Finding Happiness: A Guide to Fulfillment

Maybe you feel like you’re not as happy as you use to be, maybe you have an unexplainable feeling of emptiness, or maybe you feel like life just isn’t what it’s supposed to be. For many of us life has, in some form, become overwhelming. Whether it comes from the work place, finances, a tragic event, relationships (or lack thereof) it is clear that you are not as happy as you deserve to be.

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What are we seeking?

If you are seeking something it is important to know what you’re after. Ask yourself these questions. What am I searching for? Why am I searching for it? The only way to find what you are seeking is to first identify it. This article was written for the purpose of helping people get what I believe most people who are seeking happiness wants, a lasting happiness/fulfillment that no one can take away.

Who/what do you let underneath your skin?

Your boss calls you into the office after a hard day of work. As you sit nervously at his desk (Knowing there have been job cuts lately) he says “Your performance has been outstanding we are promoting you to a general manager!”

Most everyone would feel great about getting a promotion but what if the opposite would have happened? What if you were fired? Would you feel angry, lost, or worried? Do you have the ability to choose how you felt about the situation or do you let the situation control you? Do you see it as a negative experience or a learning opportunity?

If you choose to see everything as a learning opportunity there is no good or bad only the journey. Most people spend their time seeing their journey as a means to an end and are disappointed if they do not reach the desired outcome do not spend time focusing on the outcome focus on enjoying the process of reaching an outcome/goal

What do we control?

In the above example how could you have controlled your boss’s decision? How could you go back in time and change his decision? How can you go forward in time and make sure it doesn’t happen again? The answer is you can’t. These things are out of your control and by worrying about it or staying angry at the situation you are causing pain for yourself. Sure maybe you could have done things differently but you can’t go back and change them. So it is important to learn from the event and choose to move on.

Do not try to control what you cannot choose to let go of. The only thing you can truly control is yourself and how you react to situations.

It’s critical that you take responsibility for yourself in all ways emotional, physical, and logical. No more blaming everyone else, no more blaming your past, and no more excuses because taking full responsibility for your actions allows freedom of situations that you have no control over.

Why not choose the now?

In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explains that only by focusing on the present and disconnecting from your thoughts can you truly gain enlightenment. If you’ve ever spent time rambling on with your inner voice or found yourself bored, watching a movie guessing the next plot twist you know what it’s like to be consumed by your mind. By spending time focusing on the present and disassociating yourself from your inner voice you can start to enjoy things for what they are.

But how do I begin to disassociate from my inner voice?

Tolle suggests many ways in his book. One of the best suggestions (pg.62) is to ask yourself “I wonder what my next thought is going to be” and wait for it. The question causes focus so the mind can quiet. During this silence you can experience what it feels like to shift to a higher focus. Another suggestion would be meditation or a meditation/yoga class

Once you have disassociated yourself from your mind you will learn to be more present in the now and will also learn to be more conscious of your own actions. Living in the now lets you enjoy things for what they are and get a better sense of your own self.

Who are you?

It’s not about money or looks it’s about what is on the inside that counts.

How many parents told that to their children? And then they grew older thinking he/she mainly cared about personality but also were afraid of going out without makeup on or find themselves lying at their high school reunion about what their career is. How do you define yourself? When do you find yourself telling a little white lie so you look better or buying overpriced name brand clothes? How many times do you find yourself doing something to impress someone else?

The truth is shocking but what your parents said is true. You are already complete and no amount of money, clothing, cars, or success will change that. How many times have you seen someone rich or famous very unhappy?

Also ask yourself these questions…

  • When will I be happy?
  • What things would make me happy?
  • Why would these things make me happy?
  • Do I know anyone else who has these things and are not happy?

Fulfillment comes from within and the more time you spend trying to find it externally, through fame, fortune or that next promotion the further away you will be from happiness. Stop seeking fulfillment and realize you already have it.

What is my purpose, how can I find it?

Many people find themselves unhappy with their job or their life situation. It’s no surprise that these people also find themselves unsatisfied in many areas of their life. Having a profound sense of purpose is crucial to success in all areas of life. Unfortunately no book or article can tell you what that purpose is but a good starting place is to ask yourself, “If I didn’t have any responsibilities (mortgage, relationships, ect.) And all the assets I needed to accomplish anything, what would I do?”

This may take some time but once you have figured out what it is you need to set goals and learn to incorporate them into your life. An excellent book to help you with this is Think and Grow Rich byNapolean Hill.

The final piece of the puzzle

The final piece of the puzzle is deciding to take responsibility for your own growth and help others with their own growth. By finding great mentors, reading books by people who have what you seeking, and constantly trying new things you will find that not only will you find happiness and fulfillment but you will be able to help those around you find it as well.