We all know that feeling, the one where we feel unsatisfied, unfulfilled. We may not have the life we pictured or we don’t feel like we are accomplishing all we feel we should. So what leads to fulfillment? What makes us happy? What gives us contentment?
I realize for everyone it’s different, but I do believe that regardless of what makes us each individually happy, it starts with a few fundamental things; gratitude, passion, and goals/dreams.
“ Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” —Jim Rohn
Honestly, I think most people lack gratitude because they aren’t grateful for what they already have. I was once told that the first thing you should do before your feet hit the floor is to state 5 things you are grateful for. That person obviously didn’t know my propensity for falling back asleep due to a life long relationship with the snooze button (although reading The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins will make you think twice about that habit). So, for me, that ritual must take place AFTER my feet hit the floor. It doesn’t have to be major things, it can be as simple as the fresh coolness of a breeze on a hot day. What I have found is that the more I find to be grateful for, the more I realize how much I have to be grateful for. Gratitude is one of those funny things, it is so powerful that gratitude can actually have a physiological impact! 7 Scientifically proven benefits of gratitude shares some of the amazing benefits of being sincerely grateful. Try it for a week then tell me how much more happy you are and how much more fulfilled you feel…I dare you!
Have you ever met someone who is so passionate about what they do, it is as though it is literally pouring out of every pore of their body? Maybe that person is you, and if so, kudos to you! Passion is one of the most powerful emotions God gave us, and when used in conjunction with our talents, it makes us unstoppable and valuable. However, when we lack passion, it is almost like we are stuck in a black hole; no hope, no excitement, just a mundane existing. Unfortunately, I think there are more who find themselves lacking passion than those who have it. If that is the case, then how do we change that? It may be an oversimplification, but the best way to do that is tap into what makes you passionate. You don’t have to turn in your resignation letter, move, or sell all of your possessions to go discover who you are. Just start thinking about what makes you happy, what makes you feel good about yourself, what you feel you are naturally talented at. Passion doesn’t have to be solely about a career, although ideally you can marry your passion to a lucrative income producing activity, it can be your family or giving back to your community.
“If you don’t have an obvious passion, follow your curiosity” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
Some lucky few, find that passion very early in life and live amazing lives fulfilling that passion, but the majority of us spend our entire life chasing our passions. Don’t you think that we get so caught up in “making a living” that we forget to make our life worthy of living? I am always inspired by those who go back to school in their 40s and 50s to pursue what they always wanted to do but weren’t able to do for one reason or another! But shouldn’t we give the world the opportunity to meet the best us? Usually if we are passionate about something, we pour our heart and soul into it, and when we do that something beautiful happens.
Goals and Dreams
Unless we work on self development or we have a career that we are working to progress in, we don’t usually set goals or make dreams.
Goals are like a road map for our lives, if we are navigating life without them, we won’t go anywhere.
Since I have recently been on a weight-loss journey, I will use that as an example. I had gained 40 -50 pounds with my second daughter. I used to joke that baby-weight is like superglue, it is impossible to get off. Throw in a thyroid autoimmune disease and you have a serious weight loss problem. It wasn’t until my youngest was 1 did I start losing…some, a whole whopping 8 pounds. Then I gained it all back during our move. Then I found what has now led me to 35 pounds down! When the weight started coming off, I decided to set a goal, a BIG one; be pre-baby weight by her 2nd birthday. I also set two others: get to my pre-1st baby weight and lastly to get down to 140, my ideal healthy weight for my height and body structure. Guess what? I am now 9 pounds from my final goal. I use a combination of intermittent fasting, keto coffee, and the keto lifestyle and hoenstly, it’s not always easy (although way easier than anything else I have ever tried). So why have I stuck to it and changed my lifestyle for the last 5 months? Because I have goals! Let’s talk about my strategy and why it has worked:
- I set goals (obvious, but you have to start somewhere).
- I set goals in increments. I didn’t set the one big goal because that was too daunting! Over 40 pounds is a lot of weight, especially when you have Hoshimotos. Always set your goals in achievable increments and set them with a timetable. Why? It keeps you on track! That is why companies have deadlines, if they didn’t nothing would ever get done.
- I rewarded myself and gave myself mini cheat days. I love the saying “work hard, play hard”! You can’t just drive yourself into the ground. You have to reward yourself for small achievements. You have to enjoy what you have accomplished, because if you don’t, nothing will EVER be good enough.
I knew what I wanted, I laid out my goals and I had a plan I could stick with.
Last but not least, and hopefully you are still hanging out with me: DREAM BIG! The company I am with pushes us to do a lot of self-development and they push us to dare to dream. Dreaming is very different then setting goals. Goals seem feasible and we can develop a working plan to achieve them, while Dreams are usually so “high in the sky” (if you are dreaming right) you have no earthly idea of how you will ever achieve them. Do it anyway. Put it on a board where you can see them, where it inspires you to never give up that dream. Some call it the law of attraction, but I truly believe if you want something bad enough, you eventually find a way to make it happen.
“Success without fulfillment is failure” ~Anthony Robbins
…and no one wants to be a failure
Be grateful. Have passion. Set Goals and dream big.