Towards Fulfillment 5
When I a feeling dissatisfied, anxious, troubled it is most often that I am comfortably in a rut. I view the world from the same perspective, doing the same things and somehow expect that things will change. I don’t question, I don’t reflect, I do get angry and frustrated.
Yehuda Berg suggests these steps when our view or patterns are blocking us from moving forward.
ASK ” What am I doing? Is this really how I want to be acting/thinking?
Celebrate that you recognized there is a problem and that patterns and perspective need adjusting.
ASK ” what else can I do? say? How could I do this differently? What are my options?
Repair and correct your limitations and blind spots.
Recognize that you are part of a jigsaw puzzle and your piece contributes but doesn’t complete the picture.
Continue to observe and challenge your limited view and invite wisdom and perspective into your life.
I hope you try these steps for the next few days and watch how you are feeling.
Day 4 Towards Fulfillment
To reiterate; there isn’t a silver bullet but there is a silver lining. Earning fulfillment requires reflection, observation, commitment and action. All these can be difficult but in the difficulty lies the sense of accomplishment.
There is an old story about an accomplished bank robber who never got caught. He died and awoke to meet an angel. The robber said ” this is amazing, a beautiful place, great weather, good food, everything I want”. The angel said “Enjoy”. After a few months the robber became anxious because everything was just a request away. He met with the angel and said ” I want to rob a bank”. The angel said ” where, when, how much money and we can make it happen. You will just walk in and take the cash.” The robber said, “I want to take weeks planning, and tackling the alarms, and figuring out the timing and planning my escape. I want there to be risk and reward.” The angel said ” That’s not how it works here” The robber replied ” I expected more from heaven”. ” Who said this is heaven” replied the Angel.
Reward doesn’t feel like reward unless we put the effort into accomplishing it. The sense of fulfillment is temporary and turns quickly to entitlement.
What is your greatest accomplishment? Take a few minutes and reflect on what you are most proud of; work, relationships, childhood, sports …Observe how much effort and commitment you invested in achieving the goal.
You can take on a new challenge with the same zeal, effort and persistence if it aligns with your values. What is the one thing that you need to do (big or smaller) that is really important to YOU. Are you ready to make a commitment?
Make Today Remarkable, by commiting to the risk,
We all have desires; things that we feel would change everything and make our lives so much better. I contend that there are no silver bullets, no magic elixirs, no easy fixes. Fulfillment requires effort. Meaning needs to be made. Satisfaction must be tested.
But what if we could re-evaluate our priorities and slowly refocus them towards sharing rather than getting? The measure of our life as it ends is more about how we were rather than who we were.
As you get comfortable writing about this personal stuff, you may see a window open in your head that reveals the source of your desires. ” Why am I focused on getting more?, Is it because of some childhood experience of loss or growing up in a home where love was demonstrated with gifts?” Take 5 minutes and list 10 things that you desire. Take a breath and begin writing sentences that begin with ” I desire (something from the list) because …” and then ask “why is that important?” at least three times.
For example – I desire a new care because I want reliable transportation
This is important because I need to get to work on time.
This is important because being late will cause me stress and my boss might be angry
This is important because being late is bad
If your sentences delves deep enough you could discover a parent or guardian saying “no one likes someone who isn’t on time”
Take some time over the weekend to examine the source of the 10 deires you wrote down and delve deep into the why is that important.
Monday we will begin looking at how we can reorder and remeasure what is important.
Make This Weekend Remarkable,
Day 2 Towards Fulfillment
In the list I made yesterday (I imagine yours too), there were things that I want to do, things I want to have, things that I want to be known for, and things that I want to share.
We are innately wired to receive, sometimes with grace and other times in selfishness. most of us aren’t really great at receiving. We either take it for granted, don’t accept it as sincere or are blown away by the generousity. Our culture has convinced (or is trying to convince) us that we have a ‘right’ to stuff, either physical or emotional. But what if fulfillment started in not what we receive but in what we share?
What if our lives are better, bigger, bolder and beautiful when we share our time, our money, our gifts, our love with those around us? In relationships we shouldn’t ask “why aren’t you doing those little things you used to do” but instead become the doer of all those little things. In community we shouldn’t be the one standing on the sidelines waiting for a neighbour to ask for assistance but rather we should be the guy who leans over the fence and says ” I’ve got a couple hours, can I help you with that?”. With strangers we shouldn’t wait to receive a smile but … With servers we shouldn’t wait for their courtesy but rain courtesy on them. We can be the bringer of joy, assistance and value to almost everyone we meet.
The door to fulfillment opens a crack every time you are a giver without an expecttion of receiving.
Make Today Remarkably Giving,
Do we even understand what living a fulfilled life might look like? What are the things that you would need to be fulfilled? Love, time, money. security, purpose, a new car, friends, family, relationships, health, clothes, fame …? What would be in your list? Take 5 minutes right now and list all the things (material and immaterial, worldly and spiritual, big and small) that you believe would bring you ‘happiness’. Your list will be different than mine, different from your brother’s, your partner’s or your children’s.
