Some of people live a very fulfilling life. In their life, they set various goals and work hard to achieve them. They are known as the achievers in our society. They are recognized as the successful ones. And then there are some who did not know when and what hit them. They just go through their life without ever thinking and wondering what they have achieved and what more they can. But some, as per Thoreau, live a life of quiet desperation. In other words, their lives could be more fulfilling.
What do you need to accomplish in your life to feel fulfilled and complete?
Had this question been asked to me 15 years ago, my answer then would have been different than what I would answer for it now. If I think back, my answer to this question 15 years ago would have been exactly what my current state is now. Back then, I thought that having a good education, good career and being able to satisfy my own needs and those of others dependent on me would be considered a good accomplishment. Well, I did not really have any lofty goal or aspiration. And that is my present state. But the irony is that though I should have been contented with my life accomplishments, I am not sure that I really am. The goal posts have changed in the last 15 years. Though today my needs are more or less the same as they were 15 years ago, my goals are different. My priorities have now changed. And they will keep on changing as long as I am a living, thinking human being in an environment that keeps changing and I keep on adapting. As for feeling complete, my take on that is different.
For all who want to break free from the life of quiet desperation, there is one solution. It is to identify your goals and strive to achieve them. As for me, now my goal is to live well, love much, laugh often, learn everyday and leave a legacy. I understand that daily progress in each of those components, no matter how small it is, will make me happy. I have broken each of those components into actionable items that I have taken up. I have taken up a few of them and not the whole laundry list of action items. I am striving to work daily on each of the chosen action items. They include taking care of my health by exercising, taking care of my family by caring for them and spending time with them, reading and writing for my intellectual growth, meditation for internal growth and socializing for friendship. Also, I have a desire to be a teacher, mentor or coach to help young people be prepared for life. To achieve that, I need to prepare myself first and all that I am doing now is part of that preparation. As of now, I think that if I see myself on the path of reaching my goal, I will feel accomplished.
Not sure, when that actually happens, may be 15 years down the line, will I still feel fulfilled? May be or may not be. I am not sure. By then my goal post might have changed. But, would I feel complete? Yes for sure. I will be complete just as I am complete now and I was complete earlier. I will be complete all the time in the future. No doubt about that.
In life, if you take concrete action towards your goals and see your progress in terms of actions taken, you will feel fulfilled. If you strive to see progress in terms of results achieved, you may not feel fulfilled. Thus, we can change our point of view and live a fulfilling life.