All of that is wonderful and brings pleasure when life aligns with how we want it to be. But I'm thinking a little differently since that's not always the case. Is there a way to operate from being fulfilled along the way to accomplishing goals? What if fulfillment and satisfaction have more to do with who you are than with external conditions?
What if fulfillment starts with a practice of acceptance?
I was coaching an old friend resisting what was happening at work, and I listened carefully and encouraged getting all of the resistance on the table. Then the moment came to turn resistance into acceptance. How did my friend make that shift? He realized that resistance just prolonged his frustration. He took a breath, noting that acceptance allowed him to think about what was happening differently. Acceptance instead of resistance allowed him to see what was happening at work precisely as it was. Acceptance allowed him to expand his vision of what was possible and think about bringing what he longs for to this present moment instead of just shaking his head and giving up or getting angry or frustrated. Fulfillment starts with acceptance.
We make perfect choices and imperfect choices, choices that hit the targets we are aiming for, and choices that miss the mark. Operating from fulfillment doesn't exclude making mistakes. Regret, errors, and problems are part of living a fulfilled life. How you be with life's failures is whether you learn and change from them or have a recurring sense of disappointment in yourself and others.
We already logically know that we can't change yesterday, but we try! We spin out various scenarios of what would have been a more perfect choice. Then we come to the fact that we can keep pretending something else could have happened or keep asking why it happened or continue to experience regret. Still, it doesn't change anything unless it informs the choices we're making today with full awareness.
So bring your attention to this present moment and realize that fulfillment is in the choice you're making right now.
The dilemma of fulfillment is that someone else may be disappointed with your choice even though it's a fulfilling choice for you. Fulfillment isn't about agreement; it's about an awareness of what makes you happy.
This fulfillment practice will allow you to consider not only what you want to achieve but why you want to achieve it. This practice develops an inner awareness that will bring you to the here and now to connect with your choices from fulfillment before making a decision.
Will this practice stop you from being disappointed? No. We are psychological and emotional human beings. You'll be disappointed from time to time, but you don’t have to live there. You'll realize that what stops you from being fulfilled is not the disappointment, but the choices you make from disappointment like giving up or living with resentment. Make your choices from what fulfills you. It will restore your faith in what's possible.
I am interested in hearing from you. How are your choices supporting your personal fulfillment today?
May your day be peaceful and productive.
Paulette Sun Davis