“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure,” that’s according to Tony Robbins (I went down an internet rabbit hole and ended up watching Tony Robbins videos). He gave examples of people who earn lots of money, achieve big goals, or overcome obstacles only to think, “now what?” Many of us have done the same. We were faced with a problem or a challenge, set the goal, succeeded, then felt a little empty after, or possibly disappointed, because “now what?”
Here are five things that “Tony says” leads to a fulfilling life. They are tasks, some performed daily, that would ultimately begin a practice which would fulfill you on a regular basis. Here they are in no particular order:
1) Feed your mind (20 minutes/day). I assume this means reading, watching, or listening to something that involves new learning, instead of the regular habit of scrolling through social media or filtering through email. I have the intention to read on a daily basis; and that often doesn’t happen. Twenty minutes a day seems possible, even if it’s broken up into two ten-minute intervals. That can be done while eating lunch, waiting in line, or during an extended bathroom break!
2) Strengthen your body (20 minutes/day). This is another one that we have to set aside the time for and be intentional about, or else we’ll never do it consistently. I do a 25-minute cardio workout first thing in the morning (even when I really don’t want to), and the benefits are obvious. I feel accomplished, there is a nice endorphin rush, and I burned some calories. The incentive here is not just keeping weight off, though. Using your body and making it work not only makes you feel good; it also contributes to its longevity. I see countless older people who can’t do many of the basic things they used to because they simply don’t do them anymore. It’s worth it just to keep our bags of bones strong and moving!
3) Find a mission bigger than yourself. This one can be tough. As a culture we’re not often taught to think bigger than ourselves. Instead it’s: work hard, earn as much as you can, and keep it for yourself. But that mindset usually leads to selfishness, jealousy, and a sense of lack (because you always need more). Many people focus on their families and raising their kids to be good humans (I try to anyway), but we can think even bigger. Are there any national or global problems that bother you? Are there any small ways you can help, even locally? How can you do something about it in a way that works for you?
4) Have a role model. This one is also difficult, especially for adults, but it’s possible. I can’t think of any prominent role models I’ve had, but maybe there is something to it. We can aspire to be like someone we admire, or motivated by their life’s accomplishments, which creates a positive influence. That person doesn’t need to be someone you know, or would ever even meet, only a figure who demonstrates specific qualities or has achieved things that you would want too. It’s worth thinking about.
5) Always know that there is someone worse off than you, and that person has overcome their own obstacles. Sometimes thinking about other people and their bigger problems makes me feel petty and small about my own (i.e. my “first world” problems). But, good or bad, we all have issues; that is the nature of life. And maybe if we focus on the perspective that other people have faced problems, similar or even worse, and they got through them, we can too. It might just be the little lift we need to feel better or keep going.
So there you have it, five things to help us feel fulfilled. I’m going to put them on a post-it note on my fridge, then try to do at least a few. I welcome you to try them too. Best of luck!