Sometimes, it feels like we spend most of our time chasing things which we believe will make us feel better only to realize that we’ve wasted that time on trivial things that actually did nothing for us.
Fear, regret, perfectionism, these are all shades of the same thing. They’re what happens when we live believing we don’t have enough, that we’re not enough.
But the truly fulfilled person operates on a completely different level. They have no mind for these dark forces which hold so many of us back. They have a clear mind, an open heart, and a keen eye that keeps them focused on what is most important and their time free of those things which would seek to sap precious moments away from them.
Obviously, this person is a symbol as opposed to a real person. They’re something, or someone, to aspire to. We each have things we need to work on but by cultivating gratitude and pursuing our muse relentlessly we can come to a place of fulfillment and begin to realize these qualities in our own life.
Don’t waste time on what’s not important. Don’t get sucked into the drama. Get on with it: don’t dwell on the past. Be a big person; be generous of spirit; be the person you’d admire.
– Allegra Huston
It’s a lofty achievement, one that I am still working on each day, but it’s one which is worth pursuing as much as anything.
What does this super-fulfilled person look like? They’re perhaps easier to define by what they don’t do than what they do do.
Super-fulfilled people never waste their time on these nine things.
1. The cult of busyness
To become fulfilled we must first realize how to find meaning. And that requires we eventually realize what the cult of busyness really is: the feeding of positive signals to the brain by maintaining perpetual movement to deceive us when we aren’t doing what we really should be doing.
Super-fulfilled people know that busyness doesn’t equate to meaning or value. They seek to fulfill their purpose and cultivate meaningful interactions as opposed to doing things to take the edge off when they’re disappointed for not doing what it takes to pursue their potential.
2. Pursuing other’s definition of success
Super fulfilled people realize that fulfillment and meaning are found by knowing ourselves, not following society’s definition of success.
They understand that most people in the world do what they do because of societal pressure and refuse to drink the Kool-Aid, instead carving their own path based on a keen knowledge of their own passions and desires.
3. Regretting the past
By definition, to be fulfilled requires one not regret the past. Those who are uniquely fulfilled aren’t necessarily perfectly content with their past but they have come to terms with it and made up for it in the present.
When I was younger, no one taught me what it meant to work hard at something. It wasn’t until I got older that I learned what a true hard work ethic looked like and I’m grateful for that discovery.
However, for some time that lesson made me look back on my past with disgust at the years and opportunities I had wasted. But now, having made up for it with years of hard work, I’m more fulfilled in the effort I’ve put forth in my life than ever before and the past doesn’t bear down on me like it once did.
Your actions now can allow you to create fulfillment and stop regretting the past even if you’re not perfectly happy with it.
4. Small distractions that keep you from what is most important
Nowadays, more than ever, distractions abound. Smartphones and devices of all kinds allow us to access catalogs of distractions: social media, games, endless websites from news to gossip, and any other poison you prefer.
It’s incredibly easy to rationalize these distractions throughout each day, convincing yourself that they’re either not taking much of your time or that they’re somehow productive (“they reduce my stress”, for instance).
But all these small distractions add up over time and rob you of your most precious resource: time.
On your deathbed, the person you are will meet the person you could have been. Do you want to die knowing you wasted hundreds of hours perusing social posts or clicking through pointless games? The super-fulfilled person knows what is at stake and doesn’t waste their time on small distractions.
5. Worrying about what others think about you
The very effort to realize fulfillment requires a complete turning away from the thoughts and opinions of others. Without first doing that, fulfillment isn’t possible.
But super-fulfilled people know something else: that we do things for ourselves and aren’t typically concerned with what others are doing, especially those outside our family and close friend circles. We worry so much about what others will think not realizing that most everyone else is thinking this very same thing, not bothering with what others are doing.
To worry about what others think of you is a pointless exercise and the super-fulfilled realized this a long time ago.
6. Worrying about current events
Super fulfilled people understand how special each day of life is, so while they’re perfectly aware of what’s going on in their own life and in the world at large, they don’t allow it to bring them down.
Worrying is anything but productive, and super fulfilled people don’t fall for the trap of believing that the world is falling down around them. They know that life sometimes feels that way but it rarely actually pans out so bad and keep a positive outlook despite it, knowing how much they have to be grateful for.
Most people love to waste their time on useless drama. The super fulfilled person knows this, accepts it, and keeps on moving. They’re beyond it because they don’t need it. They’re not looking for something outside themselves to make them feel whole and can see straight through the petty squabbles of the average person.
Those who are incredibly fulfilled have mastered gratitude and gratitude is in contrast to perfectionism: the idea that things are never enough.
Often, the perfect time never comes, the perfect circumstances never come together, and the perfect opportunity never presents itself. Perfection is simply a front we use to keep ourselves from acting when we believe that we’re not enough. Super-fulfilled people know this and don’t let perfection hold them back.
Those who are afraid use use hate in response to the triggering of that fear. But when someone is truly fulfilled they do not feel threatened by the outside world because their happiness comes from within.
They know how fortunate they are to live the life they have and therefore have compassion for others who aren’t as lucky, as opposed to hate believing that a person or group of persons may threaten their position.