how nice of you to tune in. Today, we will talk about fulfilment in every part of your life, the personal and the professional. If you wish so, we are going to talk about happiness.
What does fulfilment mean?
But let us first get a clearer idea of how fulfilment is actually defined. Today, I won't go back to the great philosophers. Instead I'll try to define it myself.
Fulfilment is experienced when we wake up and look forward to every single of our days. Although we know that there are tasks on our list that we do not necessarily like, we still look forward to this day. As we get up, we tell ourselves a little mantra of motivation and feel a kind of certainty, which carries us and provides us with energy. This energy helps to meet challenges without fear but with optimism. This combination of self-confidence, lightness and optimism is what I would today call fulfilment.
In other words, if you arrive at a point in your life, when you are largely at easy with yourself and your life; a point where you feel you are gonna manage most of the tasks that come your way, then you are not too far away from your personal fulfilment any more.
If you ask yourself now: How do I create this cocktail of self-confidence, optimism and lightness for myself, I want to be honest. I do not have a recipe for you. Because I do not want to claim that I know the one path that is the right one for you. What I would like to do instead is share how I got to this point.
Let us first look at self-confidence.
We are living in a time in which everything is possible. But we are not always aware of it. Both in private and professional life, we often hear sentences like:
I can`t do that. I will never make it. This is too much.
Do you know those sentences? Reflect for a sec: How often do you hear those sentences? Where do you hear them? Who says them?
Piece of advice 1:
My first advice today: Consider a regular weekday in your life and skim through it from 8 in the morning till 8 in the evening. At which places and what times do you hear such sentences of I can't, I won't make it…Who expresses them?
If possible, try to bring some first mental and over time even physical distance between yourself and the places and people you have just seen. Create space for positive affirmations.
Have faith in yourself
I have always dreamed about starting my own business. But I was never very clear about the focus and offer of that business. I deeply sensed that my passions were travelling and writing. In addition, I wanted to support people in connecting with their true self and their love. At one moment in time, my focus suddenly shifted towards leadership and entrepreneurs and then it shifted further towards innovation and managing it.
I had created this mixture of diverse interests and ideas. On the one hand, I wanted to write, travel and support; on the other hand, I loved my research about startups and innovation. The biggest challenge I faced was getting an idea of how all of this could come together. But the more I thought about this, the less the combination made sense.
When I discovered my passion for yoga and mindfulness, I got totally lost. Suddenly, there was so much joy about doing something that gave me so much happiness, confidence and connection. But it also increased my confusion because it appeared to be so far away from all my other passions. Although that dream of starting my own company was still there, I just couldn`t see how my research on startups, innovation, and digital technologies could work together with mindfulness.
I was confused. The deeper I got into my yoga practice, the more I appeared to lose myself. Appeared, I must emphasize. Because over time, yoga actually taught me that it was okay to let go of adopted frames of reference. For me, this meant in the first place, letting go of my expectation of what founding a firm actually meant. According to my experiences in the startup scenes, I had learnt that starting up is about scaling, quick wins and exists with great financial profits. Yet, truthfully, I just wanted to found a company that would grow sustainably and provide a steady income for employees, who sincerely loved to work at that organization. The longer I thought about it, the more I dared to let go, the clearer became the picture of the company I wanted to establish. A first frame started to vanish and its disappearing was followed by a nice wave of calm and space to see myself. It made me recognize the things I am good at. Like most founders I am a workaholic. I just love putting my ideas onto paper and talking with others about them. Unfortunately, I wasn`t always aware that this could be a good thing. In fact, I thought being an workaholic is simply bad. But it isn´t necessarily as long as you know, when to take breaks. Once I allowed myself to see positive traits in me, I sometimes even dared to praise myself a little. I noticed, oh, I am actually a pretty creative person, I can write and I am a quick learner.. This helped to start walking on my path.
Piece of advice 2:
Tell yourself what you are good at. Praise yourself on a regular basis and for small achievements, too. Acknowledge what you already have accomplished in your life and take time to be happy about it.
Stop comparing yourself to others. You are your own person. You are a legion. You are great.
Cherish your dreams like sparkling stars
Since I have been a little child, I had the following quote by Goethe on my wall:
Our desires are forebodings of the abilities that lie within us, harbingers of what we will be able to accomplish. What we can and want is presented to our imagination beyond ourselves and in the future; we feel a yearning for what already resides inside us. Thus, a passionate anticipation transforms the truly possible into a reality.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When I wrote down this quote, I was not fully aware what it means. But even as a child the quote fascinated me because it motivated me to believe in my way. It basically said: One day it is all gonna make sense. Your dreams are your street signs. They are your intuitions and you already have what it takes to make them real.
You, too, have your dreams for a reason. They are your dreams because you can envision them. I am aware that we all get to points in life, when we doubt our intuition or just don`t know what they mean. Especially, when being faced with a huge variety of intuitions and dreams, it is not always easy to be clear of their meaning. In addition, dreams change – they evolve. Nothing is set in stone. Just as you evolve as a person and personality, your dreams evolve.
Having a solid level of optimism and connection with something bigger than myself helped me a lot. It also supported me in telling myself full of love and without pressure: You have a reason. Your life has meaning. You are special just like everyone else.
Maybe it is due to those mantras, maybe due to the yoga, maybe due to the combination; because some day the idea to combine yoga and mindfulness with innovation and entrepreneurship just hit me. Suddenly it all made sense. The more workshops on innovation I gave, the more I could see the barriers in people`s minds, which prevented them from being creative and able to imagine out of the box products, services and business models.
