Fulfillment as a radical act! (Part 1)
If you’re looking to live a fulfilling life I have a piece of advice:
Don’t look for WHAT you can do but WHY you want to do it.
Instead of starting with your skills and experience (the currency of recruiting agents the world over), take a long hard look at your values, motivations, strengths and deeper purpose. This is where your road to fulfillment comes alive.
Fulfillment isn’t an easy option. It’s not posting your CV on a job site and being showered in dream offers. It’s taking the road less travelled – actually it’s more than that. It’s creating your own road.
Have I put you off yet? I hope not!
Fulfillment is a central pillar of the Co-active Coaching world I trained in. The founders of this coaching approach, Henry and Karen Kimsey-House put it this way:
Does that sound daunting?
I’m not sure I’d really thought of myself as making radical choices before I trained as a coach, but choosing fulfillment is certainly going to rock the boat! Why? Because it means rejecting the easy boxes we are encouraged to inhabit in our lives and careers and ask the deeper questions: what do I really want to create with my life?
When we try to answer this question with complete honesty, exploring our real selves, living our values and purpose, we stop sleep-walking through our adult lives, taking the easy and safe options, and start a new chapter with conscious intention.
When we let our real selves take the reins, then we’re talking fulfillment.
This self-knowledge primes us to navigate life’s choppy waters with real personal purpose. That strong keel gives us the chance of being fully alive.
It took me a while, but when I was clear on my values and started to activate them and live authentically from them, I grew in clarity, motivation and conviction. It was easier to make tough decisions and to see them through. When I explored my purpose more deeply this insight added greater strength and direction to the life I was creating. No, it wasn’t always easy, but when I get knocked off course, what keeps me on course is the strengths of clarity around my values and purpose. Which in fact are expressions of who I truly am.
Fulfilment is a work in progress but can also be experienced in a moment - everything that matters lines up and illuminates life. At that moment the road less travelled becomes the only true road.. and in that sense is a brilliant radical act.
OK, down to what FULFILLMENT means
Let’s also look at a couple of dictionary definitions of FULFILLMENT -
satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one’s potential
(Oxford English Dictionary)
a feeling of happiness because you are doing what you intended to do in life
Fulfilling potential or accomplishing intended goals – an interesting starting point. But there’s a questions begging to be answered here:
Who gets to identify my potential and intention?
Is it the potential spotted in high school and confirmed in a college degree or professional qualification? The same potential that is then developed systematically in an unswerving career path over many years?
Is it the expression of an abiding interest or talent?
Or is it a zig-zag path of experimentation and pivot as possibilities are tried, tested, kept or rejected?
In truth, it could be any of these, but with one condition – it has to be a personal choice, based on what drives, energises, excites and exercises your best talents. It’s a genuine reflection of who you are and what matters most to you. It’s therefore usually a non-standard path and requires imagination, resilience, courage and belief to bring it to life.