Too often the advice you hear is trite: Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
I don’t know about you, but my love is a fickle thing. How do you figure out what your “bliss” is?
The standard advice is to imagine you had unlimited funds, unlimited time, and unlimited potential. How would you spend your time? It’s a form of self-hypnosis to relax, unwind, and let you mind roam to where you want it to.
But when I actually spend time doing this, I find my mind just gravitates to what is most lacking in my life right now; I wish I could read more, and garden more. Is this how I would spend my life if I won the lottery? Very doubtful. I like goal-setting, and accomplishment. To aimlessly wander through life would get old very quickly. All this technique has taught me is that my work-life balance is heavily weighted towards work, and that I need more time to unwind. Like, duh.
How about this one? Consider your life without different components.
My life without writing would have considerable more time…but no passion. In fact, writing is the only thing that forces me to reflect on myself, my surroundings, and the world at large. Without feedthespark, my journaling, or my other writing, I would be a virtual automaton.
So is writing my bliss? But I can’t do it all day, every day. Maybe it’s more like a treat, sort of like truffles with coffee. I can’t make a diet out of it.
You know what else I like to do? Give orders. I like to run things, the more efficiently the better. I have a command personality, I make decisions swiftly and with gut logic and run with them. I dominate the people around me. When my life runs like a well-oiled machine, I am at peace with myself and the world.
My life without giving orders? Well, let’s just say I’d be the last person on the planet. For as long as there are people who don’t know what the best thing to be doing is, I’ll be there to fill the gap. I’m SUCH a humanitarian.
But managing isn’t what I want to do with my life. The stress of being on top of everything, all the time, would sour all too quickly.
When your only criterion is that you never get bored, what are you supposed to do?
Somewhere I read that when time stops as you do a certain activity, you’ve found your bliss. If you light up when you talk about it, you’re getting close. So, after much ado, I’ve discovered my personal bliss is learning, and possibly teaching. I love to research. I like wandering through libraries and Wikipedia, I love to share what I’ve learned. I love to integrate it, especially through problem solving. If there’s a problem in a certain area, and I can offer a solution that worked in a different industry or field, I am ecstatic.
Now if I had had this answer when I graduated high school, what exactly would have changed? I did go to school and take a wide variety of classes. I did apply myself in areas other than academia. I did discover that no job that wasn’t self-directed would fulfill me. By gum! I’m already on the right path and didn’t even know it!
Now, if only I had more time to read.