Ask anyone what they truly want out of life, and most will say happiness. It may come masked in the form of things such as more money, more time, less stress, etc. But what they’re all really saying is “I just want to be happier” – or more accurately – “I just want to achieve self-fulfillment”.
Self-fulfillment is directly responsible for our ability to achieve true, sustained long-term happiness and joy in our daily lives. It’s the overarching and guiding principle present in our reasoning for taking on certain tasks. We do things because we sense we will benefit from them in some way, shape, or form – or else we wouldn’t even bother.
At some point in our lives we will feel inspired and motivated to go after something we consider big, worthy, or challenging. Even if this isn’t something immediately attainable through a traditional college education or apprenticeship, it will still exist in our imagination and mind’s eye as a possibility amongst a set of other less-impressive options.
That imaginative calling is your intuition displaying to you what represents the core-essence of your true passion. It is then up to you – and you only – to figure out exciting and creative solutions for bringing that core-essence of passion into the real world so you can experience it.
If you can manage to do this, you will achieve serious self-fulfillment. I don’t mean temporary fulfillment like reaching your goal weight or dropping a bad habit or two. I mean SERIOUS self-fulfillment. The kind that fills every waking hour with a sense of higher purpose, calling, service, and an abundance of blissful feelings. Many people strive for this in their lifetime, but very view effectively achieve it, because very few actually understand how to intelligently approach it.
What Self-Fulfillment is NOT
Most people will attempt to shoehorn the concept around doing unfulfilling work for people they’d rather not be helping, or living in habitual cycles of what I like to call “assume, consume, resume”. Doing things for the sake of doing things, getting a reward (typically a paycheck) which is then most often used to anesthetize one to their real roadblocks, all while resuming business as usual.
This is highly unfulfilling and unsustainable in the long run. It’s no wonder why so many people turn to things like alcohol, drug experimentation, and excessive habitual escapist behavior such as gambling and even stealing.
Notice how regardless of the path you choose to take in life, your mind, body, and spirit are going to seek fulfillment through one endeavor or another. It’s like the law, only swap out lawyer with fulfillment: “If you can’t provide fulfillment on some level, fulfillment will be provided for you”. It’s going to be sought out one way or another. You’re probably engaging in a variety of escapist behaviors right now that you’re not even aware of.
However, there is a much more intelligent approach to living, and it revolves around becoming progressively more conscious of your true desires.
You deliberately choose which behaviors to engage in, thereby enabling yourself to move towards things which for you personally represent true, genuine, authentic fulfillment.
You become self-fulfilling.
It’s Not You v.s. The World: It’s You v.s. You
The important thing to understand is that absolutely NOTHING is stopping you from choosing more proactive and fulfilling actions and behaviors other than your self-limiting beliefs about your own capabilities.
You’re never not choosing. When you avoid making choices which initially appear overwhelming and challenging, you’re choosing. Avoiding difficult choices is to choose the lesser challenging option of the two.
The true challenge isn’t in taking the actions necessary to secure your goals and ideals, but learning how to intelligently navigate the illusory web of self-limitation you place upon yourself.
This is partially due to the conditioning you’ve been hammered over the head with since you could even begin formulating your own thoughts.
You’ve observed parents, relatives, friends, teachers, etc all doing the same things and getting the same types of results. Logically, you will assume that since everyone else is doing these things, that this is the correct way to live life. You never thought to question these things or to see if there’s possibly another way of solving problems like generating income for yourself, or actualizing your highest goals and aspirations.
From Timidness to Self-Actualization
When you can muster up enough courage to begin saying “This isn’t what I want, and I’m okay with that. I may not yet know exactly what I do want, but I know this isn’t what I want”, you move into a place of honest acceptance. This is an infinitely more powerful position to be in than denial. Acceptance is the starting point from which all true progress can be made, because now you’re finally dealing with all the game pieces at your disposal.
How can you play and master the game if you refuse to acknowledge all of the game pieces?
Dwelling in denial is like tying your hands behind your back and trying to do everything with your feet. Courage is the gateway to all personal progress. Once you can accept where you are, you immediately empower yourself to begin choosing more congruent choices. One of the greatest benefits of acceptance is the heightened awareness that you’re indeed choosing, and that you’ve always been choosing. To rise to acceptance is to raise your consciousness.
Once you reach this point, you’re in a very good position to begin self-actualizing your goals and ambitions, because you’ll have a very realistic and rational grip on what you’re working with. You’re finally grounded. If you can begin applying this same process of self-empowerment towards taking the actions required to secure goals, it’s virtually a done deal that you’ll succeed.
It’s then only a matter of time before you achieve personal success, because you’ll allow yourself to simply keep taking the actions required until you get there. You’re no longer tying your own shoelaces together via unnecessary fear, worry, and doubt. You finally get out of your own way.
Real Life Begins
Then – and only then – can real life begin. Suddenly, you’ll see that most people you interact with are living very timidly. They’re afraid to come out of their shells and express who they truly are. They live in fear of consequence, rather than valuing the empowering growth lessons awarded to anyone and everyone with enough courage to embrace living and choosing more consciously. They refuse to grow due to fear of failure and rejection, so ironically – that remains their present reality.
Suddenly your world becomes an ecstatic explosion of synchronistic opportunity. It’s as if the universe has aligned and gotten all the unnecessary fluff out of the way so that you can prioritize growing. It’s like you’re now part of a VIP club, because you’ve passed the initiation test. This happens by consciously moving towards activities, projects, and endeavors which genuinely resonate with your highest excitements and passions.
This doesn’t even need to be expressed as a career in the traditional sense, although your ability to generate an abundance of income and support yourself via things which genuinely inspire and excite you is amongst the highest forms of self-fulfillment. This website and all of the information products found here are one such example of incredible self-fulfillment for me. It’s my passion to write, talk, and share this information with others. I can’t see myself doing anything else in terms of career.
Finally Achieving True Happiness
One of the best overall side-effects of achieving self-fulfillment is the pervasive and more or less permanent sense of happiness and bliss. You’ll finally obtain those feelings you’ve been foolishly chasing through things like excessive socialization and escapist behavior. In general we know that those things aren’t what we really want, but we do them anyway because we don’t yet truly understand that there are better options and choices. That path is self-fulfillment for fools, and many get stuck there for life.
Another thing that becomes apparent is that you no longer view things as habits, but rather choices. You become more conscious as a result of accepting your path and striving towards it, and thus you raise your consciousness as a result. You can see and understand more than you could before. I like to use the example of standing on a mountain top and being able to see the entire forest, versus merely being down in the forest and locked onto one of the paths weaving through it. It’s like your mental bandwidth increases.
My life has improved immensely in all dimensions since I passed that point of self-acceptance. I’m no longer wasting time contemplating higher ideals for myself – I’m now putting them into action. When things don’t work, I keep moving, testing, and learning. This website is perhaps the epitome of example of this process. It will change and grow right alongside me.
Your personal self-fulfillment may not involve creating a website and writing posts and books, but I assure you it IS within you right now. All you need to do is begin asking yourself the honest questions required to unleash your true power. I’m here to help you reach that point for yourself, so you can begin experiencing life as it was truly meant to be lived.
Deep down, you know this is what you truly want. It’s time to stop hiding behind excuses such as a lack of resources, time, or whatever else you can come up with as a reason to deny yourself expression of the fullness of your being. The only way you’re ever going to achieve permanent, long-term, all-pervasive happiness is to begin accepting where you are and embracing the path before you.
Copyright 2014 Jason Demakis. All Rights Reserved.