In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” Many a times it feels like the life one is living day after day, is without meaning and fulfillment. You end up feeling dissatisfied with your own life and it might seem that there is no purpose to your life. You might be persistently plagued by the question ‘why am I never satisfied?’ or from feelings of being stuck and that paves the way for discontentment and unhappiness. This feeling does not mean that you are not appreciative of the life that you are leading, but something quite different. It is a feeling that there should have been more to the life that you are leading, a sense of purpose, a meaning to this chaos. If you are someone who suffers from feelings of dissatisfaction in your life and is tired of letting it course through the days in autopilot, this article is meant for you. If you are wondering what can possibly be done to lead a happy and fulfilling life, or if the question ‘why am I never satisfied?’ continuously plaguing you, please read on to learn about the secrets of leading a happy and fulfilled life.
You might be wondering whether there truly is a secret formula that might help you to lead a satisfied and happy life. The 10 secrets that I am going to share with you have been derived from a universal perspective and have been based upon the learning and insights that real people have garnered through their own life experiences. However, you cannot simply rely on the experiences of a few people to create universal theories of leading a satisfied life. These theories must be based on the experiences of thousands of people and must span across many generations in order to be something that might be considered as universal. Although a seemingly impossible task, the first steps towards achieving this goal has already been taken by Harvard University, whereby as many as 268 undergraduates have been part of a research study that has spanned over 75 years. This study also known as the Grant Study has been aimed at finding the answers to some of the most fundamental questions regarding life and figuring out what actually makes it fulfilling. The tenets that have been talked about in this article are based on findings of this study, but are also reflective of other day-to-day wisdom, that will help you lead a satisfied and fulfilling life.
Fulfillment can be attained only through love
If you are always thinking, ‘I’m not happy with my life’, have you ever stopped to consider if you have enough love around you, or if you lead, what people like to call a lonely life. According to the findings of the Grant Study, it has been surmised that love plays a pivotal role in providing fulfillment to a person’s life. George Valiant, a researcher in the Grant Study, established that life’s fulfillment and satisfaction is based upon two pillars. These two pillars were identified as love being the first one, and living a life that did not renounce love being the second one. The study further highlighted that a man may be successful, wealthy and full of health, but it does not truly mean that he is happy. Satisfaction and happiness are very much dependent on affection, love and support of loved ones and family, as well as the joy of being able to share the aforementioned achievements in life with these very people whom you love.
Challenges must be appreciated as they provide perspective
Challenges might seem like something unsavory to a lot of people, as it brings along with it tough and difficult times. It also reveals to you the limitations that you have and makes you feel insignificant. However, challenges should not be treated as something that inhibits you, but rather as something that allows you with a chance to grow. These moments would prove to be the greatest learning experiences in your life and give you a clearer perspective towards leading a life that is fulfilling and content. Challenges allow you to have a clearer perspective towards the priorities in your life, and in the journey towards perfection, it also allows you to eradicate those elements in your life that curb you from achieving growth and success. You must remember that challenges should always be met with an open mind, whereby you look forward to the opportunities that they present to you. Instead of embroiling in blame games and pulling yourself down further, focus on collecting all those important pieces that will help you rise up from the ashes like a phoenix.
Wealth, lust and power are reasons that might contribute to your feeling of ‘why am I never satisfied?’
Human desire and want is insatiable. The more you have the more you would want. This is very true when it comes to money, power or lust. Getting your hands on these tangibles will only make you want more of them and it will end up leading you to a life of dissatisfaction. If you truly want to know how to be content, you need to realize that pining for such materialistic possessions might only cause pain to you in the long run. According to the findings of the Grant Study, it has been clarified, that neither power, nor money results in you being happier or leading a fulfilled life. Although it is true that being successful in your career is important for having a sense of contentment with life, however, this is only a fraction of a much larger plethora of things that will actually make you happy. Although, a young man would argue about the importance of money and power, with experience and age it becomes clearer that despite having the two, they were not the key ingredients that led to happiness and fulfillment in one’s life.
