General, Life Purpose, Values

What gives you the greatest fulfilment ?

We often think of our accomplishments when we are asked what fulfils us. Yet, they are often not the same thing. Fulfilment reflects a sense of deep satisfaction that helps us feel whole or complete and is inextricably linked to our values.

Carol Yang

We often think of our accomplishments when we are asked what fulfils us.  Yet, sometimes they are not the same thing.   I remember once when someone asked me – “what gives you the greatest fulfilment?” – I immediately thought of all the accomplishments I achieved in my life.   But when I dug deeper, I realised that not all of them gave me a sense of fulfilment.

Fulfilment is different from a feeling of accomplishment.   Yes, we do feel happy and satisfied from a job well done or when we achieve our goals but a sense of fulfilment is much deeper.  Fulfilment reflects a feeling of contentment.  A sense of deep satisfaction that helps us feel whole or complete.  It’s inextricably linked to our values.  We cannot feel fulfilled by something that we do not place a high value on.  It comes from achieving our hopes and dreams and often as a result of us developing our potential.

Ultimately, fulfilment comes from living according to what truly matters to you.  It comes from a life that reflects the real, authentic you – doing things (and with people) that matter most to you; and contributing and making a difference in ways that are most meaningful to you.

In my experience, the journey to finding fulfilment in your life includes 3 key areas –

  1. Discover your values – think of your values as your north star.  Your personal compass towards your purpose. Understanding what really matters and brings meaning to your life is fundamental to finding fulfilment in life and work.
  2. Understand and build on your strengths – too often we’re focused on how to overcome our limitations and we forget that each of us have innate strengths.  Things that we’re naturally good at and most likely enjoy doing as well.  Finding ways to build on your strengths in life and work will help you flourish and thrive.
  3. Live your purpose, authentic to the ‘real’ you –  too often we lose sight of what is truly important to us as we try to ‘fit in’ and meet the expectations of others.  Knowing what is truly important and meaningful to you will guide you to your purpose.  Connecting with and living your purpose will give you fulfilment in your life and work.

So the next time someone asks you “what gives you the greatest fulfilment ?”, don’t immediately jump to listing all your accomplishments.  Ask yourself what experiences in your life has given you the greatest sense of satisfaction ?  Which experiences have affected you the most in your life, and why ?  Dig deep.  It’s worth it.


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