Joseph Campbell, who coined the phrase “follow your bliss” in the early 1900s, was a graduate student at Columbia University. His blue flame, he decided, was the study of Greek mythology. When he was told there was no such major, he devised his own plan.
After graduation, he moved into a cabin in Woodstock, New York, where he did nothing but read from nine in the morning until six or seven each night for five years. There isn’t exactly a career track for lovers of Greek myth. Campbell emerged from the woods a very, very knowledgeable man but he still had no clue what to do with his life. He persisted in following his love of mythology anyway.
The people who met him during this time were astonished by his wisdom and passion. Eventually, he was invited to speak at Sarah Lawrence College. One lecture led to another, until finally, when Campbell looked up one day twenty-eight years later, he was a famous author and professor of mythology, doing what he loved, at the same school that had given him his first break. “If you 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.”
So how do you figure out your bliss?
Campbell believed that deep within each person, there’s an intuitive knowledge of what she or he wants most in life. We only have to look for it.
—–Excerpt from ‘Never Eat Alone’ by Keith Ferrazzi
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