Stop being concerned about what opinions others hold about you
The desire to be able to please others can be considered as one of the biggest hurdles that stop us from actually leading a fulfilled life. If you are always wondering ‘why am I never happy’, maybe it’s time that you focus on yourself rather than focusing on what others think about you. It is an inherent nature in human beings to try to please everyone around himself or herself. By putting so much emphasis and importance on the opinions of others, we end up changing our behavior in order to suit their whims. This ends up becoming a very unhealthy practice, whereby instead of pursuing things that would answer our question of how to be fulfilled, we end up doing things that we think other people expect of us. We start neglecting ourselves, in order to please other people. Therefore, it is important that you look deep into yourself and figure out what truly makes you happy. Remember, that despite your best efforts it is impossible to influence what others might think of you. Their preconceived notions shall always remain a priority. However, it is important how you look at yourself, because you can lie to the world, but lying to yourself is impossible. Therefore, in your quest in answering how to be fulfilled in life, give importance to how you look at yourself and go after things that make you feel fulfilled and satisfied.
Fulfillment is something that comes from within
A large number of people try searching for meaning and reasons in the outside world to help make themselves feel satisfied and fulfilled. However, the answer to how to be content is not there in the outside world and nothing out there can make you feel satisfied unless you are happy from within. In this made chase for fulfillment we neglect our own selves and try looking for external sources of entertainment, which although capable of keeping us cajoled for a while are not sustainable and will fade to provide satisfaction after a while. It needs to be realized that true happiness comes from yourself and you and only you are capable of keeping yourself happy. Once you are truly happy from within, you’d realize that it becomes much easier to discover things that make you satisfied and fulfilled.
Sometimes it is best to let things go
Facing disappointment, heartbreak and failure in life are events that can truly have a devastating impact on your life. It can become very difficult to organize and recoup. However, although a very painful and uncomfortable moment in life, it allows you the opportunity to let go of things that impact your life in a negative manner, and encourages you to discard the unbeneficial aspects and make space for something new that will prove to be fulfilling. Carrying a baggage throughout life will only slow you down, and if the thought, ‘I’m not happy with my life’ is a constant reminder going through your head, maybe it is time to let go of those painful memories and start looking at this beautiful thing called life with fresh eyes. Let things go and start growing by making space for those that are new.
Self-reflection, mindfulness and awareness are important aspects of living a fulfilled and satisfied life
In you are mindful of yourself; it will allow you to cultivate a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from within yourself. Mindfulness allows you to become acquainted with who you truly are. This coupled with self-reflection will help you in finding meaning to the experiences that you have had in your life, bringing you much closer to yourself. Practicing meditation or being attentive to the life you are leading in the present are great ways of achieving such a higher state of mind. If you take the time to reflect upon the actions that you have made in the past or the experiences that you have had, you will notice that you are able to figure out set patterns in your behavior, realize your own mistakes and make improvements towards becoming a better human being; a trait that is very important to be able to live a satisfied and fulfilled life.
Try to add joy to the lives of other people
Yes, it is true that true happiness and fulfillment comes from making your own self happy and satisfied, but the impact that helping others might have on your life should never be underestimated. Helping others and seeing them get back up in life contains in itself a sense of joy and gratification that is unparalleled. Helping others might seem like a waste of time when you yourself are not happy, but human happiness and their psychological wellbeing is a lot dependent on compassionate behavior and empathy for the fellow human being. In the words of Robin Williams, “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.”
Prioritize the important before the urgent
In the words of Stephen Covey, we tend to spend most of our time trying to pursue and complete things that are urgent but not really important. For example, waking up and checking our emails. This ends up making us put our lives on a reactive, instead of a proactive mode. One needs to realize that an email is after all nothing but a database that contains the agendas of other people. People who are truly happy, give priority to things that are not really urgent but important. These may include reading a book, exercising in the morning, writing journals, setting goals for the week, spending quality time with friends and family. Remember what you can do tomorrow you must do today, and what you can do today, you must do right now. It is the truth towards reaching true satisfaction in life. Leaving things for tomorrow would only end up delaying them and may never even be completed.
Let go of the good and strive for the best
A lot of people go after things that look attractive to them but might not be in alignment with what they truly want in life. They would simply agree to an opportunity since it is once in a lifetime offer, but end up compromising their work-life balance, sanity and freedom, for a few extra bucks. However, people who are truly happy prioritize freedom over security. They know what they truly want in life and what is best for them, although it might be quite different from a good opportunity that they could have landed. It is important to prioritize your own wants and needs over things that will might seem attractive and lucrative.
Therefore, if you are looking for ways to be satisfied in your life, try inculcating the aforementioned philosophies and tricks into your life. Happy people always live in the present, and value the moments that are spent with people they love and those which matter most. The important, essential and compassionate things in life fall first in their list of things to do in life. Happy people are aware of themselves, are also aware of the problems that others might be facing, and help improve their quality of life. The trick to being truly satisfied, fulfilled and happy in life is to know the difference between what is good for you and what is best for you.