The One Question You Must Answer for a Life Full of Happiness and Fulfillment


When you see very passionate people in business, education, or religious life you may wonder where that level of passion comes from. They can rant across the stage and we all, in rapt attention, follow their every movement and take notes on every word they say. These people exude passion and the radiate enthusiasm.

But passion is not manifested, it is derived. Individuals who’ve reached the top of their field do so because of two reasons: They have found the underlying, nonnegotiable objective of their life and they have pursued that objective with unbridled abandon. The pursuit of that nonnegotiable objective is what we as outsiders see as passion.

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my consultancy over the years I have dealt with many effective but emotionally unhappy and unsatisfied individuals. The reason for their effectiveness is they were earning a great deal of money, loved their lifestyle, and felt a purposeful necessity to support themselves and their family. The reason for their unhappiness is that they were in a position that was not congruent with their nonnegotiable objective in life.

In other words, they wanted to be doing something else. However, they felt trapped. That trapped feeling showed itself in resentment toward work, peers, spouse children, etc. It also showed up in ill health, substance abuse, self-medicating, etc.

I know an individual who acquiesced his desire to become a classical guitarist so that he could pursue a career in engineering. I know another individual whose passion was teaching children but, at the insistence of his father became an accountant instead. Both of these individuals were effective in their jobs, content with their lot in life, but were fundamentally unhappy because they were not pursuing their ultimate dream and desire.

Over six decades ago Earl Nightingale suggested that he can help any person get what they want out of life, the problem is most people don’t know what they want. In over half a century, the same holds true. We simply do not know what we want. The reason? It is less painful not to think about it!

So, I have a question for you. This question may require some days of contemplation, or the answer may jump at you all at once. In either case, happiness, fulfillment and well-being is contingent upon the proper answer to this question:

What is the one true purpose of your life that will bring total happiness and fulfillment if you are able to pursue that purpose every day?

Simple, huh? I am not suggesting that this is an easy question to answer, I am saying that it is vital to answer if you want happiness and fulfillment. When you do what you love, everything else kind of falls into place.

Here a few steps you can take to answer that question:
Step 1: To start, take off the judge’s robe! Don’t be critical of yourself and don’t rationalize why you can’t do what it is that you want to do. If you find yourself saying, “That’s silly,” or, “I can’t do that,” or “I’m too young (old, rich, poor, smart, dumb”, whatever), stop it before you start this exercise.

Step 2: Ask yourself as honestly as you can, what is it that gets your heart racing. Now be honest, is it mountain climbing? Drag racing? Dressing in drag? Standup comedy? Running a multinational company? It doesn’t much matter the WHAT, because it is your WHAT!

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

Step 3: Can your heart pumping desire be monetized? In other words, can you make money on it? If the answer is no, then it is a great hobby, if the answer is yes, now you have a decision to make.

Step 4: Do I want to invest the time, effort and money in making this dream grow skin? Is it worth the risk? If the answer is no, then stop whining about it because you basically told yourself that this is something cool to think about but not go head over heels with. If the answer is yes, then figure out how to minimize the risk while getting others sold on your new mindset.

Step 5: Prepare yourself, don’t go into this foolishly. Have enough money saved and have the emotional buy in from others involved.

There you have it. Answer that question and move toward the fulfilment of your dreams. Is it really that simple? Yes. Is it really that easy? That is up to you.

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