Discovering Personal Fulfillment
January 31, 2020
My wife said something profound to me once, when I was considering a Job change just because the salary that was being paid was very good.
“You will be happy about your salary for just a couple of days. Once the novelty wears off, if you don’t feel good about the role or the place, you will start complaining. Don’t make career moves for money. Make it because you like the Job or the place or both”.
I am lucky that my wife gave me that sage advise. I never did take that job and more importantly I learnt a lesson.
Was the higher salary going to make me happier? That conversation opened my eyes to a very important dimension of my life- Fulfillment.
Tony Robbin’s puts is powerfully- “There is no bigger failure than success without fulfillment”
So what is Success and what is Fulfillment?
In its simplest form, success is the sense of achievement we experience when we attain some goal or ambition we have. Success tends to have a material connotation.
“I have a big house”
“I have all the luxuries money can buy, I have a Big salary, Large Savings”
“I have become a Managing Director or a CEO”
Success can also extend into a more humane dimension- ” I have a beautiful and healthy family, great relationships”
What happens when one has all the markers of success but there is something still missing ?
I call that “thing” that is missing, Fulfillment.
Fulfillment is that feeling of inner satisfaction or contentment that we have, constantly.
Fulfillment is that mindset that sets apart a millionaire desperate for a good night’s sleep and a lowly peasant who is able to sleep in peace and contentment after a hard days labor.
I understand the concept of fulfillment BUT I have struggled with developing a working model for myself, that will take me on the path to feel fulfilled.
What is the secret to feel fulfilled? How do I invoke a sense of peace and contentment for myself , particularly in this day and age where in every wakeful moment, I am exposed to a barrage of mental messaging that is trying to make me feel inadequate. Buy the best car, best house, get the best body, best jobs….
I found some clues to this conundrum of fulfillment, when I asked myself this obvious question-“When did I feel completely at peace, contented, feeling good about myself”
When I contemplate on all my successful moments in life- When I got that promotion, Big Bonus, Recognition or Award- They evoke in me a sense of achievement and pride but NOT a sense of contentment, peace.
Strangely, the memories that flash for me when I think contentment, peace are
- When I volunteered at an school for Autism, when in Dubai, and experienced pure innocence first hand while being a companion to a few kids.
- When doing something for my parents, siblings, friends.
- A few coaching conversations where magic happened in terms of my coachee experiencing an emotional breakthrough to deal with a problem
- When I took a stretch assignment not connected with my day job, as a volunteer
- And nowadays when I am sharing some of my experiences through my daily blogging.
What is common in these experiences? They are all experiences where I am doing something for someone else without expecting anything in return. These are all moments when I am in a heightened zone of generosity not worrying about myself, not thinking about how I could manipulate the circumstances to gain some benefit in return.
When I am generous and giving , I come from a position of abundance, and it is this sense of abundance that overshadows any inadequacy, fear that I may be feeling at any moment.
I need to commit myself to more and more acts of generosity- Think and act beyond my own self interest. That is the mantra for developing a sense of fulfillment. This is not easy but I am trying. I believe I am on the right path with this thinking.
Karma is real. I know in my heart that when I do good for others, it will not be in vain. The elements will take care of me and give me back more abundance. Paradoxically, I feel, being generous is an act of selfishness , for my own feeling of success, well-being and fulfillment !!