It’s cliche to bring Kenny Rogers into this, but c’mon. We all know that beard has magic powers.
I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to people about what makes them happy. Career-wise, personal life-wise, and just in general. I’ve talked to people in their twenties and thirties, mostly. So, yeah, it’s a bit skewed. But common themes rose to the top and I think they’re valuable at all phases of life. The biggest takeaway? Knowing when to exit a situation that is no longer satisfying, inspiring, comfortable, fulfilling, or pleasant has been key to maintaining their level of happiness.
Think about it. Often, we put ourselves in situations that no longer make us happy and stay there because of our desire to be responsible or stable. But what is at stake when we no longer are motivated to do our best for ourselves? Once the desire for a great output wanes, so does the actual output. That applies to relationships, work, and school equally. “I dislike my job, but I need the money”, “I’m staying with her because she’s been abandoned before and I don’t want to hurt her”, “Whatever, let’s just get this project done so it’s over with.” You’ve said at least one of those, right? Yeah. We all have.
I challenge you to ask yourself a few questions when you’re not sure if you’re being fulfilled:
- Am I enjoying this task more than I’m not?
- Am I enjoying the people I’m surrounded by?
- Do the people that surround me make me feel motivated to be better?
- Am I learning something new?
- Is this task something I would do if I did not have to?
- Do I feel proud of the output from this task?
- In a year, would I be proud of the work I’m doing right now?
- In two years, do I see myself doing this and being satisfied?
- Is there a chance to better myself through this task/job/relationship?
- Do I feel respected and needed?
- Am I growing?
- Does this environment make me feel safe, embraced, and trusted?
This isn’t scientific and I’m not a professional. But really evaluate your answers to the above. If you’re not fulfilled in a major aspect of your life, the others will suffer too. Always push yourself to be the best you. Surround yourself with people that want the best for you too. Although nothing is perfect, feel fulfilled as often as possible. And if you’re not more often than you are, it’s probably time to make some changes.