What does fulfillment mean to you? In the past I thought that fulfillment was what one received as a result of an achievement. Instead, the end of one achievement meant reaching for another, while fulfillment remained ever elusive. Achievement can began with getting good grades in high school, making it to the A team of a sport, then getting in the right college, then getting a good job, getting the promotion or employee recognition, buying a house, raising a family, getting praise from family, and on and on. The social messaging pushes us to keep climbing the ladder of achievements in order to be fulfilled. We are surprised when "high achievers" in politics, sports, and entertainment end up in divorce, with a substance abuse problems, or as a suspect in a crime. They make news because they shatter the myth that achievement leads to fulfillment.
However, there are times when achieving some highly prized goal can be very fulfilling like completing a 5K run, or against all odds you get the job of your dreams. Fulfillment arise more from the achievements that reveal our inner strength not from the achievements that arise from proving our our self-worth to society. Achievements that reveal an inner strength are transformational.
Fulfillment is more than the acquisition of things in life. Fulfillment speaks to the quality of our inner life. I heard someone say one time that if you only had a single wish to make, that you should wish for fulfillment. I have come to appreciate that wisdom. Fulfillment is a state of being. When I think about what fulfillment looks like it is being in right relationship. It is having a sustaining life force. It is the singing of the heart. It is having peace of mind. It is living without regret.
Instead of wishing for "things" in life to make you fulfilled, wish for a fulfilled quality of life. Let achievements arise from a place of fulfillment rather than the other way around.