Tips in Discovering a Rewarding Career Path
Joseph Campbell was the writer and lecturer who coined the phrase “Follow your bliss.” The idea, which Campbell later came to believe was largely misunderstood, was that finding one’s passion enables individuals to discover their true calling in life, finding fulfillment—true ‘bliss’— in the process. When Campbell determined that many were using this quote to promote the doctrine that pleasure is the sole purpose of life, he was said to have complained, “I should have said, ‘Follow your blisters.’”
There’s no doubt that becoming successful by following your passion requires work, but our objective should be to make that work as enjoyable as possible. That can only happen when we‘re able to do what we most love. But how can we determine, exactly, what career path will be most rewarding to us? Lisa Girard, Entrepeneur.com columnist, suggests 5 creativity exercises that can help:
1. What did you love to do as a child?
How we spent our time ‘playing’ as children, when motivated by nothing except pure pleasure, can be very informative in helping us pinpoint our grownup passions. Girard uses the example of Frank Lloyd Wright, great American architect, who loved playing with wooden blocks as a child. Revisiting those early years may help us determine those activities that are most appealing to us as adults.
2. Make a ‘creativity board.’
Michael Michalko, a creativity expert in Rochester, NY, explains, “The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of your intention—who you want to become or what you want to create—your awareness and passion will grow.”
3. Make a list of professionals you admire.
Role models can prove powerful in our quest for true bliss. Consider the party game where you list 5 historical figures you’d like to invite to dinner. This exercise, while equally creative, requires you to list those who are currently where you’d like to be. And not all of those individuals you list need to work in your industry of choice. For example, I would include Beyonce on my list—not because I want to become an insanely famous and wealthy pop star, but because she’s an incredibly hard worker who uses her notoriety to give back to the community.
4. Start doing what you love.
You don’t need a business plan to do what you love. Cath Duncan, a Canadian creativity expert and life coach, suggests you follow your bliss even if you are uncertain how it will generate income. “Perhaps most importantly…, it’ll shift you out of paralysis and fear, and the joy of seeing the difference your contribution makes will fuel your creativity.”
5. Take a break from the business mentality.
Creativity can have difficulty flourishing in a business mindset. Taking a break from this profit mentality can open you up to more inspired and imaginative paths. Rob Levit, a creativity expert, speaker and business consultant explains, “Looking at beautiful things – art and nature – creates connections that we often neglect to notice. Notice them, capture them in writing and use them.”
Taking some time to discover what you’re most passionate about is not a waste of time. In fact, determining a career path that is truly rewarding may just enable you to avoid wasting years of your life doing something you loathe. And then, once you find your passion, follow your blisters!
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–. “Joseph Campbell.” Wikipedia
Girard, Lisa. “Five Creativity Exercises to Find Your Passion.” 3 June 2011 Entrepreneur.com