There is a quote that is attributed to the Dalai Lama floating around the internet. When asked what most surprised him about humanity, he responded:
‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.’
How many of us live in the way described above? We are constantly running trying to keep our head above water, and then we look up and years of superficial happiness, but elusive joy have passed us by.
We are a consumer culture. We spend so much time and energy spending money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t really know or like. As a result of this, we clutter our lives with superficiality and miss out on what is substantive.
I challenge you to live. To stop complaining; stop surviving; stop living a life filled with nervous anxiety.
I consistently see people who put off what they really wanted for a later date and died without that later date ever coming. Spend meaningful time with your children; with your parents; visit (not text) friends; cut out some of the TV; spend more time thinking about something more substantive than the clothes you will wear and the hair on your head. Life is not a collection of things. Things are fillers for a lack of life. Pursue life and love—not things.
”Follow your bliss. That which you love, you must spend your life doing, as passionately and as perfectly as your heart, mind and instincts allow. The sooner you identify that bliss, which surely resides in the soul of most human beings, the greater your chance of a successful life.’’
As children, our imaginations entertain us with the numerous roles we aspire to become when we are ‘big enough’. From doctors, to vets, designers, to models – we knew exactly what we wanted to be when we grew up. Sure enough, the years pass by; we become older and less naive to the world around us. In doing so, our dreams begin to fade as we realise that it is going to take a little longer and involve more work than we originally thought to reach our goals. We identified our idea of bliss - then let it slip away.
As an Undergrad whom is closely approaching the end of my schooling years, I have been inundated with the advice of those who have previously walked my path, but somehow lost the ticket to their dreams. With the need to survive as well as chasing their goals, working at a ‘temporary’ job is the obvious solution, but what happens when that ‘temporary’ job becomes permanent and you begin to lose sight of your passion?
As cultural provocateur and advertising guru, George Lois, highlights in the quote above; the sooner we identify what bliss means to us, the better the chance we have at achieving success. Even though you may have lost sight of your dreams; they are still there, waiting for you to re-ignite them. Everyone has that one passion that they would give anything to spend the rest of their life doing. Everyone has that something which makes them happy. The trouble is; some of us deny ourselves the chance to make a life out of what we are passionate about…ending up in a place that we do not want to be.
Sometimes we make too many excuses or come up with a thousand reasons why we cannot do something, giving up the fight for what we really want. It is never too late to start believing that you can achieve success and more importantly…
Follow your bliss.
What is your idea of bliss? Are you yet to follow it?