Some people wrongly assume success is the ultimate goal. So they pursue it without taking what makes them happy into consideration. Or without even defining what success means to them. So that leads to wasted time and having regrets.
However, you can choose to feel fulfillment and leave behind the winning mindset and ambitious goals for a while. Which will help you get where you’re headed and feel satisfied with your life.
Inner fulfillment is true satisfaction with things the way they are. The ideal lifestyle does exist. But it doesn’t need to include a ton of sacrifices, efforts, years of your life, sleepless nights, following rules, doing what’s uncomfortable.
That might lead to success in some areas, such as business, finance and career. But it will be at the expense of others. Such as your mental or physical health, relationships, enjoying daily life, having free time, doing things you enjoy, etc.
Being successful doesn’t necessarily mean living a fulfilling life.
You need to make some serious decisions and take a few important steps before you begin a journey that will continue for a long time. Then you won’t end up achieving something that won’t make you fulfilled.
Let the goal be inner fulfillment, and you won’t chase the wrong things. Because to live such a life would include all the necessary elements. These are being your best version, striving for more but also accepting what is and being grateful for it. It will mean balance in most aspects of life, which leads to peace of mind and no rush or stress.
Let’s see what you need to do in advance before fulfillment comes:
How to Feel Fulfillment in Life
1. Identify your values.
It all begins by defining the things that matter to you. You can’t care about tens of things deeply, so it’s worth identifying your core values in life. That’s a necessary step to living a fulfilling life simply because anything you do, all decisions from here on, will be based on these values, your main principles.
Check out 101 core values examples here. But just to give you an idea of what these are, here are some of them:
Go through all the 50 items in the link I shared above, and take a moment for each. This is worth your time for a few reasons. First, you’ll immediately recognize how important each is for you.
Your goal is to choose just a few, ideally 3-5 main core values, and go from there. Then, all other goals you have, be it for family, money, career or looks, must be aligned with these principles in order for you to feel fulfillment if you set them as objectives.
That also means you’ll stay true to yourself.
Your values are part of your deepest desires and aspirations, and these rarely change significantly in a lifetime.
No matter how much you transform and evolve as a person, what new things you welcome in your life or what unexpected stuff happens, these core principles are inside of you. So what will meet your self-fulfillment needs, is doing things related to them.
2. Create a vision.
Now it’s time to get to the specifics about what you want in life. Yes, that means defining how the ideal life looks like, writing it down, imagining it and creating a picture in your mind.
It also means finding your ultimate purpose and paving the path to your dreams and inner fulfillment. Once you know your direction, you can easily make a plan on how to get there and give it a time period too. What’s more, you can prepare for the obstacles down the road.
3. Write your mission statement.
The next step on the way to feel fulfillment is to actually summarize your missions in life in a few sentences. It’s a useful exercise that helps you leave the clutter in your mind aside, and only focus on what matters.
4. Seek passion.
Chances are, you don’t feel fulfilled in your job. It’s hard to find the right industry and position these days.
Even if we do, it might mean working with people we don’t like, not being treated well. Or not receiving enough opportunities to grow, not being encouraged to be productive during the workday, and more.
But it’s okay to admit that and decide to walk away. Inner fulfillment comes when you do things you love, and that includes your career. While monetizing your passion project and leaving the 9 to 5 to turn it into a business is not for everyone as it requires quite some time and work for free, you shouldn’t consider it impossible.
For a start, though, identify the things that lead to lack of job fulfillment. According to science, these are:
- Being in it for the money;
- Focusing on status rather than respect;
- Not having a chance to use your talents;
- Not feeling like you’re doing something meaningful;
- Not having enough freedom and feeling stuck.
All these aren’t part of a life well-lived. In fact, you won’t feel fulfillment if you keep these factors in your life. As long as you hate your job and keep doing the same thing every day with no real purpose or satisfaction behind it, you won’t be truly happy.
For now, identify what leads to your lack of fulfillment.
Then, strive to remove each factor slowly over time. That doesn’t necessarily mean quitting your job. It could be having more flexible hours. Or starting something on the side, which is related to your passions, and making some extra income from it. It might be taking less responsibility at work in order to have more free time. Or working remotely one day of the week.
5. Find peace.
Inner peace is an important element of living a fulfilling life. It has a few aspects. To begin with, you’ll need to learn how to let go. That is, to be free from anything that happened in the past and leave it behind.
That allows you to move on. But it’s also necessary to stop living in the future. Some worry about it too much and it leads to anxiety.
When you stop these two harmful behaviors, life will immediately become simpler and more enjoyable. That’s because when you stop going back to yesterday or eagerly await tomorrow, you’ll be in the present moment.
So use that time to just breathe deeply, smile for what is, look around, and appreciate things. That brings peace of mind and suddenly all fears and uncertainty go away. You have a clear mind, can stay alert, and become grateful. In addition, you can take good decisions as you are not distracted. And can also assess your performance and take the next step on your journey to feeling fulfilled.
Each of these steps will get you closer to living a more fulfilling life. Don’t rush into it, though. The slower, the better.
Over to you now. What elements in your current life do you need to change first to feel fulfillment?