The Two Forms of Fulfillment

The Two Forms of Fulfillment

The Oxford American Dictionary defines fulfillment as “the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted,” and “satisfaction or happiness as a result of fulfilling or developing one’s abilities or character.” These definitions are both attainment-oriented— something you feel whenever you satisfy a want or desire or reach a goal. You first experienced this kind of fulfillment when you were a newborn entering into this world. Whatever you needed AND desired was provided to you in response to your cries. This kind of fulfillment continued, evolving into the elation you probably felt on Christmas morning waking up to presents under the tree, the pride of buying something you really wanted for the first time, the excitement of your first kiss, the thrill of receiving your first paycheck.

The pull to find happiness through this kind of fulfillment is never-ending and almost becomes a form of addiction as your desires evolve. The life of almost every human being is, for all intensive purposes, entirely influenced by these desires. They endure to the instant before your last breath, at which point the object of your desire will likely be another lifetime of breaths. Fulfillment through attainment, although temporary, is also preeminent, and perhaps that is why it is the only definition you’ll find in the dictionary.

Thankfully, there is another kind of fulfillment, one that the dictionary fails to include but which most spiritual traditions assert is critical to understand and ultimately learn in order to embody true happiness. This other type of fulfillment is not dependent on anything–it is based on a recognition, a shift in perception, a revelation. This kind of fulfillment is not dependent on circumstances being just right, nor is it derived from anything in the outside world. It comes from you! IT IS YOU!

This kind of fulfillment “is not inaccessible nor is it in distant places: it is what in oneself appears to be the experience of bliss, and is therefore realized in oneself.” This description from the Yoga Vasistha, one of the most comprehensive and esteemed of yogic scriptures, reveals everything you need to know about the kind of fulfillment not mentioned in the dictionary. This kind of fulfillment is usually hidden, masked by the world of things. In order to determine which kind of fulfillment is ruling your life, you must look inward and assess the world you have created around you. Once this self-assessment is complete, you’ll be able to determine which type of fulfillment you want to follow.

The first step in this self-assessment is to examine where you invest your time. A simple exercise to start with is creating a list of all of your activities. Take a moment to think about what your normal week looks like. Walk through your week minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day–what do you typically spend your time doing? As these activities come to mind, make sure to write EVERYTHING down. Whether it’s watching TV, driving, sleeping, working, scrolling through social media, etc., write it ALL down. Once you have these activities listed, begin to rank them 1-5 (1 being the LEAST important and 5 being the MOST important). Next, determine the level of fulfillment each activity holds on a scale of 1-10 (1 being not fulfilling and 10 being very fulfilling). If you notice activities that hold a fulfillment score of 5 or below, outline action steps that can be taken to incorporate more fulfillment in that aspect of your life.

The most important tool at our disposal for living a more fulfilling life is other people. The people we surround ourselves with have the biggest influence on our behavior, attitudes, and results. Who you are around and what those individuals inspire you to think, say, do, and become sets the course of your life. To quote motivational speaker Jim Rohn:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

These people shape who you are. They determine what conversations dominate your attention. They affect that which you are regularly exposed to. Eventually you start to think like they think and behave like they behave. Darren Hardy shares that “according to research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard,

“The people you habitually associate with determine as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life.”

That is an unbelievable amount of influence, and it has important consequences. It’s a fact of life that some people hold us back, while others propel us forward. It doesn’t make sense to hang out with negative people and expect to have a positive life. More importantly, if you do all the right things but don’t surround yourself with people who hold you to a higher standard, you are more likely to fail in your ambitions.

Another exercise to determine the fulfillment in your life is to analyze the people you spend your time with. Think of your normal week and list everyone you dedicate time to–these should be the people you put on your calendar, carve out space for, and intentionally take time to meet and connect with. Rank each contact on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the least important and 5 being the most important). It is important that you’re completely honest with yourself–this exercise is for your own assessment and for helping propel you forward to a life of fulfillment. Once you have ranked these contacts, determine their positivity score (how much positivity they bring to your life) on a scale of 1-10 (1 being pretty negative and 10 being very positive). If you notice a person’s positivity score is 7 or below, take some time to analyze how you can either improve how you see this person or, perhaps, reallocate time to someone that is more uplifting.

Now that you have both lists, it is up to you to decide how to map out a more fulfilling life for yourself. It can be difficult to be honest with yourself about where fulfillment falls short, however, noticing where there is a lack of fulfillment is the first step towards changing the narrative of your life. You are taking back control and ensuring that the “you” the world sees is the best version there is. Also, prioritizing your well-being and fulfillment continues to aid in the betterment of your relationship with yourself. It is, quite frankly, a win-win for everyone involved, but most importantly, yourself.

