What does fulfillment mean to you?
Why do you want what you want?
Fulfillment is the real score that matters in the game of life, but it is more elusive than other metrics of success.
How Do We Find Fulfillment?
Success is a science, and fulfillment is an art. I can teach you the science behind success, but the art of fulfillment is something you discover within.
If you achieve massive success before finding fulfillment, it will be one of the worst things that have ever happened to you. Fulfillment must predicate success.
Sure, there is a short-term high produced by success, but you’ll eventually end up unfulfilled without an accompanying internal shift. Why is this the case?
We tend to try and source fulfillment from external achievements. Thoughts like ” I’ll be happy once I get this promotion “ or ” I’ll be happy when I find the relationship of my dreams “ are common for those with a faulty perception of fulfillment.
When these people achieve these desires, they often find it didn’t bring them the expected level of happiness. These people start to feel like nothing can make them happy.
This is actually a half-truth. No one thing or achievement can make you happy. Only YOU can make yourself happy. Fulfillment is a choice.
If you can master this concept, then you’ll be able to overcome any obstacle in your personal or professional life.
Fulfillment = Focus + Meaning + Action
At every single moment you are simultaneously making three decisions:
- What are you focusing on?
- What meaning are you assigning to what you’re focusing on?
- What action will you take based on this focus and assigned meaning?
Let’s look at each decision in more detail.
What are you focusing on?
Our senses are constantly bombarded by thousands of stimuli every day. We all prioritize these choices differently. We choose to focus on certain stimuli and ignore others.
Imagine you are driving in your car. How often do you notice the feeling of your seat belt? Not often. The reason is your mind is more focused on more important stimuli, such as the road and other drivers.
What aspect of a given situation are you choosing to focus on?
What meaning are you assigning to this focus?
Imagine you are back in your car, which you have turned into a mobile university, and you get cut off. You could either assign a negative meaning and make this incident personal, or you can assign a neutral meaning and keep listening to your podcast.
Assigning the wrong meaning to stimuli often disempowers us. Instead of getting mad at the person who cut you off, give this incident an empowering meaning instead.
Put yourself in their shoes and think of legitimate reasons why they were in a hurry and simply didn’t see you.
What action will you take as a result of this assigned meaning?
Most of us think of this decision as the most important of these three decisions, but the reality is it is the least important. Think about it. This decision is virtually always a product of decisions one and two.
In order to influence your actions, you have to make better decisions with your focus and meaning-assignment.
Focus on empowering meanings and it will lead to empowering actions. There are always depressing things to focus on, and there are always empowering things to focus on. The choice is yours.
The Relationship Between Growth and Fulfillment
Human beings only sense acceleration, not velocity. You might remember the concept from our day on consistent growth. In order to feel fulfilled, you have to be constantly pushing forwards toward goals.
What is a really difficult situation weighing on your mind? Think hard and be honest. Ask and answer these three questions:
- What aspect of this situation do you focus on most?
- What meaning are you assigning to this focus?
- What actions have you taken as a result?
I bet you are focusing on something disempowering, reinforcing that negative meaning, and taking a disempowering action as a result. The following exercise will help you change that.
The first step is to simply smile. Smile wide and hold. Smiling releases the “ happy “ chemicals in our brains without us even lifting a finger. It primes our mind for positive thinking.
Next, while smiling, think of an empowering meaning you can assign to the situation you’ve been focusing on. The process is a domino effect. Change your focus. Change your meaning. Change your action.
Your challenge today is to look at your situation and thoughtfully answer the following question:
” What about this situation am I grateful for? “
This simple exercise will start the domino effect in your favor.
If you want to kickstart your efforts to increase your fulfillment, then book a coaching session with Arman to start improving both your professional and personal life today.