Follow Your Bliss Stories #1 – How Jeff Probst Got Survivor

The late great mythologist Joseph Campbell spoke of a concept he described as following your bliss. Campbell had recognized a pattern in myths from around the world that he outlined in a functional path he termed “The Hero’s Journey.”

This pattern is seen in most great stories throughout time and culture. Filmmaker George Lucas drew upon his love of this concept in creating Star Wars.

The key is this. The hero in the story – your story – is you. We’re all on the hero’s journey. It’s not an experience reserved for the few. It’s the very essence of why each and every one of us is here.

You often hear elements of the story when people who “hit it big” describe the tale of how it happened. Here survivor host and executive producer Jeff Probst describes how he willed himself to host this wild new show concept – Survivor. His story has many of the classic elements. He even mentions the Campbell-like aspects of his journey.

 

In case no one else reminds you today, you are awesome!

Ray

Never Give Up on Your Dreams – Day 161 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today I’m sharing three stories of famous people who had every reason to give up on their dreams, but didn’t. Don’t give up on yours. Have a great Monday, my friends!

Ray

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Waiting for Samadhi Isn’t a Life Strategy – Day 156 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation:

I find my bliss in the chaos. I find my stillness in the dance.

When I was younger, I used to spend my time waiting for this perfect moment I imagined would come to take action. The right moment, I assumed, would arrive for me to ask out that girl. The sun would shine upon me, as in a movie, to tell me I was making the right choices. The Universe would suddenly sing in unison to show me the way.

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of those moments in my life and perhaps you have too. However, they’re not reliable enough base your life strategy around.

The great mythologist Joseph Campbell pointed out there were two spheres of thought in ancient Buddhism – Indian and Chinese. The former has this concept of Samadhi, while the latter is based more on the idea of the Tao.

Samadhi is a moment where the great enlightened being stills the world around him or her to a state of perfected bliss and union. Meanwhile, the Tao summons the idea that life is a chaotic balance always in movement around the great being and that enlightenment is found not in stilling the chaos, but in becoming one with the ebb and flow.

That younger me was constantly waiting for moments of Samadhi. Now I’m certain such a state is reachable by the most enlightened among us and for all of us in certain moments. It’s also reachable if you want to leave the world, as Buddha did, and spend your life on a mountain or in a forest in complete contemplation. For most of us ordinary human beings with a job and mortgage, though, we must be content with finding our bliss amid the chaos of a life that never stops and is always presenting new challenges.

That younger me thought life would stop and wait for me at some point; that I”d suddenly “get it” and all would fall beautifully into place. This older wiser me understands that the beauty and sometimes the terror is found in the constant chaos that is our lives. The beauty is not just in that magical stillness, but in the flow of the river that never ceases.

Power Hack: Stop waiting. There’s no perfect moment except this one. Your goals, your dreams, and your destiny are found on the run. Samadhi does exist and I’d welcome you to seek it, but it’s not the mechanism that will drive most of your happiness or success. For that, you must lose yourself in this moment of action and find your bliss amid the chaos.

Ask him out. Apply to Harvard. Write the book. Change the world. Do it now.

You are all amazing! Never forget it no matter what anyone says. Thank you so much for spending a few more minutes with me on the blog today.

Ray

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Living Beyond Other Peoples’ Opinions – Day 77 of 365 Days to a Better You

Living beyond other peoples’ opinions.

Today’s Thought

Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.
~Plato

April and I were listening to Rachel Hollis this morning. She says something repeatedly throughout her work that I really like. It’s something to the effect that other people don’t get to choose the life you live.

As long as you can remember, you had to deal with other peoples’ of you, what you do, and who you are. The mistake you may have made early on is believing their opinions. Maybe they had a position of authority, they were your friend, your spouse, or someone you really admired.

The fact of the matter is there’s only one opinion, ultimately, that matters in your life. There’s only one opinion that propel you or stop you in your tracks. That’s your opinion.

Now, you may have a low opinion of yourself in a given situation or endeavor. That’s content for another blog. Right now, we’re focused on all those other opinions that stream into your life, often without invitation. Who should you listen to and who should you ignore?

Let’s start with this. An opinion that limits you or squashes your potential, no matter how much you love or respect the person offering it, needs to be ejected from your life now. That opinion is not moving you forward.

I’m not talking about ignoring sound advice like don’t, “Don’t drive on the wrong side of the road.” I’m talking about opinions like:

  • “Oh, you don’t want to write a book. No one will ever buy it.”
  • “He’s the best you’ll ever do. You better hang on to him no matter how he treats you.”
  • “You can’t run a successful business. I never could.”
  • “Why do you need a Master’s Degree? I did fine without it.”

Power hack: When someone is audacious enough to tell you that you never can or never should follow your dream, I want you to apply this standard. Does that person have the life you want? Have they achieved what you dream of achieving?

You see, most people who spend their lives shooting down other peoples’ dreams and naysaying are bitter because they never had the courage to go after theirs. Or maybe they did, and it didn’t work out for them. That’s sad, but it’s no reason to squash your enthusiasm and determination for yours.

If your critic lacks the credentials to advise you or obviously is not coming from a supportive place, ignore the opinion. It’s of no value to you. Find those people who do support you and, damn it, support yourself! Every great achievement in human history happened, despite all the opinions about it not because of them.

You will never be free of opinions flowing into your life, but you can free yourself from their negative effect and get on with the business of following your bliss!

You – yeah you – you’re AWESOME!

Ray

Don’t Die with Your Music Still Inside You – Day 49 of 365 Days to a Better You

Don’t die with your music still inside of you.

One of my favorite moments in Spring is the first time I see and hear a cardinal sing. I love red and so I find cardinals to be stunning birds. The best thing, though, is their amazing song. I can’t get enough of it. I’d love to hear your song too!

The late Wayne Dyer often encouraged his listeners with this aphorism. I never heard Wayne say it, but I’ve always believed he was referring back to another proverb of indistinct origin. “A bird doesn’t sing because it has the answer, it sings because it has a song.

Did you know you have a song inside of you? I believe we all do. You may call it your bliss, your mission, your path. It’s that thing that we cannot imagine dying without having expressed, experienced, and shared. Yet, many of you reading this, have not blessed the world with your song.

“Well,” you might think, “No one really cares about my song. It won’t change the world or my situation.” Are you sure? Who among us knows how a word, a gesture, a thought from you might change everything?

Whether you “singing” your song would shift the world or just shift a moment, read the quote again. The reason for singing your song is not because your song is the answer, though it might be. The reason for singing your song is because you have a song and it’s what you’re here to do. You won’t feel complete until you pipe up. So, pipe up!

It doesn’t have to be the most beautiful song or the most profound. It only needs to be the contribution you came here to make.

No pressure, but it’s time to start singing!

Have a fantastic and song-filled day!

Ray