Fulfilment: a word most of us have heard of, but very rarely care to understand. It’s conventionally associated under the umbrella of happiness – when in fact, it should be considered the answer to the question “how can I achieve true happiness?”.
It is well documented and widely accepted that happiness levels go up and down. But what if there’s a way that you can be happy all the time, despite the current state of your situation? The answer is this: find the thing(s) that fulfil you.
The general definition of fulfilment is “the achievement of something desired”. It could be a one-off event you’ve been working towards; the attainment of a sought-after status; or meeting requirements necessary to progress. But these examples are all temporary moments in life. How can you achieve fulfilment forever?
The answer is this simple formula: combine your passion with your gift.
Your passions are the things that you love and adore: the things you love to do the most. Whether it’s travelling; volunteering; making music… anything that brings joy to your life can be considered a passion.
On the flip side, your gifts are the things that come as second nature to you. The things you’re “just naturally good at”. Maybe you’re an amazing cook, but you just see it as putting food on the table. You might be a great listener. You may be the best didgeridoo player on the planet… who knows?!
The secret to fulfilment is finding a way to combines these two things together.
My biggest passion is travelling. Which of my gifts – something that comes so naturally to me that I don’t have to think twice about doing – could I use to fuel my passion?
The answer was easy to find: it’s the gift of the English language! I quickly searched for ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching jobs abroad. 18 months later, here I am writing from my home in Shenyang, China.
And despite all the challenges that I regularly face – the (many) cultural differences; Covid-19; missing family – I am the happiest I’ve ever been. Why? Because I have found fulfilment. I get to travel and explore regularly while doing something I find so natural and enjoyable.
Now, I encourage you to do the same. Follow this formula and seek the foundation of your underlying happiness. Write down a list of your passions, and a list of your gifts (I found using a Venn Diagram to be the easiest way to connect the two). Only then will you have a clear idea of what will potentially fulfil you.
Of course, it will take time. But even just being involved in a joyous mix of the things you love is wonderful. Volunteer at a radio company. Publish your works online. Be proactive and find what makes you happiest.
Complete this first step, and let the rest of your life flourish. I believe in you.