What's So Great About Following Your Bliss?

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls." -Joseph Campbell

Yesterday I read a very disturbing New York Times article, "The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food". In it, the author talks about the extraordinary measures companies take in order to manufacture products that create cravings in the consumer. These foods include everything from chips to cereal to yogurt. What do we crave? You guessed it: sugar, salt and fat. 

What scientists have discovered, and these companies exploit, is what they call the "bliss" point. According to the article, the bliss point relates to "complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don't have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating." 

Scary, huh? So that's why they "bet you can't eat just one." They have created a formula to make sure you can't!

So should you "follow your bliss" or not? 

There is a difference between the bliss that comes from satisfying cravings or addictions and the bliss of true happiness. How can we tell the difference? 

I think we can tell the difference by how we feel when we go without whatever it is we think we must have in order to be happy. If we are miserable without it, if we have to have it right now, it is probably a craving rather than a true source of happiness.

I think the key is in knowing yourself and your true Source of happiness. A healthy "bliss" comes from doing the things that bring you deep, lasting joy rather than a momentary sense of euphoria. Just as sugar highs are always followed by a crash, satisfying other momentary cravings can often lead to devastating lows.

True happiness is a state of being, not of acquiring or consuming.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." -St. Paul