What are the barriers? What do you need less of to gain fulfillment? Are you physically limited in achieving or striving for those things on your list? Have you thought about why those things are/should be important? Are stress, conflict, timidity, uncertainty, lack of confidence, lack of wisdom, limited understanding, damaged relationships, poor health on the list?
Are you interested and committed to seeing how much of the two lists you can change? Are you ready to shake things up and trust that the Universe has a plan for you and that you need to seek it? Do you want to make meaning for your life?
The next three weeks, I commit to sharing this journey with you, as I undertake it. I will write something here that I observe, learn, discover – good and bad. Are you willing to join me?
Make Today the Beginning,
When you win an argument, finish a project, or earn a promotion – is this success? If we measure success by momentary and temporary accomplishments will we be fulfilled?
There are consequences to all our action choices. If I succeed in winning an argument with my beloved but it leaves her feeling sad, how can that be positive? My ego is boosted by the win but my relationship is damaged too. If I work 70 hours a week for 6 months to finish an important project but my blood pressure and weight are dangerously high, is that good?
I have proposed that we have at least 7 elements in our life; Health, Fun. Relationships, Projects, Work, Financial, Spiritual. Don’t get caught up on the titles or definitions. The key is to observe how satisfied we are in each area and then noticing what the whole looks like. Most of us would see disharmony; one element high others low. One element dragging down others. One element taking away time, kinetic energy and reources while starving others. I don’t like to think of trying to balance these like a scale but rather seeking to honor each with care and attention. Success in one area is illusory if it comes at a cost in others.
There are many resources available to help find a rhythm that is harmonious and that creates success across your life wheel. If coaching is something that you would consider, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 30 minute session.
Make Today Remarkable, by noticing,
My list of things that bug me is much smaller than it use to be. But I realize that there are still many things on the list that I have no control over. Things that I should be agnostic about. Things that I shouldn’t let bother me.
I wrote about the weather about a year ago and that the happiest people seem to be the ones that say “it is what it is” and proceed with their day regardless of rain, sun, or temperature. They run in the rain, walk in the cold, and sit on patios in all weather. Their mood is the same; positive whatever the conditions. I have noticed that their consistent mood is cheery. Those who are constantly gloomy tend to let everything bug them. I admit I am a fair weather guy. I don’t like running in the rain. I don’t like being cold. When the weather interrupts my plans (even though I usually could still do them with a change of clothes and heart) I am bugged. My perfect weather band seems to be very narrow because when the temperature rises to +30/86 the heat can make me miserable.
I just came off a stint of ‘biting off more than I could chew’ so I am only going to tackle this one irritant and take lessons from my weather agnostics to learn to accept the weather with my chin up and purpose in place. So even if it doesn’t stop raining (damnit) I will head out for a 6 k loop in the park.
Make Today Remarkable, by letting fewer things bug you,
Well maybe not every time or for everything but not asking makes it nearly impossible.
If you are troubled by the way someone is making you feel or if their actions cause you anger, anxiety or angst – ask them to stop the behaviour. Let them know the impact of their actions.
If you are in need of assistance or advice, reach out to someone. A trusted friend, a family member, a colleague, a stranger is more likely to provide help if you share your burdens with them.
If you are suffering ask a professional. Reach out to your doctor and ask for a referral if necessary.
Ask for forgiveness even if you don’t believe you did anything wrong. Your words or actions or inactions always impact others. Ask to be forgiven and forgive others easily.
Ask and be ready to be asked. Give even when you are limited in your abilities. Don’t wait for reciprocity. Don’t expect anything in return. Give because it is the right thing to do.
Make Today Remarkable, by asking 5 times,
I realize that conformity isn’t always the opposite of courage but in my week, it seems that the barrier to achieving as yet unimagined solutions is the unwillingness to break free from the ‘we have always done it this way’ modus operandi.
Our political leaders play silly games, posturing and placating for votes all the while supporting a system that doesn’t serve the vast majority of us very well. They know that their contribution to our well being is minimal and unbelievably expensive but don’t have the fortitude to step up and step out of the muck. They pile manure around themselves so we don’t recognize the real stink – our system is broken. We need leadership not polling to make a break. If I had one piece of advice for presidents, prime ministers, governors, premiers, legislators, mayors and other officials it would be ” stop worrying about getting re-elected and do the right thing.”
Lack of courage isn’t the sole domain of politicians. We are all complicit in willful blindness to the side effects of the status quo in our lives and our communities and most often don’t say something or take some action that will seed a change. Most times we are concerned with convenience and popularity rather than being courageous.
Wherever you live, whoever you are you are part of today’s possibilities. In this time, in this place, with these people we should expect miracles and yet we accept mediocrity.
Break a Mold, Today,