I’m going to share with you my “bliss list.” These are 15 things that make me happy or that I enjoy doing.
15 Things that make me happy:
1. Writing – blog is easiest… book ideas come to me a lot but they are a lot harder to get from idea to paper
2. Reading – fiction because I like to see other writers styles and how they create characters
3. Watching movies (and TV shows – see above re: fiction)
5. Doing crafts/art (computer graphics too)
6. Cooking and baking – like trying new recipes
7. Travelling – seeing new places
8. Watching the kids do activities like sports etc..
9. Spending time with Dave on our days off together
10. Sundays at my moms
11. Participating in fundraisers (like the golf tournaments, BINGO)
12. Delivering Meals on Wheels
13. Animals (spending time with dogs etc… visiting zoo’s… wildlife)
14. Computer/Phone games (scrabble, scramble, diner dash, crosswords)
15. Spending time together as a family…usually doing one of the activities above
This was the first part of the book called The Bliss List by JP Hansen. Write down 15 things that make you happy. Then use these 15 things to find your dream job. I kind of “failed” the 15 things by the way. After I made my list I continued reading only to find that my list, in comparison with the examples listed, seemed simple. Some of the example lists included things like “giving people hope” and “having time to exercise 3 times a week” and “being part of a spiritual leader’s network” and “completing __________ degree.” My list was supposed to include things that challenge me and set higher goals for me. WHAT???? The original instructions just said: “simply write what makes you feel the happiest.” Those 15 things are what make me happy.
After feeling generally disappointed in myself I stopped reading for a few days. Grumbling about the title of the book and basically complaining because I felt like it was supposed to be my “bliss list” so why was I made to feel inadequate by the examples given. Forcing myself the whole time I continued to read – maybe I should have put “NOT A QUITTER” on my list. It got better – talking about having a positive attitude and meditation and visualizing your dream job. More list making like: write your dream job based on your list, write down what skills you already possess and then what skills you need to accomplish your dream job. My “dream” job reads something like this:
Create my own photo journal magazine featuring articles on travel, cooking, fiction, movies and animals.
It was either that or: Travelling food truck with an accompanying blog including photos of the travels and food (but I have to be home every Sunday to be at my mom’s). Maybe even a TV show featuring my travelling food truck on the Food Network. And really, a TV show that followed me to Sunday at G’ma’s would be really entertaining.
What skills do I possess? All of them… photography and writing being the top two. What skills do I lack? Not really a skill but …. Financing. As is typical with all my brilliant ideas. Again feeling disappointed I quit reading for a few days. Determined to finish the book I pushed myself to keep reading.
The next portion of the book was the “six spokes of bliss.” You get to grade yourself on 6 areas: Relational, Financial, Intellectual, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual. I scored 20….. Out of 60. It was at this point I told my husband I just didn’t think these self-help books worked for me. That’s when we came up with the idea that I should write my own book called “My Blissful Fish flopped out of my Bucket…. Now What?”
The title is based on the several books I’ve recently read on ways to improve your work life and/or find a different job: Fish!, How Full is Your Bucket? and The Bliss List. The first one I read was Fish! It was a good book, didn’t once quit reading it. Arming myself with its principles of choosing my attitude, being there (meaning focusing on your work), playing (having fun) and motivating others, I went to work for several months determined to make these ideas work. The problem is that this book was geared for managers to implement a program for their employees and I’m not a manager. And if your manager isn’t implementing these ideas then your co-workers think you’re crazy for trying to push some new wave ideas on them. After Fish! failed me, I went to How Full Is Your Bucket? This concept is that everyone has a bucket and you can either dip from someone’s bucket (being mean, negative) or fill their bucket (being nice). Same basic problem as Fish!, if the management isn’t implementing it the coworkers aren’t buying it.
I tried to imagine what it would be like if my Director said we were implementing the concepts of one of these books; the eye-rolling and sarcastic comments that would follow. That’s when I realized that no matter how you spin it being a 911 Operator cannot be positive. Let’s face it, people call 911 when they are in trouble or need help not because they are having a great day. 911 operators get cussed at, yelled at and argued with on the daily. You have to have tough skin but at the same time be empathetic. It’s a hard balance to master and even once you master it it’s hard to maintain that balance on a daily basis. Filling and dipping buckets really doesn’t work in this business because there’s a lot of dipping and not so much filling. The Fish! concept is probably the best but it would still be a struggle to get it to take off and get all the employees to buy into it.
That’s when I thought “CAREER CHANGE!!” That’s when I bought The Bliss List. And that’s why I’m now at “NOW WHAT??” Don’t get me wrong I see a lot of potential “real” jobs in my list of 15 things. Blogger, Author, Photographer, Graphic Designer, Chef/Baker (I really like the food truck idea), Animal Rescue, Zookeeper, Movie Critic, Television Critic, Not-for-profit Fundraiser, Writer for Travel magazine, REALITY TV STAR!!! I’m telling your my family is way more entertaining than the Kardashians. “Sunday’s at Mom’s” could soooooo be a hit show. Oh yeah did I mention The Bliss List says not to watch TV. Such an epic fail for me!
Right now I’m just chugging along; trying to find a way to turn one of my 15 things to turn into a career. It’s not quite as easy for me as it is for The Bliss List author who is a millionaire (ok.. self-made millionaire) or his clients he references who have things like ocean front houses and take 3 month-long trips to Italy. I can’t just quit my job and pursue a writing career which may not work out. I must have a guaranteed regular income because I don’t have a trust fund or even a decent savings account to rely on if my venture doesn’t work.