Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about a conversation I had with someone recently. The friend I was talking to has just made a huge change in his career. When I asked him why he had decided to make this change after so many years, he said he was very happy but didn’t feel fulfilled. That got me thinking, and it has been rolling around in my head for a while now. Is there really a difference between happiness and fulfillment? Is the difference great or is the line extremely fine?
I think happiness is only momentary, but fulfillment is lasting. Perhaps I am just playing with connotations, but to me happiness comes in moments, in a good joke, or a great conversation but fulfillment brings peace of mind and a calmness of spirit. Perhaps society teaches us to pursue happiness and then later in life we realize that happiness can be fleeting and transient.
I think that we usually equate being happy with being fulfilled. I’ve discussed this with a couple of people in the last week and here’s what the general opinion has been. Happiness comes while one is pursuing personal dreams. A deep sense of fulfillment will emerge when you finally connect the person you are with the things that you choose to do.
Am I happy at the moment? Yes I am, being with the children I teach makes me happy. Waking up each morning and knowing I get to teach and learn from kids, that makes me happy. But, am I fulfilled yet? I don’t know….