I spend a lot of time on social media, specifically, Twitter. It's my go-to source for news and current events. Somehow, Twitter always knows before everyone else! What I consistently notice on Twitter is the amount of dissatisfaction people express is so many different areas of their lives. Whether it's their jobs, their relationships, their bills, their kids, or their health it seems like there are so many people out there living life unfulfilled.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a requirement to live or even pursue a completely fulfilled life. Hell, I'm not even sure that's possible! I can't even say I'm living a life completely fulfilled. I say that because I'm never completely satisfied with where I am in life. I always feel I need to take it to the next level; always learning, always pushing, always achieving. Nonetheless, living a fulfill-ING life is very possible.
Here's what I believe it takes:
1. IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU (Number 1 on the list intentionally)
Life is so much sweeter when you find someone or something else to focus on. I believe every parent should take their children (when old enough to understand) to a foreign country where even the basic human necessities are hard to come by. (Looking to volunteer abroad? Here's a good place to look.) There's something about helping others less fortunate that seems to make all our issues seem so small.
2. DON'T MAJOR ON THE MINORS
It's so easy to focus on all the little things throughout the day that don't go as planned. It can drive you INSANE if you let it. Have you ever considered that the little things that throw us off during our day may have an eternal impact should those things not have happened? Let's give the example of being abruptly caught in traffic or stuck behind an extremely slow driver. What if that stressful situation is preventing another horrible situation? Have you ever seen "The Curious Case of Benjamen Button?" There's a very interesting scene that shows all the things that happened up to the event where Daisy gets into an accident. Watch here. The point I'm making is you just never know if a little stressful situation is actually working in your favor behind the scenes. Instead, just go with the flow. Relax the shoulders, take a deep breath, and just know that in the grand scheme of things, it won't really matter.
3. REMEMBER TO NOTICE THE SMALL THINGS (There really the big things)
If you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you've probably seen me say this a time or two. I think it's probably because I've seen hundreds (maybe more) of people die in my lifetime. As an ER/ICU nurse, I've been at the bedside of many many people who've passed on. Many of these people had so many unfinished things they had yet to fulfill or pursue. More than that, many of them expressed regret for not taking notice of the simple things. Some expressed that it wasn't until the diagnosis that they began to take notice. DON'T LET THAT BE YOU. There are so many beautiful things to see and experience in life, small things that can make a big impact...if you let them. Example-This morning I got up at 5 and went for a walk. Just being able to get up out of bed and experiencing the beautiful silence and peace was a beautiful thing; small but beautiful. It's the small things.
4. HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
I have a good friend, Julie, that wrote a great book on this topic. I HIGHLY recommend it! You can get it here. It's pretty amazing when you start having an attitude of gratitude. I believe it works because being thankful for things opens the door for more blessings. And believe me, you're blessed. If you're reading this, you're most likely richer than ninety-nine percent of the population on the planet. You probably live in a country where you're not persecuted for your beliefs and can express yourself anyway you'd like. You also probably live in a home with running water and a full refrigerator. Most likely you have a closet full of clothes AND shoes. Get what I'm saying? You are blessed. Be cognizant of all you have and be grateful and thankful for it. You'll be surprised how things start to turn around when you start becoming a good-finder instead of the alternative.
5. TAKE YOURSELF SOME YOU TIME
I can't stress this enough. We are CONSTANTLY bombarded and inundated with all kinds of information and time stealers. They're everywhere! People and 'things', all vying for our attention. It is soooo important to take some time for yourself to decompress, to reflect, to rest, to plan. This doesn't require some extravagant vacation (although it could). It could be as simple as going for a leisurely walk around the lake or neighborhood, or an hour or more at the coffee shop with a good book. I would suggest putting the phone away (GASP) and getting to a place where no one will bother or interrupt you during this time. You'll be surprised how much more refreshed and relaxed you will fill after you make it a consistent practice of giving yourself some YOU time.
Although I've only listed 5 Tips I could list MANY more (physical fitness, travel, connecting, etc). However, I think these are a great place to start. There have been, in recent years, stories of celebrities that have succumbed to the pressures of their lives and have committed suicide, leaving their loved ones behind to grieve. I implore you to begin the search for fulfillment through other means beyond riches, beyond fame. They aren't the answer. As a Christian I believe that TRUE fulfillment comes in knowing the one true God and His purpose for you in your life. If you'd like to explore this idea with me, I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog friends! If this is the first time you've been here, look around! I'd also love to connect with you on Social Media if we haven't yet. If you've found value in this post, I'd be so grateful if you shared it with others.