What does success look like to you?
Take a moment to think about it. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing?
For a lot of people, the image of success involves a person in a business suit, sitting on a huge yacht with a suitcase of money and a big fat smile on their face. Generally speaking, this false idea of success that we have created in our society is one that involves money, power, fame… and little else.
For some reason it seems we tend to measure the attainment of success as only being the accumulation of material things. We often associate success with greed, competition, and even aggressiveness. But these traits have very little in common with success, and are certainly not necessary qualities to have in order to obtain it.
The truth of the matter is that, although we separate them, success and Fulfillment are one in the same.
In order to be truly successful we must find a balance in our lives which includes all aspects of the human experience: Financial, spiritual, emotional and relational. If you were to have huge ‘success’ in one of those areas, but in doing so rejected or neglected another, then you have not achieved success. For example: If you have all of the money in the world but no thriving relationships, you will most certainly be miserable.
What then, is the correct way to measure our success?
A simple way you can keep yourself on track for fulfillment within your success is to continually ask yourself whether or not you are functioning within your highest values. If we reject such critical self-analysis, we create internal conflict because we aren’t being honest with ourselves. Knowing your values is critical to true success and fulfillment. Your values may be things like travel, spending time with family and being healthy, the point is to know them intimately.
So, what do you value?
Being successful means being focused on attaining mastery in all aspects of your life. This means including the fulfillment that you gain from your partner, children, family, friends or community, into your measurement of success. It also means seeking to help create success in the lives of those around you. To be successful means being an active participant in the creation of your life and destiny, seeking out abundance in all forms.
The many paths that lead to true success all include fulfillment. So unless you are aligned with your values, success will continue to slip through your fingers.
Can you succeed in life and still not be fulfilled? How many times in your life have you achieved what you set out to do and then a short time later thought, “Is this all there is?” There is a formula for success –called the science of achievement – which is the process of taking your dreams and making them real. But living a fulfilled life is an art, not a science. What is fulfilling for one person may be boring to another, therefore fulfillment comes in as many textures as there are human beings. However, you must learn what makes you fulfilled because here’s the truth: Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.
So how do we find fulfillment?
There are universal elements of fulfillment and the number one element is that we must grow. If we don’t grow, we won’t be fulfilled. The second is that you must contribute beyond yourself. If our goals only serve ourselves, then achieving our goals will only make us happy for a moment. But if your mission is to serve others, then not only will you leave a legacy of giving, but you will be more fulfilled in life. The point is this: What will make you fulfilled is to grow and to give.
Learning the art of fulfillment will allow you to create an extraordinary life for yourself and your family.
Why Success Without Fulfillment Is the Ultimate Failure
My mentor, Tony Robbins believes that success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. Most people believe that when they reach a certain point in their careers, that they will instantly become fulfilled. You know what I’m talking about, as it can take the form of any of the following:
So why are so many successful entrepreneurs depressed? I can speak from personal experience here. I distinctly remembering going to St. Lucia with my wife and children and thinking to myself, “Is this all there is?” I was feeling depressed — ON VACATION! All because I had reached several of my goals and the expectations of how I would feel when I got there simply weren’t there.
As entrepreneurs, we’re achievers! Every time we achieve something, we systematically move the goal post even further. What we don’t do is stop and celebrate our wins and acknowledge our accomplishments. The bottom line is that if you can’t be happy with who you are and can’t be satisfied with what you have accomplished, then this really is the ultimate failure, isn’t it?
Fulfillment is About Gratitude, Celebration and Contribution
What is even more crazy is just how easy it is to be fulfilled. And I don’t mean sometime in the future when you achieve a certain goal. I mean right now. If you’re feeling down about yourself or your accomplishments, then listen up. We’re going to set you on a course to fulfillment right now in three easy steps:
- Begin each day with gratitude.
- Next, Celebrate Your Future Accomplishments
- And Finally, Find a Way to Give Generously.
Regardless of where you are in your career, you are full of abundance and it is your responsibility to give of yourself. This can be in the form of time, money or anyway that feels right for you. Find a cause you truly care about and give your time, money and ideally both. The act of contribution will remind you of just how successful and fortunate you really are. And giving is addictive. Once you shift from a model of scarcity to one of abundance, you will feel a flood of fulfillment.
That’s it. Are there more ways to feel fulfilled? You bet, but I’ve found these three to do the trick. Every time I start to get down on myself, I use these tools to stop beating myself up and instead remember just how successful and fortunate I already am. I give gratitude for what I have, I celebrate my future wins (even if I was expecting them to happen sooner), and I give generously to the causes I care deeply about. This is a winning formula for fulfillment and keeps me excited for the incredible journey I’m on. I encourage you to start this 10 minute a day exercise as it will instantly improve your level of fulfillment.
Let me give you one more tip that helped transform my life. Make this Fulfillment process a Ritual… not a Routine. A Routine is just something we do habitually. Whereas a Ritual… oh… Rituals are something special. They have deep meaning (usually linked to the Spiritual and the Sacred) and also have intense Emotion (You feel it and burn repetitions in a great peak state). When you experience this Ritual, immediately Capture (write down your thoughts and feelings in an organized way) how its making your life better in all aspects of your life.
Let me know if you would like some more help. I live to serve.