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December 18, 2015 Tilly 3 comments

November Bliss, finding your bliss

Sometimes something happens, and in that instant you know it will change you. Like the arrival of a newborn or the death of a loved one. More often change happens gradually. And one morning you wake up and realise that over time you started doing things differently. At least that's how it worked for me.


When I realised this as a teenager, I tried planning for it. And learned that I had a talent for planning. But often, after the goal was reached, I lost interest and forgot about it. Whether it was skating, dieting, dancing, or something else. For some things the loss was as little as an unused item. In other cases, as for instance a diet, I had to start over again a few years later.


Due to various reasons my health was at its lowest at the end of 2014. Actually it had been for a longer period. But certain incidents in that year made me realise that the "laissez-faire" plan I followed did not help me improve things. It sometimes made it worse. So once again a plan was needed. But this time I was ready to try something else. A plan, that conflicted with everything I read about in books, the theories I learned in Business school and external courses/trainings. There is no clear final goal, there is no strict timing in any form, there are no (confined) resources and no predefined method to recognise results for true achievement.


Demming cycle, plan do check act
Deming cycle

I started with a system of trial and error. A bit like the Deming Cycle. I try something, evaluate how it makes me feel, and decide to either keep or let it go. Activities vary from hiking, to light therapy, to a different approach to food to... There's still so much to discover.


It's a continuous proces that works for me. One that seems to offer lasting results. I know, it's only 1.5 year. But my condition is improving significantly, I shed 24kg (not a goal, but nice bonus), and I feel fitter than ever.


And one that stimulates me to add additional actual plans for small sprints or to keep it playful. One of these plans is me preparing to run the TCS New York City marathon for charity 6 November 2016 (dance4life, feel free to donate to this cause via this link).


Another side plan is this website. A personal tool to keep track of the different things I try. To keep me focused, and to commit myself to following through. In November when I was evaluating 2015 and planning ahead, I realised that the new approach worked better than I could have imagined. I also noticed that though in work I plan well in visible tool, for this important project I only had various small notes in different notebooks and apps. This website is meant as a logging tool, and to somehow plan small sprints. To help me keep track of the crazy ideas I go through. And amuse friends and family while at it. It will simplify explaining "what keeps me busy".


When thinking of a name a friend proposed "November Bliss". November as this is the period the idea came to life. Bliss, as it is all about finding mine.


After the plans were made and the website reserved, I encountered this quote that perfectly captures my, still vague, goal.

"If you follow your bliss you put yourself on a track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living, where-ever you are. If you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you all the time"

Joseph Campbell

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