What is a fulfilled life?
When considering ‘my story’ that I created before starting this blog, I look back to a year ago and see a totally different person. A year ago I was about to embark on a roller coaster ride that would change my world forever. I was about to understand what living a fulfilling life meant.
Last year I decided the road I was on wasn’t working for me. After eight years of growing three companies and making work central to my life, I realised I was missing the point of life. As I mentioned to my friends 9 year old daughter yesterday, my problem was that I made money my main driver rather than considering living a fulfilled life. I mistakenly thought that money would solve all problems and make life perfect.
You see, I thought that life was about becoming successful and successful meant making loads of money so that I could afford anything I wanted. If I had anything I wanted, life would be blissful and I could sit back and be happy. In hindsight, I wish I ignored society and instead started off with asking myself what would make a fulfilled life. I also wish that I realised that life was about creating a new life over and over rather than obtaining some sort of idealised perfection (that simply doesn’t exist).
Money doesn’t make you fulfilled nor does poverty. And having a fulfilled life doesn’t happen by accident. You first need to decide that you want a fulfilling life. You then need to remove any past baggage that tells you that you don’t deserve fulfilling life. And while removing the baggage, you can get started at actively creating your fulfilling life.
When I talk about baggage, I specifically mean past trauma’s or events that happened in your life that still control you. For example, my upbringing caused me to fear the world. I thought the world was a very dangerous and unsafe place. I feared doing anything that would cause me to be noticed. With that kind of belief system I was filled with massive amounts of stress. Every time I pushed myself to do something new the anxiety was almost unbearable. That’s baggage – as I was trying to fly and make something of my life I had all these bags that were keeping me grounded.
Baggage includes outdated beliefs that you still hold as true, emotionally charged memories of the past that you play over and over and fears about anything or everything in life.
What does it mean to create a fulfilled life?
Living a fulfilling life means that I consciously pay attention to what makes me buzz. Throughout the day I check in with myself and say, ‘hey – do I enjoy what I’m doing right now?’ and if I say ‘yes’ it helps me to confirm I’m going in the right direction. I take the time to feel how I’m feeling – to consciously pay attention to my emotions and the feeling that are taking place in my body. The more I pay attention to how I feel the more I seem to feel better and better. The more I just feel and listen to my body, the more clues I get about what makes me feel fulfilled with life.
In the past I was given loads of clues but I didn’t know how to feel them or interpret their meaning. I would get stomach aches, hunched shoulders, a fast heart beat and downward spiralling thought patterns. I thought these feelings of stress where caused to me by outside influences (family, co-workers, etc) but I was so wrong. These effects where simply telling me that I was going against my flow. My river was heading east yet my mind was ignoring it and trying to go west. I was going in the opposite direction from living a fulfilling life.
It seems to be a mixture of contemplation and feeling that are helping me to enjoy my journey more and more. I’ve stopped myself from being too analytical and logical and have started to pay more attention to how my body feels.
It’s as if I’ve realised how powerful my conscious brain is and I’ve finally put it to work for me rather than undervaluing it’s power and nature. I now use my brain and feelings together to constantly create and recreate new situations and opportunities for me to feel more and more fulfilled. And the great thing about this new mind-set is that I now understand that perfection is not the goal.
The goal of life is to consciously create a more and more fulfilling life while enjoying where you are now. To be grateful and love life now while contemplating what your next expression might be.
Living a fulfilling life is not about achieving something and then being able to sit back and relax. Or…thinking that when I get XYZ I’ll be happy. There is no end point or finish line while you’re living life – there are only new and more fulfilling ways to express yourself. It’s amazing how wrong we humans have been thinking. But thankfully, we’re evolving more and more to understand how powerful and amazing we are.
So how can you create a more fulfilling life? Your first step might be to simply start paying more attention to your thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to what you head is thinking – rather than let it run on automatic pilot, what your thoughts and take time to feel your feelings. It wasn’t until I started doing this that I realised how chaotic my mind and body were!