Questions to ask yourself:
- Do you feel truly fulfilled?
- Do you know what it feels like to feel truly fulfilled?
- Do you look forward to each new day?
- Does your heart sink at the thought of what tomorrow may bring?
- Do you love bits of your life?
- Do you wish the rest of your life matched up with the bits you do like?
- Do you aspire to having a truly fulfilled life?
Living a fulfilled life is a matter of choice
Now before you tear the article up or switch off the computer I ask you to hear me out. I believe that living a fulfilled life is largely a matter of choice. I expect that the vast majority of people reading this would want a life that offered them an ongoing sense of satisfaction and happiness – so what is getting in the way of attaining this?
I find it really interesting that most people I speak to or read about are waiting for something even better to come their way so that then true fulfilment will be theirs. Below is a tiny example of the obstacles of people create to stop themselves feeling truly fulfilled in the here and now.
“I will feel fulfilled when things get back to the way they were when I was young, slim, fit, wealthy, carefree….”
“I will feel fulfilled when I have the perfect relationship, job, family, bank balance, figure, house…”
“I will feel fulfilled when other people see how good, clever, helpful, talented… I am.”
“I will feel fulfilled when I reach my target, complete the course, become something else entirely…”
Fulfilment is a state of mind. I believe it needs to be tackled at three levels.
Level 1 – Love Who You Are
Firstly being fulfilled is about learning to love who you are now, warts and wobbly bits too. So many of us feel we are not good enough. Early experiences have installed
beliefs that are limiting. These can be based on a remark offered for the best of motives but leave a legacy of self-doubt and anxiety. The problem is that we then begin to interpret everything within our experience through that belief. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Loving yourself for who you are about holding oneself accountable and aiming to become the best one can be. Being the best you can be is far more about looking for the lesson when we make a mistake so we don’t make the same mistake again. We don’t need to beat ourselves up because we failed to get it right. So if you get something wrong - admit the mistake, take the learning from it and move on.
Level 2 – Learn to Learn
The second level of fulfilment is all about learning. Learning is about being curious about the world and how it works. Learning from others present and past, being open to the possibilities that present themselves and the learning that those possibilities offer. Learning is also about using the experience of failing and when things go wrong to inform us how we might do things better.
The fulfilment comes form being determined to use the learning in the future. Success is built on adjusting and learning from previous failures. Reflecting on personal growth is a huge source of fulfilment.
Level 3 – Contribute To Others
The third level of fulfilment is all about your personal contribution to others. There is a difference between the feeling of self worth you get by doing things for others and the feeling of contribution that gives a sense of who you are. Those who only gain a sense of who they are through what they do for others are likely to find limited fulfilment - until they learn that being them is enough to feel of value.
It is where giving is done selflessly with no wish for personal gain that there is the potential for the greatest fulfilment. Try making random acts of kindness to complete strangers, where there is no acknowledgement is needed. Giving anonymously or contributing where the only motive is to contribute with no thought of any return. Watching the outcome from such an action can be incredibly fulfilling.
Finding fulfilment is your choice…
However trite it may seem you can choose to find fulfilment in ordinary every day life as everything has the potential to be extraordinary. From the moment you open your eyes you make a choice - conscious or other wise - to notice (or not) the wonder of each moment. It is therefore your choice to remain in a loveless relationship or a job you hate.
Plan your life to achieve fulfilment. Take time to notice all the little things that nurture your spirit and plan to tackle anything in your life that gets in the way of you living your life to the full.
Take control by choosing to choose how you live your life rather than being a victim to circumstance.