Here is the story of a young man named Robin. He had a very promising career in an international company. He had worked so hard to get that position and then he wanted a better paycheck and it was only possible if he was promoted. Therefore, he worked hard and his hard work was acknowledged and then he got the promotion and the raise he wanted.
He was over the moon. Since he had more money, he wanted to buy a fancy car and probably renovated his house. The story goes on and on until Robin is now a billionaire, happily married with one son. And he thinks if he had another private jet he would be happier. The fact is he is not unhappy, but he feels incomplete.
There is nothing wrong with Robin’s life and his accomplishment. In fact it is normal to have the desire to purchase something fancy, especially when he can afford it. It is alright to want to have a successful business, a great relationship, or a gorgeous mansion, but these are just the expression of satisfaction.
The desire to possess things as forms of fulfillment is temporary and the satisfaction will not last long. I think as long as we continue to look for ways to have a fulfilling life, we are unlikely to be filled permanently and will constantly looking for things, or activities to satisfy us. When is enough, enough?
Baca juga Mari Tertawa
Now here is another story. Andy is a volunteer English teacher in a very remote town in Sumatra. Facility wise, it is nothing like teaching in a well-facilitated school in Jakarta or even back home in England. There is no black or whiteboard, no Wi-Fi so he has to use his own limited mobile data to download teaching resources.
The only person who understands a bit of English is the local English teacher, so most of the time he uses gestures and it can take ages to convey one message. And more he has to walk to the closest river to get water every day.
Despite the scarcity, he enjoys teaching those kids and he feels a sense of achievement when they can say the names of farm animals. His host family always prepares delicious and fresh food. The local products are cheap and the air is so refreshing. He is happy and content. Teaching the children makes him feel at peace. Sometimes, in the middle of chaos and scarcity, life can be full of abundance.
Fulfillment is not just about feeling happy. It is about doing things that we feel right. It is about doing something that makes us feel alive and have a sense of harmony –or some might call this ‘inner peace’ (Whitworth, Et.al, 2007). There might be outer struggle or scarcity, but inside we feel peaceful. We have this feeling of satisfaction and wholeness.
What does it take to be fulfilled? What brings the greatest joy or deepest satisfaction?
1. It could be as simple as being with people we love.
2. Or be the authentic us, be real, exploit our gifts or talents and live according to what we value most, not according to others’ expectation.
3. And we should have more appreciation instead of expectation.
On the whole, fulfillment is a choice. It is a lifetime commitment which is in our own hands. If we choose to be fulfilled, we should take action now, not one day or someday, to do something that is aligned with what our soul truly needs and values. We decide when enough is enough.
Whitworth, Laura, Et al. 2007. Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People toward Success in Work and Life. Davies-Black Publishing.
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