Have you ever thought about how to live a fulfilling life?
Perhaps you have a vision in your mind of what this might look like. Perhaps it’s something you’re already striving for. Or perhaps the idea of seeking fulfilment leaves you feeling confused and unsure.
Because what does it really mean to live a more fulfilling life? And how do we know what will really bring us fulfilment?
We may even wonder if living a fulfilling life is possible for us right now. So how can we figure out what our secret recipe for fulfilment is, whatever our circumstances are right now?
Well, in this article, you’ll find some practical advice to help you figure out what a fulfilling life looks like for you. And, most importantly, how to live it, and live it right now!
What does a fulfilling life mean?
So what does it mean to live a fulfilling life?
Well, for each of us this is going to be different. To be fulfilled in life we need to understand our own purpose and values. Our own ‘why’ for living.
Fulfilment comes when we understand what motivates us. When we are focusing our time and energy on what matters most to us.
Living a fulfilling life is so much more than feeling happy in the moment. A fulfilling life is ultimately about meaning. Having a fulfilling life means finding deep satisfaction in what you do.
It’s about having a sense that you are being true to yourself as you go about your days. It is about being in the moment and noticing the opportunities for fulfilment all around you.
We can’t choose every aspect of our lives. For all of us, there are challenges to overcome. But by keeping our focus on living a fulfilling life we can draw from each moment the best that life has for us.
So how do we live a fulfilling life? Here are some tips to get you started.
How to live a fulfilling life
A fulfilling life will look different for each of us. Living a fulfilling life isn’t necessarily about changing your circumstances. Though there may be some changes you decide to make.
Leading a fulfilling life is as much about your attitude to life as it is your circumstances. And having a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives can make even the most challenging times easier to manage.
For each of us, we need to discover our own secret recipe for fulfilment. One that helps us to find what is meaningful to us, what makes us feel good and what fits with our values. But there are some principles that can help us all.
Here are some suggestions to help you find your way towards meaning and fulfilment, whatever your circumstances.
Make your priorities your actual priority
It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and to lose sight of our priorities. We all need regular opportunities to check in with ourselves and to keep on track. To see if the way we spend our time really matches our priorities.
Looking more closely at how we spend our days, and holding this up against what is really important to us, can be eye-opening. But this work of discovery is not about beating ourselves up.
Instead, try to see it as an opportunity. If you see a mismatch between how you spend your time and what would really fulfil you then you are already halfway towards living a more fulfilling life.
Now you have a sense of what would bring you more fulfilment you can begin to make small, steady changes to make it happen.
This week try to make sure that what is most important to you features on your to-do list as often as what is urgent.
It’s so easy for what is really important to get crowded out of our to-do lists, our diaries and our lives.
Find meaning no matter what you do
As we think more about how to live a fulfilling life, we might begin to question if fulfilment is possible where we are right now. Do we need to suddenly switch careers to humanitarian work or launch a world-changing side business?
Perhaps changing jobs is the right thing for you or that business is where you’re meant to be. But making drastic changes isn’t a requirement for finding fulfilment in your life.
Fulfilment can be found in any job. It can be found where you are right now. Getting clear on your values can help you whatever your circumstances to make your work more fulfilling today.
Perhaps you can shift your role to include more aspects that give you that sense of purpose? Or perhaps, as you reflect on your values, you will see your job in a different light.
If you need a little more help thinking through these ideas, and how you can find more fulfilment at work, then do check out The Ultimate Guide to Meaning at Work on YouTube.
Lower your expectations
It might seem counterintuitive but another way to live a fulfilling life might be to lower your expectations! This doesn’t mean you need to cast off your standards. It simply means that expecting perfection in every situation can actually make us feel less fulfilled in our lives.
If we have impossibly high expectations, then life can end up as a series of disappointments. Instead of enjoying what is happening, we can find ourselves focusing on what we wish was happening instead.
An important part of living a fulfilling life is to be in the moment. When we accept life isn’t perfect, we can open ourselves up to all the good things that are happening right now.
Opportunities for a more fulfilling life may already be all around us but our unrealistic expectations are hiding them from our view.
If this feels like something it would help you to work on, then have a look at this video on The Key to Happiness for Perfectionists (like me!)
Make time for gratitude
Living a fulfilling life is about how we view the life we already have. Have we stopped noticing the things that used to bring us joy?
What’s around us all the time can easily fade into the background. That’s natural. But when we stop noticing the good things we miss opportunities to feel fulfilled in life.
Practices like taking time to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life can send our sense of fulfilment soaring.
There are lots of ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and doing so can make a big difference to our sense of fulfilment in life.
Develop a good relationship with yourself
It’s difficult to feel truly fulfilled in life if we’re struggling with our relationship with ourselves.
Often in life, we put so much of our energy into relationships with other people. We know these relationships are important but what about our relationship with ourselves?
Living a fulfilling life means valuing and caring for ourselves. Fulfilment can be hard to come by when we feel depleted or when we are struggling with negative self-talk.
To feel truly fulfilled we need to have a healthy relationship with ourselves. Here are some practical tips on having a healthy relationship with yourself – if this feels like an area to work on for you.
Surround yourself with ‘good’ people
Another important factor in living a fulfilling life are the relationships we surround ourselves with.
- Do you feel uplifted by the people around you?
- Are they spurring you on to your goals?
- Are the key relationships in your life a place where you make happy memories?
Sometimes we need to think carefully about the people we have around us. We need to make a conscious effort to develop those relationships that build us up.
Good relationships are an essential ingredient to feeling fulfilled in life.
If this feels like an area for you to work on then check out this article on how to surround yourself with good people.
It’s time to live a more fulfilled life
Living a fulfilling life is possible whatever your circumstances.
Taking the time to discover what gives you a sense of meaning and purpose is vital to finding fulfilment every day.
There may be shifts you need to make for life to feel more fulfilling. But living a fulfilling life is as much about attitude as it is circumstances.
Gratitude. Self-Relationship. Freedom from Perfection. All these things can make life feel so much more fulfilling.
And isn’t that what we are all searching for after all?