One of the principles I use in coaching is Fulfilment.
“A fulfilling life is a life of meaning, purpose and satisfaction”
Co-Active Coaching (book), Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Philips Sandahl & Laura Whitworth
And in this post I want to talk about fulfilment, what it’s really about: meaning, purpose and satisfaction.
When I wrote about this topic last year, I told you about how I made my friend, who just finished her chemo for great cancer, cry. And I didn’t stop there. I made myself cry too.
We were working on a project together about compassion and hugs. Given our respective painful pasts with illness, we think there is too little in the world and we want there to be more.
She couldn’t see how others would relate to her so I told her what I saw.
She had a life, with her family and friends and then cancer came along, threatening it all. Because cancer can kill. We don’t really say that anymore but it’s true.
Death, that constant companion to us all but who we ignore like that really smelly fart in an elevator. We all know it’s there, it’s unpleasant but we all pretend it doesn’t exist.
A cancer diagnosis brings death back into the picture and we realise something.
Maybe I don’t get to keep this life that I have.
And as confrontational as this is, I need to say this
we don’t know what we are going to have tomorrow. And we can’t do anything about the past.
We can only change now. So whether you are doing the laundry, paying bills, or are on holiday,
So how do you do enjoy every moment?
- Find something you like in the activity you are doing, no matter how small, and focus on that.
- Grow that part. Expand it or amplify it
- Let yourself enjoy it.
I’ll tell you a secret. I don’t like mopping the floor.I love the result, but the process? Not so much. But I do like to let my mind wander, to think freely.
With a free mind I can figure out the world, find a solution to that problem I’ve been mulling over. With a free mind I can get really curious about what exactly is going on inside my head. What are the thoughts trying to be heard, but that have been trapped amongst the list of chores and to dos?
And you can’t get more mindless than mopping, in my opinion. But it’s exactly this mindlessness that frees my mind, that lets my attention float away and explore.
So I now focus on that free your mind part of mopping, and I grow it. I’ve given myself full permission to think about everything and nothing when I mop. It’s no longer a drudgery. It’s a liberation.
And I get some of my best ideas when I mop. Or take a shower. Or go for a walk. And I don’t even try. My free mind wanders, does it’s thing, and ideas just pop up. This freedom, and the ideas I get from it, are fulfilling a deep need in me to be creative and have peace.
So think about a daily task that you don’t like very much but need to do anyway. Got it? Now look for that tiny spark, that silver lining. What is good about it? What purpose does it fulfil?
Now look at how you can grow this aspect that is good or that you enjoy. Sometimes just shifting your attention to that one thing is enough. Whatever you focus on, grows.
Enjoy. Every tiny drop of enjoyment counts.
Fulfilment isn’t about resigning and travelling around the world, it’s about doing the things that reflect your purpose. And when you just need to get the day to day stuff done, adding in something to make that mundane action have purpose and give satisfaction.
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