A Life of Fulfillment
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Have you ever thought about what it means to have fulfillment in life? Not success or happiness, but fulfillment.  My first thought was to find a definition for fulfillment in a dictionary and add it to this post. That would be too easy and quite frankly, insincere. Please allow me to explain what I think fulfillment in life really is. I’d first like to point out that it is different for each of us. What might bring fulfillment to my life, might not work for you. Each one of us needs to take this journey of discovery on our own.

I have learned that fulfillment and success are two separate yet connected aspects to life. Success is really about me as an individual. I need to feel successful and have successes in my life to help with my self- esteem. Success also gives me credibility so others view me as a person who can add value to their life. Success may also bring revenue into my life which allows me to support my family. As John Maxwell often says, “You cannot give what you do not have.” Whenever I think of this quote, my mind quickly goes to the complementary quote, “God wants us to be rivers, not reservoirs.”  More about that later.

Perhaps you might say that happiness and fulfillment are the same. Once again, they may be connected but are not the same at all. Happiness is fleeting. We can be happy one minute and yet not feel fulfilled.  On the other hand, I can have a day at work when I am not happy and still be fulfilled in my job. A doctor who needs to tell a patient that they are terminally ill certainly isn’t happy when they need to pass on that information, but they still may be fulfilled in their job. Happiness is what we do; fulfillment is why we do it.

Let go back to John Maxwell’s quote regrading rivers and reservoirs. Success is something for us. Happiness is something for us. Fulfillment comes when we know we are doing something that matters for others.  Yes, fulfillment is connected to success and happiness, but a much deeper, and richer realization.

How about you — are you living a life of fulfillment? When you get to the end of your road, will it be filled with regrets?

Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we take a deeper dive into what it means to live a fulfilled life.

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