We all want to live a happy and fulfilling life, but what does that mean exactly? What does it mean to live a fulfilling life? What is fulfillment?
For me, fulfillment is the feeling that you’re on the right life path. It is the deep, inner knowing that your life matters. It is the desire to spend your time doing things that are meaningful to yourself and others.
So, although you enjoy the successes you’ve achieved, you also have a deep desire to live a life of significance and meaning and to make a small contribution to the greater good.Fulfillment is the feeling that you're on the right life path. Click To Tweet
How to know if you’re not living a fulfilling life:
Let me ask you this question. ‘Do you ever feel like something is missing from your life?’ I’m not talking about how much money you make or your possessions. What I’m talking about is this: when you sit alone with your thoughts, do you ever hear a little voice in the back of your head asking “is this all there is?”
Twenty years ago, I walked away from a great job in corporate America. I didn’t hate my job the way most people do, nor was I dissatisfied with how much I was being paid. As a matter of fact, I was being paid very well. But, I could no longer ignore the little voice that was constantly asking me “is this all there is?”
I was not alone. Over the past twenty years, I have consulted with many highly successful people, who by society’s standards should be happy. Yet, like me, they all felt like there was something missing.
I’m talking here about academy award winning actors, doctors, attorneys, executives and successful business owners. Most have achieved an exceptional degree of success in their lives, yet, like me, they didn’t feel that they were living a fulfilling life.
Is a fulfilling life possible for you too?
Keep in mind that when I talk about living a fulfilling life, I’m not just talking about what you do for work. Different areas of life can lead to the feeling of being unfulfilled. These include relationships, health, finances, life skills, and even your attitude.
So, if you’ve ever heard that little voice asking you “is this all there is?” and you’re wondering whether or not it is possible for you to live a fulfilling life, the answer is: “yes, you can.” Many before you have heeded the call – myself included – and have fueled their lives with purpose, passion and play.
Below are some (not all) of the reasons why most of us don’t live a fulfilling life and what you can do about it.
5 Reasons Why You’re not Living a Fulfilling Life
1. You’re not living by design
In his book, The Four Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris popularized the idea of lifestyle design. However, many of us, myself included, have been promoting the concept of lifestyle design for decades now.
To live a life by your own design, you have to start by asking yourself several questions.
- What is your Big Vision for your life?
- Why do you do the things that you do?
- How do want to spend your time on a daily basis?
Most people never bother to ask themselves any of these questions. But, unless you do, it is not possible to live intentionally. Until you decide what’s most important to you and how you’re going to spend your time, you’re not in control of your life, your circumstances are.
To live a fulfilling life, you have to intentionally choose to do things everyday that are meaningful to you. If you spend eight hours of your day doing work that is neither meaningful nor fulfilling to you, then it is very difficult to live a fulfilling life, isn’t it?
Remember, life purpose or meaning is something you create (not find) through the things you do everyday. So, to live by design you have to choose to spend your time engaged in activities that are in alignment with your Big Vision.
You also have to say no to that little voice that keeps asking you “is this all there is?” and then have the courage to take action.To live a fulfilling life, you have to intentionally choose to do things everyday that are meaningful to you. Click To Tweet
2. You haven’t prioritize your own self-care
Most people don’t think about their health until they’re having health challenges. This is unfortunate because poor health is like an uncomfortable pair of shoes, it diverts your attention and energy from what’s truly important and forces you to shift your focus away from your Big Vision.
As I wrote in my new book, Energize Your Life, “practicing healthy habits daily will help you to connect deeper with the source of your strength, power, creativity, and vitality.”
These are all important elements of a fulfilling life.
3. You don’t make time for play
Unfortunately, most of us don’t play anymore.
As adults, we’ve forgotten that without play, life becomes tedious and stressful. Our relationships become unsatisfying and our work grinding and unfulfilling. We get pent up with negative emotions, which lead to outbursts of anger and mood swings.
So, what is that thing that you always lose yourself when doing it?
Whatever it is you need to find it and make time for it on a regular (at least weekly) basis. Otherwise, you’ll wake up one day filled with regret that your life has, thus far, only been about responsibilities and obligations.
4. You’re living in constant financial stress
Financial stress affects more than just your finances. It can adversely affect your health, relationships and your overall experience of living.
There are many reasons why people have financial stress. Credit card debt, medical bills, job loss, student loans, and being financially irresponsible are just a few.
However, even if you are typically a financially responsible person, sometimes an unexpected financial obligation is all it takes to send you into financial duress.
Obviously, it’s very challenging to live a fulfilling life if you’re experiencing severe financial stress everyday. So, what can you do about it?
I’m no financial expert, but I have gotten myself out of debt by doing two things. First, you have to acknowledge that you have a problem and create a plan to solve it. Make no mistake about it, financial stress is a problem that can kill you.
Get professional help if you need it.
Second, you have to get hustling and start saving. While your plan should include all the things that a good financial counselor would coach you to do, like create a budget and cut expenses, you also need to make more money and get in the habit of saving for the next emergency regardless of your financial situation.
To make more money you can find a job that pays more, start a part-time home-based business, get a second job, or change careers.
The point is you do have options so create a plan and have the courage to take action.
5. You’re trying to live a positive life with a negative attitude
Attitude is everything. The way you look at the world will generally shape your experiences. In fact, numerous studies have demonstrated that negative thoughts lead to negative emotions, which often lead to negative outcome.
But here’s the kicker, you don’t have to be a pessimist to fall prey to a negative attitude. Even someone who is generally positive and optimistic about most things can still sabotage his/her happiness and well-being. To prevent this, you have to become aware of your unconscious negative attitudes.
For example, I consider myself a very positive person. I see the glass as half full, rainy days are okay and I try not to judge others because I know that we are all at different stages on the path to our own personal evolution.
So imagine my surprise when a few months ago I asked my daughters why they didn’t like to play tennis and they unanimously responded, “Because you’re always shouting at us, daddy.”
Now that was a massive eye-opener for me that allowed me to adopt a more positive teaching style when I’m with my girls. Now they’re having more fun learning tennis and I’m having a more enjoyable experience with them.
What made the difference? Well, keep in mind that ninety percent of your thoughts, actions and behaviors are controlled by your subconscious and unconscious minds. Meaning, you’re completely unaware of most of the things that you do everyday.
So, in order to change your negative attitude and start living a fulfilling life, it’s a good idea to regularly solicit feedback from others about who you’re being.
Where do you go from here? Pick up a copy of my new book, Energize Your Life, and get my free e-book, 7 Questions (to ask yourself) to Help you Fuel Your Life with Purpose, Passion & Play, and coaching videos.
Until next time, may the best of your todays be the worse of your tomorrows!
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