Do You Feel Fulfilled in Life?

Key takeaways

  • No matter what your circumstances, it’s possible to feel fulfilled in life.
  • Fulfillment has three main factors: desires, promises, and predictions.
  • Understanding what your desires are; the promises you’ve made to yourself and others; and the predictions you and others make about you are key to living a fulfilled life.
  • Achieving fulfillment in every stage of life involves knowing who you are, where you’re headed, and where you want to go.

Many years ago, I had a client who was in her early 80s with a remarkable story. She outlived three of her four children and two husbands. Not only that, she had half a liver, half a stomach, and battled three different types of cancer. Despite all of that, she was completely fulfilled. It was absolutely amazing to watch her address her life.

Working with her got me to thinking about fulfillment and what it really means, so I looked it up. Basically, true fulfillment has three elements to it: things desired, things promised, and things predicted.

I believe the element of “things desired” is probably a largely internal one for most of us. We want fulfillment in life both pre-retirement and post-retirement and, during the course of our lives, we have these different desires we want to achieve. How we measure whether we achieve those desires is something that we judge internally. It can be extremely difficult for someone with a perfectionist standard to feel as if he or she has achieved a long-held desire. It’s hard to see progress when looking only for perfection.

Next comes “things promised.” This involves the promises you make to yourself and to others. For example, we often make public statements to people about something we’re going to do or accomplish. Once we actually complete what we promised, it’s very fulfilling. It feels good to follow through on promises to ourselves and to others.

Finally, we have “things predicted.” This is a tough one because it’s harder to navigate through predictions. Often we predict things about ourselves, or others make predictions about us. I think that we may sometimes live within a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy in order to help those predictions come true.

When you really think about it, it’s interesting how life works its way through these elements of fulfillment. It can be difficult to understand. But one thing I do know is this: if you feel fulfilled every single day, your life is fun, regardless of whether you have or don’t have money. Why? Because you’re living up to what and who you are and getting where you want to go.

This is especially true when you’re in retirement and you’re moving forward; and, it doesn’t look like there’s a lot ahead, necessarily. But that didn’t matter to Toni, this particular woman I mentioned. She created this situation where she continuously lived in fulfillment mode. She understood who she was, where she was, and where she was going.

It’s a very heady concept to think about, but it’s definitely something to consider when evaluating where you’re headed in life, what gives you fulfilment, and living that every day. Until next time, enjoy.


P.S. For all of our clients and friends who are experiencing the arctic blast that’s hitting much of the country this week, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.
  • Try to park your vehicle in a garage. If you cannot park indoors, try to position your vehicle so that the wind is not blowing into the front of your vehicle where the radiator is located.
  • For those from warmer climates, ensure that your radiator is filled with the recommended mix of anti-freeze to water for cold conditions (more water is mixed in warmer climates than in cold). Any oil change facility can check this for you.
  • If your battery is older, it may not have the cranking power needed to turn over the engine when extremely cold.
  • If possible, and when necessary to ensure you have transportation, start your vehicle and let it warm up every few hours during the coldest temps.
  • Give pipes in your home a helping hand by opening cabinets or vanities to let warmer room temperatures in, especially for those pipes that run along exterior walls.
  • Know where your water shut-off valves are located in the event that a pipe bursts and you need to quickly turn off the water supply.
  • We all know about frostbite and hypothermia. Wind chill values this low can result in frostbite in less than 10 minutes on exposed skin (particularly nose, ears, fingers, and toes). In short, minimize exposure, dress for the weather, and make safe decisions.

I hope this is helpful and that everyone stays safe and warm!

Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country.  He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

Inertia, often caused by being overwhelmed, keeps smart people from planning. TransformingWealth™ , Coyle’s proprietary approach, is designed to get your arms around the big picture so you can make informed financial decisions. Take the first step to living the Good Life Managed Well™, and schedule a complimentary TransformingWealth Preview Meeting .
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All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness.   This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client.  The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment.  Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.  Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material.  The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting, but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions.


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