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 the idea has been simmering in my head for a while now. Is there really such a significant difference between happiness and fulfillment?
The way I see it, happiness is temporary, but fulfillment is lasting. Perhaps I am just playing with connotations here, but to me happiness comes in sporadic moments, from memories that you share with family or friends or a great conversation you’ve had with a confidant – but fulfillment brings peace of mind and a calmness of spirit that washes over you and stays with you no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It reassures you that your life is going the exact way that it was meant to be. Perhaps society too often teaches us to pursue happiness and only later in life do we realize that happiness can be fleeting and that fulfillment is elusive.
I guess we usually equate being happy with fulfillment. I’ve discussed this idea 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 but a deep sense of fulfillment will emerge only when you finally connect the person you are with the things that you choose to do. Does that make sense to you? In my head it seems pretty simple…but I wonder if I’ve been able to successfully articulate my ideas here on the blog.
Am I happy at the moment? Yes I am – 100% happy! 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 think so and it’s too early to tell….there is so much more I want to do, so many things to accomplish and I just hope and pray that the path I am on now will get me there eventually.