[Marion]: If someone had asked me when I reached my fifties to assess my life, I would have said that I had achieved a decent measure of fulfillment, both personally and professionally. Beyond that, I would say I don’t choose to delve.
-Another Woman (1988)
In life, many find themselves grappling with the pursuit of fulfillment. The quest for a meaningful and purposeful existence is a universal aspiration, yet the path to true fulfillment is often elusive.
In this article, I share actionable steps to guide you in choosing fulfillment.
The Earned Life
“If all we do is delay gratification, what do we get a lot of? Delay. What do we not get a lot of? Gratification.“
-Marshall Goldsmith, The Earned Life
- Aligning Aspirations, Ambitions, and Actions:
- Importance of having a clear aspiration, ambition, and taking appropriate actions.
- Caution against getting stuck in just aspirations, ambitions, or actions.
- Eat the Marshmallow:
- Discusses the concept of delayed gratification.
- Emphasizes that constantly delaying gratification may lead to a life of continuous waiting.
- The “New Me” Paradigm:
- Based on the Buddhist philosophy of impermanence.
- Challenges the Western myth of achieving a permanent state of happiness.
- Credibility Must Be Earned Twice:
- Credibility involves both competence and recognition.
- Introduces the “credibility matrix” to balance making a positive difference and self-promotion.
- The Life Plan Review (LPR):
- Based on the daily question process, it involves evaluating daily efforts.
- Highlights the importance of setting clear goals, making progress, finding meaning, being happy, building positive relationships, and being fully engaged.
- Describes the benefits of a support group for accountability and shared experiences.
How To Choose Fulfillment: Strategies
Define Your Values and Prioritize Them
Action: Start by identifying your core values. These are the principles that guide your decisions and actions.
Example: If family is a core value, prioritize spending quality time with loved ones over material pursuits. Make intentional choices aligned with your values.
Set Personal Goals and Objectives
Action: Define clear, achievable goals that resonate with your passions and interests.
Example: If your passion is photography, set a goal to capture a certain number of meaningful moments each month. The pursuit of these goals adds purpose to your daily life.
Related content: How To Push Mental Goals and Achieve Your Goals
Embrace Continuous Learning
Action: Cultivate a mindset of continuous learning. Seek out opportunities for personal and professional development.
Example: Enroll in online courses, attend workshops, or read books that align with your interests. Learning not only expands your knowledge but also provides a sense of accomplishment.
Cultivate Meaningful Relationships
Action: Invest time and effort in building and nurturing relationships that bring joy and fulfillment.
Example: Instead of scrolling through social media, make a conscious effort to connect with friends or family members. Attend social events, engage in deep conversations, and cherish the bonds that truly matter.
Related content: How To Build Trust and Connection in a Digital Age
Practice Gratitude Daily
Action: Develop a daily gratitude practice. Reflect on the positive aspects of your life.
Example: Keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you are thankful for each day. This simple act shifts your focus from what’s lacking to the abundance in your life.
Contribute to Others and Give Back
Action: Find ways to contribute to your community or make a positive impact on others.
Example: Volunteer your time at a local charity, mentor someone in need, or support a cause you are passionate about. Acts of kindness and generosity create a sense of fulfillment beyond personal achievements.
Create a Work-Life Balance
Action: Prioritize a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout and enhance overall well-being.
Example: Set boundaries for work hours, take regular breaks, and engage in activities outside of work that bring joy. A balanced life contributes significantly to a sense of fulfillment.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Action: Embrace imperfections and let go of the pursuit of perfection.
Example: Instead of obsessing over flawless outcomes, focus on the journey and the lessons learned along the way. Accepting imperfections allows room for growth and self-compassion.
Mindful Living and Presence
Action: Practice mindfulness to be fully present in the moment.
Example: During daily activities, such as eating or walking, pay attention to your surroundings and sensations. Mindful living fosters appreciation for the present and enhances the quality of experiences.
Evaluate and Adjust
Action: Regularly assess your life choices and adjust accordingly.
Example: If a certain pursuit or relationship no longer aligns with your values or brings fulfillment, be willing to make changes. Evaluating your journey ensures that you are on a path that resonates with your evolving self.
Choosing fulfillment is an ongoing process that involves intentional actions and a commitment to personal growth. As you embark on this journey, remember that fulfillment is a personal pursuit, and your path may be as unique as you are.