As this idea started to get clearer, I also noticed a fire to start spreading inside me. This just felt right.
Such a fire burns inside all of us. That is why I ask you: Please trust your energy. Trust your passion. Trust your dreams. They will guide you.
Piece of advice 3:
Ask yourself full of confidence. What is it you are dreaming about? What do you see? Where do you see yourself?
Take some time to explore those questions. Write down or paint what you see. Put the painting on your wall and dedicate a couple of minutes every day to look at it. If you want to add to it, go ahead. Have faith that you intuit and see those things for a reason. Your subconscious is guiding you. It will also provide you with the necessary imagination and creativity to make your wishes real.
Lightness – or accepting hard times as teachers
How does it feel, if you whisper to yourself: Believe in your dreams, dearest. You can do it. You are allowed to do it. You are allowed to spread your wings and fly.
That sounds great, right? Just by writing it, I feel how my heart starts to beat faster and butterflies begin to flutter in my belly. This might be how a combination of optimism and self-confidence feels like. Who knows, maybe those little signs can hint us towards a fulfilled life.
Right now, my life is pretty fulfilled. Last week I lay on a bench in a beautiful park somewhere in California and I saw the white clouds passing by. Suddenly, a little tear rolled down my cheek. It wasn`t a sad tear, but a tear of gratitude and happiness. I was so happy to be in this moment, to see this beautiful place and to be able to rest for a second in order to fully indulge.
In some way, I was happy to be part of it all. This is when the song “Happy” came to my mind. Because I am happy…
Do you want to be happy, too? So, be happy? Maybe dance a little right now, let your arms swirl around and shake your hips. Enjoy this moment.
When I talk about happiness, I feel its close connection with lightness and gratitude.
Lightness means to be able to laugh about yourself, to not take it all so seriously, to think a little less and to live a little more. It also means: Just do it. Let the questions come and let them go, trusting that the right answer will come to you when you need it.
To this day, my feeling of lightness fluctuates. The more packed and challenging my everyday life appears, the harder it gets to maintain the lightness. But lightness has become a guiding theme, which oftentimes helps me to not take challenges too seriously and to trust that there is a solution to every problem.
When you look back, you have certainly mastered many challenges during your life path, right? Somehow you always managed. People often mention that they grew the most after having gone through hard times. The challenges led them to a source of inner wisdom, which, in turn, helped to get new insights about themselves and life. Knowing and trusting that deep valleys in life are usually followed by wonderful outlooks from elevated mountaintops creates lightness. Lightness is further supported by the level of humbleness, which also comes with those deep experiences. Unfortunately, we tend to forget to look forward to those mountaintops when we are somewhere in the valley.
I confess, I occasionally forgot, too. Last year after finishing my PhD I drifted into a phase of burnout and depression, which left me in the dark valley for days. There was no light and no end of the tunnel. I felt trapped in the situation. Until one day, when I decided that it was enough and that I was strong enough to reach for my dreams. This passage was extremely tiring and sometimes I felt it would never end. But looking back at it now, I notice how much strength this dark phase still gives me. It taught me a lot about myself. And it still reminds me to fully embrace the good moments. I have also learned to laugh in moments when I actually just want to cry.
Piece of advice 4:
Do not take yourself and others too seriously. Create lightness in your heart and actions. Withdraw from your saving account of lightness when you need to. Especially, if a challenge comes your way, you can go back to that level of lightness. It might sometimes remind you that you do not always have to jump at every challenge right away. Let it sit for some time and wait, if the challenge might not dissolve by itself or if the answer to the solution might find you as you rest in that little gap of non-acting.
I truly believe that you can sometimes choose which valley you want to go through and which not.
This is strongly connected with my last advice today, which is: Allow yourself to say no and to show limits. In this respect, I relate saying no to both, challenges and people surrounding you. Social relationships do often come with duties. Some of these duties are easily done while others cost energy and we just fulfill those duties because we think we have to. Just a few examples: You have to go out on Friday to be able to tell great stories about your weekend on Monday. You have to see your one friend on a regular basis, although you actually dislike that you are hangover every time after you have met with them. You drink because they do, too, but you would much rather have some water. …
Ring a bell? Well, we all have those experiences of which we already know deep inside that we would much rather say no. A little additional suggestion: Surround yourself with people who can relate to your dreams and support you in making them true. Those people will celebrate your successes with you. They will be there for sharing your growth and mirror your challenges, if you need them to do so.
Finally: Talk about your ideas and dreams. Be crazy. Those are your ideas and the crazier, the better. It is your life and you are your own artist. Be colorful and design your life according to your intuition and wishes.
It is okay to be happy and fulfilled. Some find fulfillment in doing. Others find it in doing nothing. Everyone has a slightly different notion of what fulfilment means to them.
This shows that fulfilment is a choice only you can make. To me, fulfilment is a unique and very personal combination of self-confidence, optimism and lightness.
1: Surround yourself with people, who make you stronger. Walk your life with confidence.
2: You are great. You are a legion. Tell yourself regularly about your great strengths.
3: Connect full of trust with your dreams. Walk through them in your mind. Envision them.
4: Do not take yourself too seriously and profit from a foundation of lightness.
Become the designer of your own life.
If you liked this blog, feel free to share it with your friends and beloved ones.
Thanks so much for having been here today.
I wish you a fulfilled and happy day.
Love and light
This blog is also available as LebensLiebe podcast episode on iTunes and SoundCloud.