What makes for a fulfilling life? It’s different for everyone, but there are common themes

You’re not alone in thinking that whether you’re actually happy and living life to your fullest potential. At some point in our lives everyone evaluates whether we’re on the right path.

Recently I happened across a Quora thread that posed an interesting question that triggered this thought: “how does one ‘live’ their 20s and not feel like they wasted it?” I found it interesting because the vast majority of us are not fully-formed in our twenties and aren’t sure what we really, really want, and thus shouldn’t judging our past selves.

One popular answer was from user Chris Ebbert seemed way too-specific. Ebbert said that if he had this 20’s to live over again he would:

If I were to relive my 20s again, I would (have) drank less wine, committed to my studies properly, dated more girls, dressed better, and learned to cook. {Those things) would have improved my 20s by such a margin, I can’t even describe it. I spent those years in a wine fueled haze of negativity and cynicism, dressed like an idiot, and single, but eating at restaurants all the time because I didn’t even know how to make a pot of rice.

Not only does my 20’s not align with his 20’s, but my desires and what I value are different, so it makes sense that some of his examples doesn’t exactly resonate with me.

Individual desires vs. human themes

Though we may differ in the individual things we desire from life, there are larger categories that we can agree on. When people reflect on their lives there are general themes that fall into the bucket of taking more risks, being more productive, using their time more wisely, and not comparing themselves to others.

For me personally, a couple themes I would have taken more action on in my 20’s was to take more risks. That would have manifested itself as ask that person you were attracted to out on a date, playing the stock market more aggressively or betting on cricket with casumo, been more spontaneous with my time and taken a chance on a couple business ideas I had.

The second one was to not caring so much about what others thought, or what I think they potentially thought about my actions. I think having consideration for others and empathy for others is an awesome attribute to have, but I’ve learned you can’t let it paralyze you from doing what you want.

Life isn’t one decade, it’s the entire journey…

I don’t necessarily regret that I didn’t do these things as I am quite happy with who I am and where I am now. Not taking those risks and developing and fine-tuning my consideration of others has been a part of my life journey.

What I’ve found is that enjoying one’s life isn’t necessarily about accomplishing goals, being happy the entire time, or spending a decade of your life differently, but it’s the entirety of one’s life journey. The current life expectancy is nearly 79 years of age, so to place so much weight on just one decade is short-sighted and unnecessarily cutting yourself short. 

And answers to questions like how does one ‘live’ their 20s and not feel like they wasted it? are too broad to apply to everyone. What we should be considering are the thematic regrets that those that have lived a full life would advise you and ensure we don’t have those same regrets. 

In short, fulfillment is about living a deeply meaningful life, a life of purpose and satisfaction. Fulfillment is not necessarily about happiness. It is about meaning, deep meaning. It’s about one’s vision, their dreams, and living in full alignment and flow with their values.

The main point of the above definition is that living a fulfilling life isn’t necessarily becoming a CEO, making millions of dollars, having 2.5 children by this age, or driving a certain car, but it’s an intentional mindset of really dialing in on the things that fulfill you emotionally; things that give you genuine satisfaction.

And it’s never too late, always remember that life is a journey. It’s never too late to be who you are and happy.

 

Tagged : / / / / / /

How bad feelings can turn you into a jaded asshole without you knowing it

I don’t think I am a particularly happy or sad person, but an approach I’m always trying to tweak is balancing good feelings and bad ones, and treating them equally. Continue reading “How bad feelings can turn you into a jaded asshole without you knowing it”

Tagged : / / / / / / / /