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Dustin Jones

Dustin, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, is one of our college aged coaches who is currently obtaining a degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Indiana. Dustin serves as the Associate Director of Community Service for his Business Fraternity and also sits on the Board of Directors for our non-profit, Positive Presence Foundation. He loves to spend his down time hiking, hammocking with friends, and drawing. Dustin is passionate about helping teenagers because there were many times in his life that he didn’t know what he would have done without the support of people that reached out to help him. He believes asking for help should never make one feel like a burden. Dustin is an introvert who is finding his voice through mentor coaching, and is able to relate with his students by putting himself in their shoes. His sense of humor and generous personality is what makes him stand out as a coach. Dustin is an easy-going mentor who always tries to find the light even in dark times and stays positive by reminding himself of all that he is grateful for in life.

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Jasmine, a Human Relations major at the University of Oakland is a dynamic community role model. As a generational member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, she embodies a zest for excellence. Her bubbly personality and kind hearted nature touches the lives of everyone she comes into contact with. Her desire for being a positive catalyst is the reason why Jasmine is such a good fit with the Positive Presence Coaching Program. This creative young woman displays the trademarks of a great leader – skills she desires to impart on the next generation.

Cheyanne Peters

Cheyanne Peters, a first generation college student born and raised in Kansas, graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors in Psychology and Minor in Applied Behavioral Science. Her passion for helping teenagers feel confident, successful and prepared for their next chapter in life stems from multiple years of working with at-risk youth.

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Emily Lamb, a student at the University of Arizona has an unwavering passion to contribute large-scale, positive change to the world, and the people around her. A recipient of the Arizona Excellence Scholarship, Emily’s deep pool of knowledge, easy going attitude, kind persona and empathy makes her an exceptional mentor. As a leader, tutor, researcher and adventurer, Emily surrounds herself with things and people that contribute to her best self. It’s through her personal journey as a former student of Positive Presence, Emily experienced first hand the profound impact this coaching has on the lives of those we coach.

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Currently a student at UNC-Pembroke, Jamal is in pursuit of his Master’s in Business Administration and Finance. He plans to use his degrees to bolster his current skill set and promote the importance of entrepreneurship in underserved communities in the United States and Guyana.

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Veronica Hurford grew up in Fairfield, CA and studied abroad in England while she pursued her master’s degree in Education from UC Santa Cruz. Since the age of 9, Veronica has wanted to be an elementary school teacher and has been tutoring students in writing since she was a senior in college. She spent several summers as a counselor at a non-profit summer camp in southern California. Her fire to coach was initially ignited when she became an executive functioning tutor to teenagers in Colorado. Veronica saw many other needs that weren’t being met with her students outside of academics and had a deep desire to help them have success in school AND life. As an elementary school teacher, mentor, wife, writer and chef, her passion for helping teenagers and young adults far exceeds classroom knowledge. Her engaging personality and thoughtful approach to supporting youth makes her an excellent coach, a positive presence and a life-changing mentor.

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Elysa Swenson, a charismatic Kansas native and certified CNA, is currently in pursuit of her BSN in Nursing at the University of Kansas. As a former student of the Positive Presence Mentor Coaching program, Elysa found an insatiable amount of purpose and self-acceptance, something she attributes her new-found sense of peace and positivity to. Elysa’s awakening was in understanding that living a life of light and love comes when you decide to simply CHOOSE that life.

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Alysha Montgomery, an animal science major and biological sciences minor at the University of Arkansas, is a passionate philanthropist. As a former student of the Positive Presence Mentor Coaching program, Alysha discovered the best version of herself and developed an unwavering passion for helping others find the same. That passion is fueled by her desire to inspire our youth to value themselves and recognize their purpose – a life-changing mentality she learned through her coaching with Positive Presence. Her intuitive nature and peaceful, diplomatic approach to coaching makes her a respected member of the global Positive Presence family and an exemplary mentor to our students.

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Michelle Marie King is the premier Confidence Coach for teenagers, young adults and young entrepreneurs across the globe. She founded Positive Presence Global – the largest confidence coaching company in North America – and has helped people worldwide find their confidence in all aspects of their life. Michelle’s engaging and energetic personality coupled with her ability to motivate has distinguished her as a personal development trailblazer.

In her career as a model, philanthropist, emcee, entrepreneur, spokesperson and public speaker, Michelle has appeared on radio, television, billboards and print in over 15 different states for her community efforts and her ongoing business ventures.