Fulfillment Versus Happiness
Happiness is something we all are searching for. Many seek it through a special relationship with a significant other, or through social status such as a job, or ownership of possessions like a fancy car, a big house, or a boat. Others are thrill seekers, daring to live dangerously or engage in extreme sports to get that endorphin rush.
This kind of happiness is fleeting, temporary and ultimately disappointing. We experience it for a moment, or a few moments or maybe hours, but inevitably it subsides and we are left with that gnawing, empty feeling of restless existential angst, which drives us to seek happiness somewhere else, all over again.
This is not true happiness. This kind of happiness is a Band-Aid over our inner malaise, a Band-Aid that falls off very quickly.
Instead of constantly having to replace the Band-Aid, try seeking fulfilment instead. Fulfilment is a deeply felt sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you are achieving your life’s purpose.
You know why you have been put upon this earth, and you are out there, passionately sharing your gifts with the world, for the betterment of humanity. You understand what you are doing and where you are going in life. Your compass direction is clearly pointing you straight ahead.
Knowing that there is something greater than our “small” self in this world can be key to our finding lasting peace, happiness, and fulfilment. When we understand our “why” we know our purpose, and when we know our purpose, our lives become meaningful.
When our lives are meaningful, we feel fulfilled. In addition, when we feel fulfilled we experience an inner peace and contentment we didn’t have before.
Victor Frankl, an Auschwitz survivor and psychiatrist, believed that finding your life’s purpose was integral to finding lasting peace and happiness. In addition, you find out your purpose, according to Frankl, by discovering your gifts and then sharing them with the world. So how do you discover your gifts? You notice what brings you happiness!
Rather than seeking happiness through what society tells you in order to discover your gifts, you find them by noticing what acts of service bring you joy. When have you helped another and in what way did you help? Did this action bring you inner contentment, peace, or joy? If yes, then you hold the clue to discovering your unique gifts.
According to Frankl, we are put here to be of service to others, through doing what makes us happy. In addition, when you do what makes you happy, in service to another, you will truly find fulfilment.
Whatever you can do to bring greater joy to another person’s life through contribution, while at the same time enjoying yourself in the process, is the formula for a fulfilling life filled with lasting happiness, contentment, a sense of accomplishment and inner peace.
By fully developing your talents, abilities, your character and your personality, you will find fulfilment. When your happiness serves a greater purpose other than happiness for its own sake, then you will feel full.
Something magical can start to happen once you focus on doing what you love for the benefit of others. It is likely that you will get really good at doing what you love. Then, more people will start to want what you are offering, and you may start to make a lot of money. However, the money is no longer the be -all and the end-all that it once was.
Now, it is a by-product of doing what you love in service to something greater than yourself. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?