You can always tell when I start to get in over my head while writing because I pull a lot from my quote collection. Life fulfillment is one of those topics. I talk a lot about life fulfillment on my blog, but I’ve never actually written what I think life fulfillment means. Many times I’ve started writing this post… only to stop when I get stuck.
My personal search for my mission and life fulfillment is what caused me to start reading in 2007, and what’s kept me writing the last year on my blog. I’m in the process of discovering it and some key elements are already in place.
Where are you in the process? Your life fulfillment is like your fingerprint in that it’s truly unique. No one else can determine what it will take for you to be fulfilled, and the minute someone tries to push their belief of what your fulfillment should be, you should run. Only you can know what fulfills you.
Some view life fulfillment as something they may someday reach when they finally have the perfect family, the perfect job, or a certain amount of money. Others are already living a fulfilled life and wouldn’t change a thing. I’m not sure either of them are right or wrong, it all has to do with what you want.
Many of us are driven in life by factors or forces that we’re not even aware of. I like reading books about what drives people. One of those is Titan which is written about John D Rockefeller. The book explains why Rockefeller was driven to become the world’s wealthiest man. He grew up poor, and his dad left his family when he was fourteen. It was combination of shame and necessity that drove him to work hard to support his mom and younger siblings. The family barely scraped by, and he vowed never to be poor again.
This drive for life fulfillment as a result of our familial conditions is explained in The Celestine Prophecy as the following:
“We are not merely the physical creation of our parents; we are also the spiritual creation. You were born to these two people and their lives had an irrevocable effect on who you are. To discover your real self, you must admit that the real you began in a position between their truths. That’s why you were born there: to take a higher perspective on what they stood for. Your path is about discovering a truth that is a higher synthesis of what these two people believed.”
The theory that your life fulfillment is based on familial conditions should be looked at as a storyboard in the tale of your ancestral life. You wouldn’t be where you are without the actions of many, many previous generations, and what you do in your life will have a great impact on your future generations. However, your life is still a unique chapter of the full story.
Others find their life fulfillment is driven by religion. Some of the most successful people in the world feel they’re driven by divine inspiration. It’s been said that George Bush believed from God that he was meant to be the President of the United States, and in his mind there was nothing that would stop him.
The religious view is explained in the book The Call by Oz Guiness. He said,
“Most human lives are an incomplete story if not a story of incompletion. As Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.”
This argument is that we may die without feeling like we’ve ever found our purpose, and that’s ok. It’s ok because the whole time we were playing a part in something much bigger that we may not have even seen. Nine year old Amber Hagerman was abducted and killed in Arlington, Texas in 1996. Now, her namesake “Amber Alert” has saved countless lives.
Finally, a simpler view is that we are fulfilled in life by doing what makes us happy. Once again, this is dependent on you as you’re the only one who can figure out what makes you happy. As Fryodor Dostoevsky said,
“Without a firm notion of what he is living for, man will not accept life and will rather destroy himself than remain on Earth.”
I’ve listed three ways we are driven to fulfillment, but there are obviously more. The most important thing is to actively seek what fulfills you. Henri Nowon said, “He who thinks that he has finished is finished. Those who think they have arrived have lost their way.”
Even if you are searching, you may feel like you’re walking a random path with no clear destination; I think we’ve all been there. Sometimes, it’s only in hindsight that we figure out why we had to go through what we did. As Winston Churchill said, “I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.”
What makes you fulfilled in life? You may be fulfilled already, or you might be in search of life fulfillment like many of us are. It’s not a bad thing; just don’t forget to enjoy the precious life you have today.
If you would like to read more on this subject, I highly recommend Oz Guinness’ book The Call; it’s where I pulled most of these quotes from. Please leave your comment on what fulfills you!