“When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.” – Joseph Campbell
Do you love what you do? Most Americans don’t. According to CareerFinders.com, four out of five Americans do not have their ideal jobs.
It’s not always easy to do what you love, but it’s definitely possible. Asian Americans are often told from a young age to follow the expectations of family and culture rather than to investigate one’s own horizons. This can lead to career success, at the expense of meaning and fulfillment. My Asian American clients, including many who make six figures a year in prestigious positions, often disclose to me privately an “emptiness” inside. “I make over $200,000 a year, so why am I so unhappy?” one confided.
What is your bliss? A bliss is the type of work you love so much that you’d be willing to do it for free if you didn’t have to pay the bills. You know you’re following your bliss when you wake up in the morning looking forward to your day and go to bed at night feeling good about what you’ve done. This is a calling, something within each of us that we’re meant to do. I believe all of us have at least one such calling in life, many have more.
How to you follow your bliss? It’s important to find it first. Your bliss is a combination of three factors:
1. Your true potential. We’re all good at some things in life. Some of us are good with people, some with tools and others with information. When we understand where our true potential lies, we begin to access our calling. If you’re not sure about your talents, there are excellent resources available that can help you identify them. E-mail me if you would like to receive a list of my recommendations.
2. Your passion. Once you discover your potential (most of us have natural ability in several areas) the next step is to identify one specific field that you feel passionate about. This is where you get to love what you do.
3. Dedication. When you have identified your potential and passion, the last piece is to resolve to work hard and be the best that you can be. Because you’re tapping into your true potential, you will most likely excel at what you do. And because you love it, chances are you won’t mind the hard work.
Not everyone gets to do what he or she loves. Most people get stuck in a rut and live in what Henry David Thoreau calls “quiet desperation.” You can beat the odds, if you choose to follow your bliss.
Preston Ni is a professor of communication studies, Fortune 500 trainer, executive coach and organizational change consultant. His column appears the first Friday of every month. Write to Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org, and access free resources at nipreston.com. © 2008 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved.