Monthly Mantra: October 2021

October 1, 2021




There is no shortcut or substitute for fulfillment, though that doesn’t prevent us from trying.

It doesn’t help that marketers are in our ears, constantly toying with us by showing us images of people who seemingly have it all, posing with their product.

“Surely, I must be able to buy this feeling,” we think. “This skincare product will get me there. If that doesn’t work, this handbag will tell the world I have means, and that will fill me up. If that fails, I’ll get a dog. A fancy sounding job. A luxury car!”

Maybe those things work, for a minute.

But the novelty wears off. The car is nice and driving it is a thrill, but that doesn’t affect how you really feel. The handbag gets scuffed, and the skincare product fails to change your life, even if it does improve your skin, and the dog is a loyal companion, but even that isn’t enough to make you feel like your life matters.

When the purchase is complete, the dopamine decreases, and the thrill subsides, those nagging needs within you remain: the need to feel uniquely useful. The need to feel tied to a tribe.

The fulfillment of those needs is earned through hard work and real effort. It comes through showing up with positive energy, being present to people and life around you, and being focused on giving more than taking.

It is not enough to dutifully clock into a job and collect a paycheck. That may keep you fed, but it won’t necessarily fill you up. To feel fulfilled in a career, it is essential that you bring your full attention and positivity to your work.

It is not enough (for most people) to have a surface-level chat with any old acquaintance. That may keep your banter sharp, but it probably won’t make you feel grounded or understood. Fulfillment in relationships comes through honest, vulnerable conversations with those you trust.

Fulfillment is about inhabiting your whole, true, weird self. Do work that calls to you. Maintain friendships that feel like light to you. Seek out experiences that interest you.

To be fulfilled, choose purposefully. Give your talents happily. Listen closely to what others share with you. Be generous with the energy you bring to your circumstances.


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