All of time suddenly started to move in slow motion. Her eyes bulged. Here message obviously serious. Her voice raised. Ready. Aim. Fire.
“Your company concept doesn’t sound serious at all. In fact it sounds flakey. And to associate yourself with the word ‘bliss’ – are you serious?!”
It’s funny because I had been saying the same thing to myself before I finally decided to just begin doing what you see me doing now.
I myself had been criticizing doing the thing that would make me really, actually, genuinely want to get out of bed in the morning. And here was someone saying my most fearful thoughts straight to my face.
I remember realizing:
I’m not dying.
I’m still alive.
I’m living through my worst fear.
Inside of me was quiet. Witnessing both of us.
I was aware when I began offering my work outside of traditional roles that ‘bliss’ is a controversial term because it’s definition, meaning and application is not universal.
Career bliss in particular is definitely a concept that produces scoffs, cynical expressions and a mean spiritedness disguised as worldly wisdom from fellow human beings like few things can.
And I used to be the biggest career bliss non-believer of them all.
I know that, for most, career bliss is a nice idea. But that’s all it is. A nice idea.
Until I studied career theory and development. Until I explored through research and personal interviewing the myriad of reasons why people work. Until I examined my own life and the reason why I had worked in the past. Until I personally reoriented myself to what it means to work and helped many others do likewise. Until I experienced and witnessed something different because I had no more capacity to keep doing as I was, I was just like everyone else.
What I can no longer deny is that, at the core of our being, quite literally, (when) in essence, the highest reason or most sacred cause for working is indeed bliss.
Compassionately speaking for a moment, I totally get why career bliss is such an unwelcomed concept. By that I mean that it makes sense that when you’re so invested in how you’re doing what you’re doing now, a seemingly opposing idea isn’t going to get lavished with love. Suffering for work is too noble to just give up without a fight.
Except that, until you’ve been maddeningly unkind to yourself to the breaking point of not wanting to exist and created a life so far removed from anything that you could possibly want to upkeep (like I have), there’s no reason to change. So of course, career bliss sounds ‘airy fairy’ and ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unimportant’ and ‘flakey.’
I’ve heard it all. And then some.
And my life has taught me differently.
In order to have career bliss, first and foremost, you have to want it. It is a nice idea that can be made real.
And if you do in fact want it, that means there’s work to be done.
Oh, I won’t leave you hanging. In case you’re wondering what I said to the individual that shared their unsolicited opinion of bliss with me. Here’s what I said:
“Thank you for sharing.” (And I meant it.)
Her mouth closed, her head snapped back, she gathered her shoulders closer to her as though they were a winter coat and she was readying to brave the cold. Without another word, she dashed off into the night never to be seen or heard from again.
It was just drama.
Where you fuel, re-tool and attune your imagination. Get your soul to work (on purpose). Ruthless compassion. Fierce gentleness. Sassy wisdom. And oodles of insight.