Diligence vs Bliss

Question asked on Quora today: When should one recognize that our mind doesn’t have the answer to the challenge we’re facing and just hand it over to the “universe”?

Gus Griffin’s reply: There is a state of mind—an instinctive modus operandi—that transcends the orientation to overcome or to achieve. Abraham Maslow called it actualising your B-Value (B for being), Ken Robinson calls it being in your element, others refer to it as pursuing your bliss or exercising your gift. I talk about it in my coaching sessions in terms of “dancing with your muse” or “concentering upon your forté”: which could also be expressed more prosaically as simply putting your best foot forward.

Whatever you care to call it, it is about getting into the zone and operating from that optimum way of approaching things that is your highest aptitude—your personal sweet spot. If you can find a way to operate from that special headspace, to align your career so that what people expect from you is to exert this greatest strength of yours, then your intuition will make it clear to you whether you need to change things up … or down … or find more effective perspectives.

When you look into the lives of the Paragons of our race—those humans we esteem and praise above all others—you will find that their great contributions came as a natural consequence of communing with their personal muse. The enormous benefits they bestowed upon the world were a by-product of what gave them joy. Contrary to popular assumption, while serving greatly, their service was not driven by diligence, but by bliss.

So don’t try to put more effort in, don’t strive to get better results: find out instead how to alter your work so that you rejoice in it.


One caveat, though: Sometimes it is the taking-on of a great challenge, the ardent pursuit of some “impossible” dream, venturing beyond the conventional realms of the possible to push the frontiers of what people find impossible—sometimes that great test is what finally puts you in intimate communion with your muse. Sometimes it takes a great task to reveal to you what is your own greatness.

In order to rise to the challenge you have set yourself, you have to reach within, you have to dig deep to find what is needed to prevail. The refining fire of daring greatly—and utterly refusing defeat—ultimately throws you back upon accessing what proves to be your most powerful faculty (often previously unsuspected). Thereby the task itself brings out in you your greatest self.

In this way, yes, striving greatly and dancing with your muse are intimately connected. But it still helps to remember that the end you are pursuing—though it may be so real to you that you can taste it—is nevertheless a figment of your imagination. It’s the journey here and now that always remains the reality.

And the more joy-laden that journey is here in the present, the more your waltz will throw out its radiating benefits to others, regardless of whether you are trying to make it so or not. And the less you will find yourself questioning things like level of commitment in the meantime.

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Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:36 am by Gus Griffin · Permalink
In: Misc