The song “Do Your Thing” has been produced by many artists with a variety of lyrics and music. My favorite version came from Isaac Hayes (with an incredible guitar solo). His rendition became part of the soundtrack of my early campus life. The message persuades listeners to step off of the rigid path laid out by society and find what works for them.
Similar messages have come through many forms over the years. It was Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, lecturer, and author of such books as The Hero with a Thousand Faces who coined the phrase “follow your bliss.” Actually, his complete statement was: “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
Rather than simply being a call to defy the status quo, Campbell’s message urges us to become authentic. That’s never been more crucial than now. When you’re over 50, it may seem that you’re all grown up. But something may be tugging at your heart, urging you on to a new adventure. If you are trying to decide on a different direction, I would suggest it not be something that is entirely rational or logical. Not something only chosen by the brain. Instead, consider what your instincts are telling you. Consider the whispers of your heart.
Whether it’s triggered by a restlessness within or by changing circumstances, you know it’s time for you to do something else. It can seem scary to step into the unknown, but as Campbell and others have suggested, when you step out in accord with your highest self, you are on your right path and a way will be made. The more you follow joy instead of act out of fear, the more things will fall in place. Answer the call. That could mean starting another career. Or stepping out of someone else’s shadow to stand in your own light. Or going where you have been most afraid to go.
When we were young, it was prudent to pursue that which would provide financial and social stability. At this stage of life, it is imperative that we pursue that which has been calling us all along. Follow your own bliss. Do your thing.