5 Steps to Fulfillment in Life
Anxieties over self-image, significance and status have replaced the sense of true wealth and fulfillment in life. For all too long we’ve been engrossed in a conversation over a lack of money, material goods, and food. Though necessities, is there truly a lack of these things? One look at a shopping mall tells us no.
What about a lack of emotional fulfillment, a lack of love, a lack of creative solutions? Abundance is all-encompassing. At least it should be. What lies underneath the surface—at the deepest root cause of our fear—is a fear of not being enough.
Fulfillment in Life Is A Mindset
It’s crucial to understand that fulfillment is a perspective. The real “secret” to fulfillment in life is to understand that we create it by the way we view life. We can see life as dismal and lacking—depending on our focus—or imaginative and artful. Do we only lack because you believe there’s not enough to go around, and that life is unfair and cruel? Or, do you only lack a creative perspective to solve a problem?
This may sound easier said than done. So how do we actually apply the “creative solution mindset” to our daily lives? The best way is to first change the way we view life. The logical and analytical mind views life in a very linear way: from point-A to point-B.
Rather than viewing life as a final destination, it’s important we understand that life is an infinite process. There is input and output to everything. Input is the term for all the experiences that “happen to us,” while output is our responses to them: our thoughts, words and actions.
Knowing Your True Self
Who you really are is the one who oversees all. You are a silent observer, sifting through the input, evaluating what you like and don’t like. You are the one who adds meaning to everything that comes your way, using intention, ideas, expectation, desires, hopes, dreams and fears.
Inputs provoke emotional responses due to our experiences. At this point, nothing is more crucial than your deliberate responses to life’s inflow. How we respond to the cycle creates our personal reality every minute of every day.
Fulfillment in life discloses itself when we become deliberate creators, using what life offers us. Look at the story of those who came from rags to riches. How could some who’ve been given every advantage become addicts and others, with every disadvantage, become the world’s most inspirational people? Because they learned to impressively adapt and respond.
They processed life on an expanded scale; limitations were nothing a creative solution couldn’t solve. Unless we view life the same way, abundance itself is irrelevant. Knowing our true selves we can become imaginative thinkers, and creative storytellers to the scripts of our lives.
5 Steps To Fulfillment in Life
The secret is to constantly see life as an opportunity for creative expression. There is no circumstance too small to take advantage of. When we take all life has to offer as an opportunity we can make continual small victories.
By using life’s inputs to create your own realities, we accept higher and higher levels of opportunity—creating true fulfillment in life. Here are a few guidelines you can use:
1. Become a life alchemist
Find one thing today that you feel negative about and find an opportunity it in. An alchemist turns lead into gold, a negative into a positive. This is the highest expression of fulfillment. Before the day is over, take one positive action that reduces your negativity towards the situation. This may include:
- speaking your truth,
- fixing what can be fixed,
- asking for help,
- seeking wisdom,
- simply letting go, or
- empowering yourself (recognizing the creator in you) by looking at your role in creating the negative situation. The good news is that possibilities of creativity are endless. Explore the endless opportunities.
2. Use a lifeline
When in the midst of challenging situations, people tend to withdraw inside themselves. “This is just the way it is” and “It’s my fault” leads to isolation, and feeling like a victim. Though it’s all too easy to do, this makes the illusion of lack feel worse.
We withdraw because we don’t want to be a burden on others. However, consider how good it feels to help others. We have all confronted lack and loss, survived and eventually conquered. No matter how large or small your perceived trouble, you will benefit yourself and others to seek guidance. In the end, you receive a creative solution, while the person guiding receives the gift of giving, and sharpening their own creativity through you.
3. Notice your own futile thoughts
When life throws a curveball it’s easy to let the reactive mind take the driver’s seat. This mind is a fearful servant, it responds to even minor challenges as if they were life or death. Thoughts like, “It’s hopeless. I can’t do anything and nothing will ever change.“, become our inner dialog. We all hear these words at some point.
The difference is whether we indulge in the voice of futility or not. So at first, just become a witness to this mind once you notice it. Then look around the present moment, are you truly in danger or are you safe, lacking a better response? Chances are, you’re more than safe and only one creative solution away from a new situation.
Once you are present and in touch with the responder (not the reactor) reject to indulge in a defeatist viewpoint. Tell yourself, “This negative voice isn’t the real me.” Gently but persistently replace the voice with intentions of creative solutions, reaching for “what if this is a good thing?” or “yeah but, what can I learn from this?” These higher vibrational thoughts immediately shift your outside world.
The best use of life is to invest it in something which will outlast life. ~ William James
4. Expand your view
The greatest rival of a truly fulfilling life is limited view. When we find ourselves in a hard situations, feeling that there is no way out, physical tension or without a new solution, are signs of contracted views in mind, body and spirit. Most of the time, we try to solve a problem at the level of the problem, only creating more trouble.
You can’t solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it. ~ Albert Einstein
When we have trouble, expansion is the only real solution. When we expand our view—rather than shrink to the level of problems—we “see the light,” opening us to new possibilities. Though it might be your natural tendency to stress; believing that getting serious is the solution, it is best to reach for a relaxed, open state. When we’re relaxed, our body vibrates at a higher frequency bringing our awareness up and out. This is like standing on top of a mountain—we see farther, and life isn’t so confined.
To expand your awareness, begin by intentionally practicing the art of peace and quiet daily. Set aside time every day to familiarize yourself with the joy of these states. The brain has a natural ability of resetting itself and getting back to homeostasis.
If we can give our bodies the chance, they will always provide us with all the wisdom we need. Stress is a choice, and it’s counter-productive. Allowing yourself to become centered again is first. Until you realize that stress never got you out of a bad situation, you’ll always fear relaxation.
Think back to all the best moments of your life, where was stress? Didn’t solutions to everyday troubles come naturally in a state of bliss and relaxation? Realizing this, make it a conscious effort to be with yourself, doing nothing but being there.
It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit. ~ Denis Waitley
5. Take full responsibility
Where the unfulfilled person dwells, you will also find a victim. If you want a major cure for feeling like a victim, here it is. Victims are dominated by external forces (other people and circumstances).
And since these outside forces “cannot be controlled” one becomes irresponsible for playing any role. The mindset of a victim is “I can’t help it,” “It is what it is.” These views are like poisonous seeds that multiply and grow with every conviction. The less responsible you are, the more of a victim you become; and vice versa.
The solution is recognizing that situations are not out there, but in you. Rarely is the problem ever the problem—rather, it is our view of it. By changing the way we look at the outside world—by taking responsibility as powerful creators of reality—only then can we change “out there.”
To take 100% responsibility you are, in effect, saying: “This is my life.” Like the parent of a child, you embrace it with unconditional love. You reclaim ownership of your life once you take responsibility.
If you can’t take full responsibility of your life in totality, you won’t be able to take responsibility of creating fulfillment in life. This inescapable truth—that your life is your own—is your greatest advantage to creating fulfillment in life. If your life isn’t yours, whose is it? Remember, abundance comes from within. When you take full-responsibility, you accept everything, the good and the bad, as your whole package.
We often want to take ownership of only the good and cast away the bad. However, you can’t pick and choose without throwing away your power too. You won’t be able to deceive yourself into believing you created anything good, if you’re unwilling to recognize you create everything. Take responsibility, and you have taken your power back.