The Path to Fulfillment
By Nova Reed, MA, CLC
Are you searching for happiness, or yearning for more out of life and your relationships? An eternal desire exists within all of us, the universal quest for fulfillment: the feeling of having a “full” and satisfying life filled with joy and vitality. We all strive to create meaning and happiness. You were created to realize your potential, connect with others, and grow.
Somewhere along the path of life you may encounter an obstacle, challenge, or disappointment that halts your sense of motivation and self-belief. When you feel stuck, isolated, or absent of hope, you have disconnected from your Path to Fulfillment and your creative energy. Reaching out for support and searching for answers breaks the walls of isolation opening up new solutions you may not have seen before, providing you with a glimpse of what your life could be and a soft glow of hope. Focusing on hope and the life you would prefer gives you a picture, an ultimate goal to work toward. The complete vision of your Preferred Life paints the detailed masterpiece of the life you have dreamt of, the life you are capable of creating. The steps to fulfillment are already within you, just waiting to surface and be free. You can achieve a life full of meaning, joy, and supportive, caring relationships.
“Creativity leads to amazing discoveries within and around you.” – Nova Reed
The First Step: A Mission Statement
The first step to fulfillment begins with choice. Deciding you want a change, that you deserve happiness, and you will dedicate yourself to goals. The best things in life take hard work. Setting goals for yourself will give you a sense of accomplishment which fills your self-worth and improves your mood. Writing down your goals will keep your direction present and remind you of your purpose.
In moving toward your preferred life, create a mission statement that describes your biggest dreams for yourself. Reach out of your current way of thinking and stretch your imagination to visualize the life you would like to create. For example, my own mission statement is currently “To be successful helping others, create security for myself and my family, and to find joy in every day.” Notice my mission statement includes success, creativity, and joy, key components to fulfillment.
Constructing a mission statement also brings forward your own voice. Words are very powerful. Your own words are more powerful than anyone else’s. Your statement solidifies your belief in yourself and your potential, and begins the process of positive self-talk and motivation.
“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” – Flora Whittemore
Remain Emotionally Present
Learning to remain emotionally present will enable you to work toward your preferred life and experience joy. Everyone has the capability of experiencing emotional presence in life. A hiker atop a pinnacle, a writer engaged in fluid thought, a mother enjoying a child’s hug, a husband lost in the touch of his wife, a moment when nothing else matters but enjoyment and experience. Emotional presence is a celebration of life, self-awareness, and gratitude. Maintaining emotional presence allows you to push away regrets from the past and avoid anxieties of the future. The idea behind emotional presence is to let go of any thoughts preventing you from recognizing your accomplishments and the beauty surrounding you. One strategy for ignoring distracting thoughts is to focus on gratitude. What are you grateful for? What gives you pure joy? What matters most to you? Focusing on gratitude ceases self-impeding thoughts and automatically focuses your awareness on the present.
Another way to center yourself in the present is to focus on a personal experience where you felt complete peace and joy. Take yourself there in your creative imagination. Picture the surroundings, the smells, and the way you feel. Have this image ready when you need to push away stress or worry. The feelings of joy, peace, and elation engage all the senses. Create an environment that will stimulate your senses in a way that represents your image. Pull from what helps you remain in the present and add any physical elements to your daily environment that cue the same feelings. A beautiful picture, a scented candle, the sound of water, an arrangement of flowers all can be used as examples of items that may trigger your ability to remain in the present.
“I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act.” – Abraham Maslow.
Your perspective of yourself has a direct correlation with your view of the world. Depression, anxiety, addiction, and low self-esteem all cloud possible solutions to creating happiness. Lifting the cloud of a negative self-meaning will allow a new perspective in life. You can begin this process by surrounding yourself with support, researching and gathering information, engaging in new activities, and using language as a tool for a positive perspective. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Eliminate the words “can’t” and “shouldn’t,” and expressions of doubt like, “I might fail.” Completely take the word “not” out of your vocabulary. Talk to yourself in way that affirms you can accomplish your dreams, and you will accomplish your dreams. When you catch yourself talking negatively, stop and rephrase your statements in a positive perspective reflecting your strengths and belief in yourself. Be bold and use your words out loud. Your self-esteem and self-worth will fill with every word of affirmation.
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look inside your own heart. Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.” – Carl Jung
Create a Positive Cycle
Create a positive cycle. At the end of every day, write down something you did well. Statements of affirmation are written in your own words and reinforce your strengths and self-worth. Starting a journal of self-worth will allow you to push away self-doubt and build your confidence and a positive self-image. Label your journal something that reflects how you would like to see yourself. Once you lift away self-doubt and solidify your own self-meaning and worth, the dark cloud surrounding you will begin to dissipate, brightening your view of the world.
Imagine viewing the world with dark sunglasses on—once you lift them off, you will see everything with more brightness and clarity. A positive internal perspective leads to a positive external perspective. When you create this positive cycle, others will sense your creative energy and respond to you in a positive, warm, and approachable way. Energy is reciprocal. When you give off positive energy, you will receive positive energy.
Happiness is the process of engaging life in a satisfying and joyful way. Life is meant to be explored; go out into the world and see all the beauty and possibilities surrounding you.
The Path to Fulfillment lies before you. Open your sight, trust your faith, and let hope light your path.
Nova Reed © 2009 All Rights Reserved. Rights include the right to reproduction in whole or in part in any form