A fulfilling life. What does that mean exactly? Let’s get the basics out of the way so we can concentrate on the core of this. You know what I mean by basics …like having our most fundamental needs met on a daily basis. Food on the table and a roof over our head. Good health for us and our loved ones. Solid genuine relationships with those loved ones. These basic needs are quintessential in the quest for feeling fulfilled. And of course, the roles we play within our family structure and whether or not we are following our chosen career path can’t be overlooked.
But let’s take it a bit further and talk about those intangible things that are hard to measure but can and do make a huge difference. Most folks will include happiness at or near the top of their list. Of course, we’d all agree that it’s important and it definitely plays a large part in whether we consider our life to be fulfilling …or not. We must make a conscious choice to be happy. Every single day. Following through can require a lot of effort. However, happiness is not the only thing to consider. Check out these other factors that contribute to a life fulfilled.
Focus on the Stuff You Can Control.
We’ve all heard the saying …”Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Every single day we are thrown curve balls. Some may be within our control to remedy; others may not. Whichever it is, here’s the deal. If you can control the outcome, it’s a beautiful thing. Take a deep breath and face it head-on. With a calm, clear mind. If you have no control over it, then what will be, will be. Worrying about it does not change the outcome. It just affects you negatively. So to quote a pair of popular jungle creatures, Timon and Pumbaa …
”Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase.
Hakuna Matata ain’t no passing craze,
It means no worries for the rest of your days,
It’s our problem-free philosophy. Hakuna Matata. ”
Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone
Routine and consistency. We all just love routine and consistency. They make us feel comfortable and secure. Familiarity may be nice but it makes mental and emotional growth difficult. Let’s try to shake the fear of trying new things. At one point in our lives, everything was new. Keep that in mind, always. We are far more likely to find something we’re passionate about if we let our guard down and experience new things. And as an extra bonus …the resulting feeling of accomplishment is just plain awesome.
Give Gratitude. Often.
This is huge. In fact, the more gratitude that is “spent” the more fulfilled your life will be. If you feel that your life is “missing something” try living in a constant state of gratitude. It may not feel natural at first …being thankful and expressing your gratitude is a learned behavior. Next time we are ready to complain about slow wifi service or a long wait for a table at our favorite restaurant, let’s think of those folks who may be grateful for simply having access to clean drinking water. Or a solid meal for their children. By setting up a few reminders and making a few mental adjustments, our basic way of thinking can change to one of thankfulness and good fortune. I promise you …the result will be a feeling of overwhelming abundance and gratitude.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough.” Melody Beattie
“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” F.D.Van Amburgh
Remove the Negative.
This can’t be stressed enough. We all need to get rid of the negatives in our life. It must be a top priority. You know the ones. Perhaps a negative habit or negative thoughts. Be done with them. That negative relationship or friendship …say goodbye and move on. Those grudges we’ve been holding onto? Let’s let them go. Perhaps forgive those who may have wronged us. If we focus on positivity, we’ll all be amazed by the number of positive things that come into our life.
Live Fully in the Moment.
Yesterday is in the past. There is no promise of tomorrow (although we are always hopeful). The only sure thing in this life is the present. The very moment we are in right now. When we slow things down and truly enjoy that moment, we can appreciate the significance of all things around us. We need to focus on the people we’re with and put those distractions away …you know what I’m talkin’ about. Those pesky cell phones. Try to notice the scents, the sights, the tastes, the sounds of that moment; take it all in. Let’s give our loved ones our full attention. Just be present. It will most certainly be noticed and appreciated.
Love. Especially Yourself.
Let’s make a point of showing love and kindness to everyone we come in contact with. Everyone. Those that are hardest to love often need it most. If we make that effort and also nurture the relationships that are important to us, we’re on our way to a life fulfilled.