6 Ways to Achieve Career Success and Personal Fulfillment
“What is it we are questing for? It is the fulfillment of that which is potential in each of us. Questing for it is not an ego trip; it is an adventure to bring into fulfillment your gift to the world, which is yourself. There is nothing you can do that’s more important than being fulfilled.”
Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss
You’re a high achiever. You’ve done a lot of things right. You’ve spent your entire life up to this point checking a lot of boxes, yet there’s one box that remains unchecked. That’s the “box” of fulfillment (not really a box, but you get it).
What good is success if you’re not happy?
Personal fulfillment can be defined as “your direct guide to what really matters in life.” Personal fulfillment is a journey, not a destination. Again, not a box. And it is, well, personal. What is fulfilling to you may not look the same for another. Personal fulfillment is your ability to tap into yourself and find all that you’re capable of, all that matters, and the way you want to show up in the world. Then live that. A personally fulfilling life is a life of love, meaning and purpose, joy, peace, growth and prosperity, and gratitude.
Of course you want career success and personal fulfillment. We all do. And I believe you can have both. Your quest is a noble one, with a belief embedded that career success and personal fulfillment can coexist.
Here are 6 really awesome ways to get you started on this exciting journey.
1. Clarify Your Values
Your values shape your beliefs and thoughts and guide your actions. They show the world what matters most to you, how you intend to live, and how you want to be remembered. When you live in alignment with your core values, you will make career decisions based on what’s right for you, and you will experience peace and fulfillment.
2. Redefine success on your terms
Getting clear on what success means to you versus accepting someone else’s definition is essential for living at the nexus of career success and personal fulfillment. In his book, Dark Horse: Achieving Success Through the Pursuit of Fulfillment, author and Harvard professor, Todd Rose, points out that understanding what motivates us and being willing to take the road less traveled leads us to a life of fulfillment.
3. Invest in Personal Development
Personal fulfillment comes when you engage in self-discovery and development. Referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he described self-actualization as becoming all that one can be. By exploring your interests, cultivating your gifts and talents, and committing to lifelong learning, you are likely to experience even greater success in your career and overall satisfaction in life.
4. Serve others
When we feel connected to others, we understand that who we are and what we do matters. We can be a force for good through our service to others. Studies show that prosocial actions are associated with a sense of togetherness and compassion for the plight of others. Robert Ingersoll’s quote, “We rise by lifting others” is a reminder that when you serve others, you not only improve their lives, you enhance your own.
5. Set Daring and Meaningful Goals
As a high achiever, you’re no stranger to goal setting. Having progressively challenging goals and achieving them is what lights you up. But, not just any goals; meaningful goals lead to fulfillment. It’s true that achieving meaningful goals that stretch you beyond what’s comfortable also has multiple benefits. You can increase competence and self-confidence, gain motivation and feelings of purpose, and feel happier and more satisfied.
6. Practice Gratitude
Consider it a privilege to have the capacity to maximize your life and experience career success and personal fulfillment. When you practice gratitude consistently, you are able to maneuver through adversity more effectively, rise above negativity and turn obstacles into opportunities. Melody Beattie’s quote sums it up: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.”
Through a clear set of values, definition of success that reflects your values and motivations, personal development, service to others, daring and meaningful goals, and gratitude, you can make major moves toward achieving what most people want in life, career success and personal fulfillment.