Seek To Add Value To Your World

I speak with readers and writers throughout the week and it is so gratifying to talk and converse and meet so many different types of people.  Meeting people is my favorite aspect of what I do.  One of the most common questions that is put to me is “How do I live a fulfilled life?” 

And as I was sitting in the kitchen eating lunch the answer came to me with sudden clarity.

Most people seek fulfillment or seek to live a fulfilled life.  And this fulfillment desire is one of selfishness.  The truth in fulfillment is exactly the opposite of what most people think.

I propose the idea that in order to be fulfilled one must learn to do for others and focus less on self.

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There exists a truth in every human being, a true self, if you will.  I am talking about the You that speaks during the honest, soul emptying moments with friends or therapists, not the You that plays the part in the movie called Your Life.

Not the You that is always “fine” or the You that envies, lusts, desires, yearns, hates, etc.  This You looks to the outside world and desires for material things.  This You wants things, success, acceptance, love.  This You focuses on itself and its needs, wants, desires; it is selfish.

My belief is that until you put the self-focused You in its place and begin living a life focused on adding value to the world around you, you will not experience any type of true fulfillment.  You must convert your thinking to that of a servant.  You must begin to help others.  You must deny yourself and devote your life in some way to helping, giving, loving others above yourself.

Until this happens you will continue to seek that which you cannot have.

Some use the word happiness, but I refuse to use this word.  Happiness refers to an emotion and is not a state of being.  Happiness comes and happiness goes.  (I have written in the past about my views on happiness, Stop Trying to Be Happy.) Fulfillment is the objective, as it is unaffected by our mood or emotional state.  I can be sad that someone dies, but still live a fulfilled life.  I can be angry that someone has stolen my car, yet still be fulfilled.

Fulfillment can only be found when you step out of focusing on self and step into a world of focusing on others.  Find a way to add value to your world.  Volunteer your time at a local nursing home.  Sign up to be a Big Brother or Big Sister.  Register to be a driver for Meals on Wheels.  Serve lunch at the homeless shelter.  Volunteer to sweep the floors at the Battered Women’s Shelter.

Take your life and devote it to helping.

When you find a way to add value to the world around you,  you will no longer need to find fulfillment, fulfillment will find you.

17 thoughts on “Seek To Add Value To Your World

  1. Couldn’t agree with this more. My mother-in-law used to say, “It’s not about you”, in response to “the meaning of life” questions or discussions. Serving, helping those in need, paying it forward are the keys to fulfillment, not the new car or McMansion. Great post! 😃👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you that a fulfilled life is one that includes many others because how are we to learn the many gifts in the world if we are alone? However, I have to say that I don’t agree that happiness is only an emotion. In my life it has been a chosen state of being, one that I choose to remain in. Happiness can prevail =)

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    • What about when you are sad? Happiness is not present during sadness or anger. Happiness is an emotion by definition, but the argument is one of semantics. People are accustomed to using the word happiness to infer fulfillment. If so I am okay with that too.

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  3. An admirable recitation on the difference between fulfillment in your life through others and fulfilling yourself. Very inspiring and down-to-earth. I live by the motto, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” And I, like you, have lived those words. It isn’t the end of the world when you lose the use of an arm or leg or two. It may seem like it for a while, but you learn to rise above the handicap, perhaps kicking and screaming the whole way, but you do realize there is more to life if you just seek fulfillment in other ways. The spirit of the Universe will guide you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I volunteer my time writing articles for Bipolar Disorder on major blogs. I find that fulfilling and it gives me something to do even though I am disabled. I never thought doing something for free could be so fulfilling, but I survived my suicide attempt to do something worthwhile with my life and I think this might be it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely agree with this! And in trying to help other people, I have to remind myself to be careful of my motives. It is not about getting thanks in return or getting recognition. It is about helping solely for the sake of that person. Hard to do sometimes but….so worth it! Thank you for your insightful post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Is It Time for You to Find Your Inner Spectacular? | Dream Big, Dream Often

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