I often hear motivational speakers say "follow your bliss". What do they actually mean by that? Is bliss the same as happiness?

asked 12 Oct '09, 03:14

1Shonta%201's gravatar image

1Shonta 1

"Follow your bliss" was a phrase popularized in America in the lectures and writings of Joseph John Campbell. He was known for his work in comparative religion and comparative mythology. See the Wikipedia article on Campbell. First, the word "bliss" as Campbell used it is an English translation of the Sanskrit, "ananda" which means "supreme bliss, unending joy." Campbell attributes his concept of "follow your bliss" to the Upanishads (Hindu scriptures). He wrote:

"Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: sat-chit-ananda. The word "Sat" means being. "Chit" means consciousness. "Ananda" means bliss or rapture. I thought, "I don't know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don't know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being." I think it worked." (from Wikipedia article; italics mine)

To answer your question, "bliss" means supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment. In theology it means the joy of heaven. It is something more than mere happiness which is both circumstantial and transitory. Bliss is something deeper and more permanent.

According to Wikipedia, Campbell "observed that all myths carry a unifying thread - humankind's yearning for deeper meaning and individual purpose. The drive to discover one's true meaning is what Mr. Campbell called the passion to "follow your bliss.""

What other writers and motivational speakers mean by "follow your bliss", I can't say. Probably, "follow your passion" -- the things you feel passionate about. I don't think this is exactly the same as Campbell's meaning, unless the passion was to discover one's true meaning and purpose in life. I hope this helps.


answered 12 Oct '09, 07:10

John's gravatar image


edited 13 Oct '09, 08:08

Alright John here I give you your props. Very good.

(12 Oct '09, 11:45) flowingwater

Thanks John ...

(13 Oct '09, 02:08) 1Shonta 1

Thank you unknown (yahoo), you're very kind. And thank you for the check, Shonta. I miss your picture but Buddha is good, too, since you're the one who answered the question about where that statue is. I searched and searched the web and couldn't find it!

(13 Oct '09, 08:05) John

By the way, have you got a first name, or even a nickname? There are so many "unknown (yahoo)" labels here.

(14 Oct '09, 15:06) John
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

If you believe that God gave us talents, then you must believe that those talents have a purpose, and that fulfilling that purpose by exercising those talents fulfills ourselves.

In other words, we are happiest and most productive in this life (financially and otherwise) when we are doing the things for which we possess the greatest aptitude.


answered 13 Oct '09, 01:46

Vesuvius's gravatar image


I think what they are saying is that we should use our "emotional guidance system" (as Abraham/Esther Hicks puts it) when making decisions or attempting to manifest our desires. Feeling good about something indicates that it is in alignment with your true nature. Thus the more we follow what makes us happy (or blissful) the more effortless our lives and manifestations become.


answered 12 Oct '09, 06:11

Toshiro's gravatar image


Bliss is an inner serenity.


answered 12 Oct '09, 18:10

Penny's gravatar image


Bliss is more than happiness and more akin to joy but I feel that bliss is above joy too. The words 'utter bliss' and 'blissed out' also mean to me that bliss is at the top of the hierarchy of pleasure. When you are in a state of bliss, everything is perfect.


answered 14 Oct '09, 02:06

Rebecca's gravatar image


I agree with you Rebecca very good answer.

(21 Oct '09, 04:15) flowingwater

What I like to call it is follow your excitment. Excitement is the core of your being, it is a compass nidle that shows you, that the direction your taking is in fact the one closest to your Higher Self, your highest purpose.

Why does it do that? Because we are ALL made of light. We have just been playing a game of limitations, of disconnecting from the Source, of forgetting who we are.

In this day and age it's time to re-member. It's time to bring all unresolved issues of uor past life times and integrate them into our being.

Earth is in the process of ascension. Ascension means integrating ALL of the components of your personality, ALL of your unresolved issues, ALL old beliefs that stand in the way of you experiencing your highest joy.

Act quickly, act now! if your doing the things that don't seem to fit ito your life cut them lose. Change of career would be advisable if you don't feel you achieve higher purpose thru it.

Transmuting your old beliefs. Cutting of people that seem to bring you down, that are not alligned with your highest truth.

Now many people have trouble assesing is the thing they are doing is theie highest excitment. It all comes to one simple question:

"Is the thing I'm doing right now working WITH the indwelling life or opposite to it?"

When you answer that question you know what to do.

Another question you may want to ask.

"Is the path I'm taking a path of heart?"

If it's not a path of heart STOP doing it NOW. If you get a shovel and start digging in the wrong place, you've done a lot of shoveling for nothing.

Be concious of your thoughts. Are they your thoughts or someone elses. Listen to your inner voice for guidance. Ask your guides, angels, ancestors, higher self, God for guidance. And have your senses OPEN. FEEL the signs, be ready to act dispite of fear.

Fear is your friend. He shows you what areas of your life haven't yet been handled.

Work on your beliefs based on fear. Ask yourself "Why do I react that way to this situation? What beliefs make me react the way I do?" Then after you identify your belief it's gone. Now replace it with a belief you prefer "Next time I end up in that situation I will react such and such." That's all you need to do to change your beliefs. Now when the situation comes up you just have to ACT like the new belief is true.

Follow your bliss, follow your excitment, your passion. Their's really nothing else you HAVE to do. It's the only thing. Being your best self to the best of your ability.

Take one step at a time. At one given moment you may be set with a variety of options. Don't rush into them. Instead ask yourself which one has the highest degree of exctitment for you. When you do, ACT on it.

It might be as simple as walking a dog, talking to a friend, doing the groceries. Is your heart seas you should do it, DO IT!

Stop listening to your mind for a second listen to your heart.

Make a deal with your ego. Make a deal like a bussinessman for it NOT TO undermine you. Ask it for losen up a little. It's not his job to know how things will unfold. His job is to know how things have happened and are happening right now.

For the future leave it to your Higher Self.

Imagine yourself going thru a valley when you can see only 10 meters ahead of you. You don't know where the road will take you.

Your Higher Self is the one that stands on a mountain above the valley. He can see everything from a bigger perspective, a bigger picture. He knows that sometimes the road that seems the easiest and fastest for you can indeed be one of great trouble.

It instead sees a road, that on the first glimpse looks like a longer road, but in fact is the fastest and simplest way to get to where you wanna go.

So just lighten up on yourself. Be en-lightened. Enjoy the process. Their's nowhere to go, their's just the journey.

Their are three attitudes that will help you along the way :




Use them to clear your chakras. Use them to relate to your fellow man. Use them to relax on yourself and your past. Use them to unfold your greatest truth. Use them as often as you can to be your best self you can be.

Love, gratitude and praise to ALL of YOU.


answered 17 Oct '09, 14:04

wildlife's gravatar image


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