Joseph Campbell is known for his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. His story is quite interesting and inspiring.

He earned a Master’s Degree in Literature and then, when he was about to go into a PhD program, he felt that something was wrong. Instead of racing ahead and getting his PhD, he paused and decided to follow his bliss as he always did. He decided to scrap the necessary money and go travel & explore the real world.

Many adventures later, the young man decided it was finally time to pursue his PhD.

But when he submitted various proposals, the faculty rejected all of them. He was ostracized, banished from the academic world before even becoming a researcher. Eventually, he mustered the courage to officially leave his graduate studies.

It was 1929, and the Great Depression had just begun.

The young man looked around: the old world and its opportunities were disappearing. All of the traditional paths to success were crumbling. He saw that the once “safe paths” now led precisely to nowhere.

So he decided to follow his highest excitement once again and isolate himself from the world. He purchased the books he would need for his self-directed studies and headed to a nearby farm that had an open room to rent.

All the money he had left went into this.

For the next five years, he continued to follow the thread of something he couldn’t quite fully articulate. He was following what he felt compelled to do, and he just stopped questioning it.

From these years of seclusion, he gained many insights into the human nature, spirituality, religions, comparative mythology and the art of storytelling. One of his most influential discoveries was The Hero’s Journey, which is now the mainstream template used to write novels, movies, mangas, etc.

Following your bliss will lead you to take more often than not unconventional paths.

You will be called crazy by others.

You will be forced to face your fears.

You will probably be lonely like Joseph Campbell was in his years of seclusion.

But by staying true to yourself and following your highest excitement always, there is every chance that by constantly challenging yourself, you will come to challenge the status quo of a field (or multiple fields) in your own unique fashion.

And the coolest thing about this is that you won’t even care: it’s simply a by-product of unapologetically doing what makes you joyful.

    Subscribe to receive more information like this and stay in the loop

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.