| This post initially appeared at Startoverinlife.com |
| First published on Feb 19, 2015 @ 09:38 |
When I was writing this article, I was wondering if I should have titled this as, “Why you should invest for the future – Part III“…
However, this didn’t really seem to fit as part of a trilogy but rather a topic by itself…So, as the title of the article suggests, this has everything to do about leading a satisfying life.
I mentioned how long-term activities which require a lot of time, effort and sacrifice leads to a feeling of happiness and satisfaction in life, upon achieving and succeeding at them.
There is a bit more to the whole feeling of satisfaction though.
This feeling of ‘satisfaction’ can only come from things which are ‘fulfilling’ and not ‘exciting’.
So what’s the difference?
Let’s take a quick look at the two definitions just to clarify the meanings of the two terms. These were the definitions that appeared when I entered the search terms on Google…
- Fulfillment: The achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted.
- Excitement: A feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness.
If you observe the ‘time’ part of the two definitions, you will see that the first one relates to something that is of a longer nature while the second one relates to a very short time frame. And if you think about it that way, you will notice a few things…
Fulfillment, as a result of something that you have accomplished will give you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that will last you a lifetime. You can always go back to those nostalgic times where you spent your time learning and working and building and what not…and those memories will give you that inner peace of having got something ‘done’. It’s like happiness on demand, that will last you a lifetime.
Think about it. Look back at something that you have accomplished in life (losing body fat, getting an excellent exam score, getting that amazing business deal done…), something that is very profound and that which would make you proud of to show off as ‘proof’ of your success. It gives you a certain feeling that I really have no words for.
At the same time, excitement gives you only a momentary pleasure or at most, something that would last for maybe a few days or perhaps weeks. Beyond that, it just wanes and fades away into an insignificant piece of memory.
Again, think about it. I’ll give you a great example. I’m sure that you would have eaten some really delicious junk food atleast at SOME point of your life. When you think about it, the moment of anticipating for the food and during it’s consumption, you would have felt really excited; your mouth is salivating, your are feeling restless, your taste buds are having the time of their lives…but then again, after it’s all over and you get back to your everyday life, that ‘excitement’ fades away. Sure, you can always ‘recollect’ the experience and it will certainly put a smile on your face, but it won’t give you that feeling of satisfaction that you would get from doing something that gave you fulfillment.
You might wonder and ask me right now,
“Then should I not seek excitement at all?”
The key to answering this question is balance.
You need not become a hard-core discipline Nazi focusing only on long-term goals and throwing away your everyday life to the dogs, just to achieve them.
Prioritize on your long term goals and if need be, sacrifice on the short-term stuff (which gets you excited…).
Life is after all, meant to be LIVED.
But as a general rule, give more priority to fulfillment and not excitement.
Fulfillment should be your purpose in life and excitement should fill up all those bits and pieces of everyday life just to keep your mood up and your depression down…and most importantly, to avoid getting stuck in a rut and a routine.
In other words, life without excitement sucks and we are after all humans; not machines. Maybe some people can live their whole lives without any excitement but I certainly CAN’T.
However, I am willing to sacrifice it whenever the need maybe to achieve something in life which requires time and effort.
One word of advice when it comes to seeking excitement is this…
DON’T let the media influence you into seeking excitement.
Seek excitement to spice up your life and make it more colorful; not because the idiot box tells you that you must buy, indulge and celebrate because somebody out there wants what you have in your wallet.
We’ve seen it plenty of times, right? We get these nice offers, discounts, coupons, shopping festivals, end of season sales and what not, which induce us into a state of actively seeking excitement without bothering if it will impact our lives in any way (as in say, bankruptcy, obesity…).
This will go a long way in having a healthy dose of excitement without pushing yourself over the edge.
The last question here is probably this one…
“How do I know if something will give me fulfillment or excitement?”
This one is really a no-brainer. It’s very simple. As a general rule of thumb,
If something is short-term in nature, it’s most likely going to give you excitement.
If something is long-term in nature, it’s most likely going to give you fulfillment.
To summarized all of this in one simple statement…
To lead a satisfying life, seek fulfillment in life and not excitement!