One of the most cherished outcomes of a life well-lived is fulfillment. It’s an indescribable feeling of knowing that you applied yourself to something meaningful. There’s a sense of deep pride and validation that comes from stepping up to a challenge and delivering on it.
We think of fulfillment as a state to achieve, almost like enlightenment or success. And I’d argue that all of these terms share these same misunderstanding - They’re mistaken for being about the destination when in reality they’re about the process.
When you fulfill on something, it means that you follow through on it. Fulfilling on a purchase order means that you shipped the product or delivered the service. You got it done. Fulfilling on a promise means that you stuck to your word and met expectations no matter what difficulty might’ve come up along the way.
With that line of thinking, it’s not a stretch to say that fulfillment comes from delivering on whatever’s in front of you at the highest level.
In my opinion, that’s why personal development is a strong partner for fulfillment. With personal development you get to grow upon your gifts and talents so that you have more to give. Maybe that’s why Tony Robbins has been known to say “Fulfillment is growing and giving”.
If you desire more meaning, joy, and fulfillment in your life, I’ve got some good news. You’re closer to it than you might realize. You can make a choice to apply yourself fully to your work, relationships, health, impact projects, or whatever it is that you care about. You can put in the effort today that fulfills on the responsibilities on your plate. And not just doing enough to check the box, but a deep knowing that you did your absolute best and you can accept the outcome.
Now if you don’t have the amount of fulfillment you want in your life, it really can be diagnosed as one of two things.
1) That you don’t believe in what you do. You don’t see the point or find significance in your role in the world.
2) That while you might have the raw elements of a fulfilling life (a family you’d do anything for, a career that inspires you, and a daily commitment to your own health and wellness), you might not be showing up for it as fully as possible.
That’s why it’s full-fillment. Anything less than giving everything you have to offer will fall short.