A More Fulfilling Approach to Fulfillment
A More Fulfilling Approach to Fulfillment
How do you create a fulfilling life? Is fulfillment about achieving goals or desires? Or should personal fulfillment be about a way of living?
Today, I share a new approach to creating a fulfilling life. An approach rooted in less hustling and more peace and ease.
A New Approach to Fulfillment
Today I’m talking about my new approach to fulfillment, called conscious creation. I am finding this to be an incredibly hard, but rewarding approach to my career, my business, and my life that’s taken some of the pressure off. I want to share it with you today in hopes that it sparks some curiosity. Maybe you’ll define a different approach for yourself. No matter what, I hope this is helpful for you but also for me.
For much of my adult life, I used to think fulfillment was about the achievement of goals and desires. Figure out what values are important to me. Determine the goals and desires that align with those values. And set out to achieve those goals and desires.
Before I started Chantiluke, I considered which values were important to me. Adventure was an important value. Learning and growth were important values. More important than fear, comparison, and playing things small to not be judged by other people. I started a business because I wanted to express the values of adventure, learning, and growth. Business started, goal achieved. Yes, I felt a sense of fulfillment.
But everything, everything metabolizes as Debbie Milman says. So the goal of starting a business, even one that aligned with my values, no longer fulfills me.
If fulfillment is about achieving desires, I have to keep achieving desires to feel fulfilled. This may seem exciting to you but it’s not to me. Because my desires constantly change and I’m never totally satisfied. I don’t say that in a derogatory sense but I just think it is human nature to want more than we have.
I’m trying a new approach to fulfillment. Rather than fulfillment being about achieving desires, even if those desires are rooted in my values. Rather than fulfillment being about how I achieve those desires, I’m looking at fulfillment in a new way.
I think fulfillment is about conscious creation. When I say conscious creation I mean creating my experience consciously. In accordance with two very basic, universal values: love and peace.
In episode 61, I argued that creativity is at the heart of everything that we do. To be alive means to create. Our ultimate act of creation is our perception of reality. We create our perception of reality all the damn time, we cannot help but to do it. The way we perceive reality is exactly how we experience our lives. If your perception of reality, which is really just to say your thoughts, are wrapped up in fear and anguish, your experience of the thing we call your life will be a testament to fear and anguish. If your perception of reality, aka your thoughts, are rooted in love and peace, your experience of life will be a testament to love and peace.
Since our perception of reality is created by us and what we create determines our experience of life, then the question of how to live a fulfilling life might just be about creating our experiences consciously. The formula works like this: We create. We create our perception of reality. Our perception of reality determines our experience. If we want a fulfilling experience, then we must perceive fulfillment. We must create fulfillment.
Conscious creation is essential to creating fulfillment. Conscious creation is not about consciously choosing to pursue goals or desires that aligned with your values. Conscious creation is something much more simple and relaxed: Choose to approach our lives consciously, through love and peace.
Instead of striving to manipulate reality to suit our desires (pursuing goals), maybe we can be a bit more generous and open to reality. Maybe we can say “This might be good too” and accept what is available to us right now. Here’s a perfect example and a truly meaningful teaching moment for me:
The other day, my husband and I had plans to do something on Labor Day weekend. Initially it was to go up to San Antonio, to a mini safari that’s up there. Then I suggested we go somewhere closer, to go to some botanical gardens. It’s Saturday morning and my husband says “Would you go to the Natural Science Museum, they’re having this special on GroupOn.”
My first reaction was to say no. I wanted to go to the botanical gardens. I thought, in my mind, I want to have a fun Saturday, I can only have a fun Saturday if I go to the botanical gardens. Then, I relaxed a bit and thought “Let’s just say yes and see what happens.” So I said sure. Still feeling a twinge of disappointment and quite honestly a bit of panic. What if I was bored out of my mind? What would I do then?! Surprisingly, I had a blast! I loved being at the museum with my husband. We laughed, joked, felt like two big kids in there. I had a choice in that moment: Make things go my way OR go with the way things are. See if I could still feel satisfied without dictating and striving for what I want.
Conscious creation means choosing to see my experience through a different set of lenses. Not lenses of judgement “This is good, this is bad.” But a set of lenses of openness “This is. This is. This is.”
This does not mean I don’t have desires, ya’ll I’m human. I don’t think there is ridding ourselves of our biology. This also doesn’t mean I don’t have goals. Instead, I see conscious creation as taking my judgements about what should or should not happen in my life a little less seriously. To choose being at peace over getting what I want, no matter the cost.
Conscious creation feels like a more flexible approach to personal fulfillment, no matter the specific area of our lives, especially our careers. In my career, which is currently running a business, I still have the aspiration to make my living running my business. But I consciously choose to make this experience be about love and peace more than it is about winning. What this means in practical terms is choosing not to freak out when things don’t sell. When I feel like my metrics aren’t growing. I’m not shooting for perfection. Rather, I’m allowing myself to react and when I am conscious of my reaction, I ask myself, if the perspective I’ve adopted feels like peace or love. If not, I have to bring myself back to the present. That’s choosing to create love and peace in my life.
I love conscious creation because I don’t have to depend on circumstances to keep me feeling at peace. I still have to be patient enough with myself to calm my brain down, to settle my spirit. But I can settle my spirit at anytime, it’s always available.
More importantly, I love conscious creation because it allows me to feel at peace. I am shocked to actually believe that I want peace over success. I never thought I would even believe peace is more desirable than success. I don’t want you listening to this thinking Danielle’s enlightened or perfect. I am constantly getting attracted by shiny pennies and immediately going to grab them. What has changed from the past is that at some point in the grabbing, a little question pops into my head: “Does this feel like peace?”
I don’t want to win something at the cost of my peace of mind. I’ve been there, I’ve sold my peace of mind a million and one times, and it never ever feels good. I always feel like the exchange is unequal. Conscious creation forces me to reckon with the degree to which I’m trading peace for anything else. Conscious creation helps steer me back to letting love guide me more than fear. And that’s what I’ve always wanted ultimately.
What is your approach to fulfillment? Is it about achieving goals or desires? Or do you see fulfillment as a way of living?
intro and outro music: danosongs.com
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