Have you jumped from one goal to another in recent years? Have you often imagined in the past how you will finally find the right job, the right partner, the right apartment and then, YES then, you will have a full life?
But probably that didn’t work out as well as you probably hoped, right? Because goals are a good source of motivation, but once we achieve them and the short-term rush of happiness is over, we actually feel the same as before. True fulfillment somehow fails to materialize this way!
Studies also show this: people who won the lottery or got married were just as happy or unhappy a year after the “life-changing” event as they were before. So the key to a fulfilled or more fulfilling life is not goals, but something else. What that is, of course, you’ll learn in this article.
What characterizes a fulfilled life in the first place?
When you ask yourself what a fulfilling life is, the classic answers naturally come to mind. Earning money, starting a family, traveling, having an exciting job, becoming a grandparent, having friends, and so on.
These dreams do indeed apply to most of us. However, the devil is in the details. After all, what exactly kind of job will not only keep us happy, but also pay well into retirement and also be secure in the long term?
And do you really need to emulate the people on Instagram who spend months backpacking through Southeast Asia? Or wouldn’t you perhaps be much happier with a leisurely cycling vacation on the Moselle?
Values as a compass for a fulfilled life
First of all, we need to stop asking ourselves what the fulfilled life looks like in general. Instead, it is much more important to ask what your fulfilled life can/should look like. As a rough guide, your values are best suited for this.
By values we don’t mean liver values, but everything that you personally consider valuable. This can be, for example, aesthetics, if it is important to you to look good and you simply enjoy making yourself and your environment visually appealing. Values are a good advisor because they are often formed in childhood and can therefore be relatively stable, but still flexible if desired.
At ChainlessLIFE, for example, we put freedom, health and self-realization at the top of our list of values. Even though our site, ourselves and our lives have taken many new paths in recent years, we have always been able to find ourselves in these values with all our actions.
In the following 9 tips we will give you ideas & food for thought on how to reflect these values so that you too can create and lead a fulfilling life.
9 Tips to lead a fulfilled life
Every person is individual and therefore what fulfills a person is a very personal question. Therefore, we would like to offer you the following 9 tips as suggestions rather than a blanket solution. So pick out what you like and try it out.
Tip 1: Start writing a diary (Daily Journal)
Diary writing is a good way to reflect on what is important to you in life and who you are. Through daily diary writing you can also recognize patterns in your thinking and behavior. For example, are you always upset with your boss or your colleagues? Then maybe your job or your company is not good for you.
Or you simply don’t feel comfortable in your job and need to change something in your daily work routine or your tasks. When writing a diary, you can reflect daily on what made you happy or unhappy today. It is important that you really write several times a week.
Because often it is our bad habits or unhealthy structures in our lives that make us unhappy. We can only recognize them when we take a step back from our lives and read old diary entries, for example. Only then do we recognize our mistakes and can correct them in order to lead a fulfilled life.
Tip 2: Get into the flow regularly
Flow is a state in which you are completely absorbed in your activity. You are completely at peace with yourself and forget time and space. Flow is also seen as a rush of happiness.
The best time to get into flow is when you have to fulfill a clearly defined task whose requirements you can just about meet. For example, we regularly get into flow when writing our blog articles.
But you can also get into flow while cleaning out your closet or filing bills. Often sports are a good way to get into flow. Or grab an exciting book (check the Booklist mindfood with great books).
Some even say that flow is all you need for a fulfilled life. Because this complete absorption in the moment is the key to happiness. Get into the flow and decide for yourself! If you agree, then the consequence is to align your life in such a way that you get into the flow as often as possible.
Tip 3: Get out of your comfort zone regularly
While comfort is important in life to be content, we can best enjoy our comfort zone if we leave it once in a while. By doing so, we also expand our comfort zone and are then better able to deal with difficulties in our lives because we are less overwhelmed by them.
In addition, outside your comfort zone are sometimes the things that make your life that little bit more fulfilling. This can be a job that you don’t think you can handle at first. Or you make wonderful friends by leaving your comfort zone and reaching out to new people.
Tip 4: Practice gratitude more often
Often happiness is right in front of us. We already have so much good in life, but because we see it every day, we eventually stop seeing it. Conscious gratitude is the antidote here, so that we don’t take our happiness for granted.
Consciously take time at least once a day to remind yourself of what you are grateful for. These can be big things, like your health or your home. But they can also be small things, like your favorite chocolates or the beauty of the raindrops on your window.
Why are you so grateful for the raindrops and your chocolate? Maybe because you are a pleasure person who loves nature? When you consider the reasons why things make you happy, then you understand your values better. And if you understand your values better, then you can bring more of these values that make you happy into your life.
For example, for your next trip you could plan a trip to South America where you can visit cocoa plantations to enjoy more nature and chocolate.
Tip 5: Ask yourself lots of questions
There are two ways in which questions help you to live a fulfilled life. First, you can ask yourself questions and reflect on your values and what makes you happy. You have already received some suggestions for this.
On the other hand, you can ask your fellow human beings questions. By doing so, you build deeper relationships and really get to know these people. Since, according to a Harvard study, our relationships have the greatest influence on our happiness in life, questions are a good way to build deeper relationships.
Tip 6: Nurture your relationships
It is also important to nurture your relationships. Don’t take your friendships and family for granted. Stay in touch with old acquaintances. Jump over your shadow and get in touch with those who rarely contact you.
However, this is not about half-hearted contact once in a blue moon, but honest interest. So before you write to people, reflect on how you feel about that person.
If you have some toxic relationships that always make you feel uncomfortable, then you can safely delete these contacts. The contacts that really give you something positive count all the more.
Tip 7: Learn to meditate
When meditating you are in the here and now. It is moment full of peace and without tasks and responsibilities. In meditation you can just be without doing anything. Similar to flow, you could probably live a completely fulfilled life if you just put yourself in a meditative/relaxed state often enough during the day to train your mindfulness.
Tip 8: Keep fit and healthy
A full life does not necessarily have to be a long life. But it is still important to have as much energy as possible and to feel good in your body. You don’t have to be able to run a triathlon, don’t worry!
Even with a little exercise you can do something good for your body – and your mind. You’ll get more endorphins, more motivation, more well-being. You really don’t have to set the bar high. Maybe you just start with small walks or small muscle exercises.
Tip 9: Create your perfect day (morning routine)
As we said at the beginning, happiness is not found in achieving goals. Rather, we find happiness in the small beauties of everyday life or in the flow state. So think about how you can bring more flow and gratitude into your day.
Do you want to work more with other people? Then see if you can align your work accordingly. Do you want to enjoy more healthy and delicious food? Then celebrate cooking as your leisure activity. Do you want to do more good? Then get involved in a charity organization. Reflect on what is important to you in life – and then bring more of it into your life.
A fulfilled life requires courage & discipline
One thing is for sure: There is no one-size-fits-all solution for a fulfilled life! You must and may find your own, very personal way to happiness and fulfillment. This can sometimes require a lot of courage and discipline, because you may be afraid of doing something wrong or it is not easy to reach the goal in front of your eyes. Ultimately, however, you must always remind yourself that the only mistake would be not to try!