and I existed based on what life handed me and to this point I had
nothing. A very uninspired life.
On the first of this year, that all began to change and little did I
know that my decisions would take on a life of their own; and I’d get
mine back. You see, I was approached by some friends about starting my
own business through a network marketing company. At first I kinda
laughed it off not wanting to get involved because I had spoken to
others about these kinds of opportunities and they didn’t feel right.
Not that they are bad, it just wasn’t for me. Or so I thought.
After about a week of being persued I agreed to talk to Tom Long,
the representative in the company who signed them up. He would be the
one that would tell me all about the business and would also be
training me. I remember the conversation very well and its not often
that I felt completely at ease with someone I didn’t know on the phone
(a hurdle that I would eventually work my way through) but talking to
Tom was as if we were best of friends for years. I immediately had the
feeling that something was different this time and before days end
I decided that I was going to give it a shot. I took a leap of faith,
and started a business.
A month passed, and then came the realization that this thing was far bigger than me. I
didn’t know what I was doing and I felt as if I was sinking–the
I was ready to throw in the towel but Tom was there for me
consistently. He talked me through many things and helped me to bounce
back during the times that I was ready to give up. After about 3 months
of investing more time in building myself up than my business Tom told
me one day that I should be blogging. He said that all the emails that
I had been sending him were proof positive that I was a passionate
writer and that I should put it to use. With that
advice Live Your Best Life was born.
In the beginning I didn’t know what I was doing but as I began
writing more and more I got a feel for the thoughts and ideas that I
was passionate about. And because of the previous months, as well as
the fact that I was going through some emotional growth spurts I began
to write about my thoughts pertaining to personal growth.
I didn’t recognize it at the time but as a result of my writing and
the passion it brought me I was beginning to view life differently. I
felt much more postitive about myself and I began seeking the
experiences that once caused me to pull back. Tom often described me as ‘Tim reborn’ and would tell me about how he used my story when he talked to new people about the business.
Many phenominal experiences have happened in the past 8 months and now
I am eager for new experiences. Writing this article made me recall the
early years when I was young and so full of life. I wanted to try everything because I wanted to experience it all. It made me
feel so alive and those years are hard to beat. Now I am happy to say,
I want to experience life again, achieve my goals and the feeling of
being alive thrills me.
We learn by doing but I also want to include the wonderful words of Longfellow "With a heart for any
fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait" and Campbell "Follow your bliss."
the days of our lives tick by we are conditioned to live a certain way
and we tend to forget about discovering our passions. Following our
bliss means persuing those experiences and lessons for which we are
passionate and to do so with a heart that is glad for them. Prepared
for the experiences that can also be harsh.
This is what I have learned–to once again live a passionate life and I thank God every day for that lesson. My bliss is in helping others to realize their own potential and so is my intent and dream.
Follow your bliss and do the things that bring you joy. Learn from them
as you would from anything else becaue this is what joyful learning is
all about. You only have one life; live it.
Tim Draayer is author of Live Your Best Life.