4 Itty-Bitty Ways to Create More Daily Fulfillment
Spoiler alert: Fulfillment isn’t a place to get to (though I was in the Maldives once, and that was pretty close). Fulfillment is a place to come from, something you create, preferably daily, and handily, it can be in the teeniest of ways.
Here are four simple ways to get started:
1. Get Quiet for 5 Minutes: Quiet? Err, as in no distractions? That’s the one. Because we are pathologically busy (and therefore chronically knackered) we don’t create time to unplug and just be, even for a few spirit-nourishing minutes. It’s like permanently having jumper cables on your brain. No wonder we're fried.
Your challenge: Give your brain at least five minutes a day to chill. How could that fit into your day? A quick lunchtime walk? Meditating for five minutes in the morning? Banning your iPad from bed, while doing some box-breathing? Sometimes it just takes a few deep breaths with your eyes closed to reset your circuitry, and make the world feel a little shinier.
2. Get Clear(er) on what you want: I feel fulfilled when I am intentionally moving towards my potential. I journal to figure out what that could look like.
Up for trying it? Clear 30 minutes of quiet time with a hot drink and a journal (overriding the robotic impulse to wash the breakfast dishes and to throw on a load of whites).
Then ask yourself: What is calling to me? A word of warning – it may not be the first sarcastic examples that rise from your weary, overworked mind (things like, the Nutella in the cupboard. Or the rest of last night’s wine. Or my bed – my bed is definitely calling to me).
Keep asking yourself, ‘And what else is calling to me? And what else?’ till you start reaching something interesting. It might take a hundred tries, but you’ll eventually hit treasure with your mental spade. Then get curious about what you discover.
3. Start a 2-minute positivity practice for 21 days: Harvard happiness researcher, Shawn Achor, describes the extraordinary power of the positive mind in his 12 minute TED talk.
When we raise our positivity, giving us what he calls the “Happiness Advantage,” our creativity and energy levels increase. Our brain becomes 31 per cent more productive (vs. being in a negative, neutral or stressed state). 31 per cent! The dopamine flood that positivity gives us not only makes us happier, it also turns on the learning centers in the brain.
Achor says the simple act of writing down 3 different things you’re grateful for, every day for 21 days, rewires the brain to retain a pattern of seeking out positives, not negatives, first.
You could also journal about one positive experience a day for two minutes for 21 days.
Or you could commit to writing one positive email, expressing gratitude or good feelings about someone in your social support network. This exercise not only creates lasting long-term change, it also has a lovely ripple effect.
4. Apply my knowledge already! So you’ve read Brené. You’re a regular at The School of Life. You watch TED talks on your phone on the way home from work. You’ve taken courses, seminars and workshops, and have mantras coming out the kazoo. You meditate like the Dalai Lama. Your Chakras are aligned.
But if your know-how is not in use – like in your real, day-to-day life – then it’s stagnating. And there you are waiting for something to change. Waiting. And waiting. Nope, still nothing. Doop de doop de doo.
Life works in mysterious ways, like a cosmic game of Tetris. Shift something in this corner, and things plinky plonk into a different place over there, in another quadrant of your life. Don’t ask me how it works (but it does).
Get creative about how you can apply your knowledge with your EQ-challenged boss, or the annoying relative that gives you a blinky facial twitch after hearing the same story every bloody Thanksgiving.
Or maybe you’re stuck behind the recycling truck that’s moving at a glacial pace. You text your partner: “Been in traffic so long, my roots need re-doing.”
These are perfect occasions to apply your self-help knowledge to create peace, love and wellbeing. The definition of stress is being at odds with what is. Is there anything you can do with a trying situation? How can you use it? Lets see, you can do your Kegel exercises when you’re stuck in traffic (gents, they’re for you too, you know). I know, I know, sometimes it’s a s-t-r-e-t-c-h, but there is inherent value in this practice.
There you have it – 4 of the itty-bittiest, totally do-able ways to find more fulfillment in your day. What about you? Share your daily practices in the comment box below to give us more ideas.
Thanks so much for reading – I’m so glad you’re here! Want to know 11 ways you can be even MORE amazing in 2016? Check out my blog here.