Health is currently seen as a science but when we are talking about fulfilment it is really an art: an art we can learn and benefit from.
My motivation to write this comes from having three teenage children and seeing so many people at the clinic aged between 15 and into their twenties. Many go through stages of being unmotivated, having no direction, often dealing with anxiety and sleep disorders. I dedicate this article to anyone moving through the senior years of school and working towards the right choices in career and lifestyle.
Some of the issues affecting fulfilment can be nutrition, social media and/or electronics. According to Todd Rose in his book DARK HORSE it could also be the way the education system was set up years ago yet with very little change as time has progressed. This hopefully will change soonish, however our children/ teens need guidance now to navigate the current system. They may need help psychologically and/or help with nutrients to feel positive and to cope. Here at the clinic the naturopaths are trained to help with biochemistry, nutrition and with strategies. However if psychologists are needed we have a great referral basis too, when this is required.
There is an old fashioned approach or thought pattern in regards to education that states –
“ everyone is supposed to be treated the same, act the same, and you are not supported to think you are special in any way and definitely not supposed to just go off and do your own thing”
This approach sadly describes many of our educational institutions and work places. This is a form of ‘cookie cutting’ approach to make people all the same but on the flip side telling people they need to be the best and inadvertently if they can’t be the best they are not good enough. Many institutions are not producing contented young adults with motivation for learning.
In this world as it stands – teenagers are struggling, and anxiety levels are increasing.
Teenagers are already faced with learning challenges via social media, social distraction, hormones, sexuality, relationships and seeing the seriousness of the world, and in the middle of all this everyone keeps asking “what do you want to do when you're older?”.
All this can affect self-esteem and confidence, and create true confusion when it comes to choosing direction. Here at the clinic we like to treat people and help every person as an individual.
How can we break the pattern? What will help you or your children step into the future and find their authentic life and fulfilment. Let’s look at some important elements to consider to find fulfilment.
A motive is ‘a reason for doing something’
A chosen motive is ‘what drives you to do something’
First it is really important to tune into your motives and know YOUR OWN motives. No one can do this for you – YOU know more about YOU than anyone else.
Do you like being outdoors?
Do you like company and how often?
Do you like playing sport? Do you like keeping fit?
Do you like earning money? Do you prioritize family time?
Do you like being in the city? Do you like routine or shift work?
Do you need flexibility in hours or a set routine?
Are you organised or messy?
Do you like adventure or safety?
Do you need to be creative or are you happy to do very plain activities?
Is a healthy environment important to you?
Do you like helping people or helping animals?
Do you like to be stimulated intellectually or want things simple?
Are you a leader or a follower?
What is important to you, where do you feel right and comfortable?
All these ideas are things to really tap into to learn more about your motives. Motives naturally come from within and constantly exert presence in your life. It is what is important for an individual.
Motivations that come from within will get better results than motivations from outward sources. For instance if something is mastered from oneself it will always bring better results than if forced by institutions, family members or coaches.
Being in touch with your motives helps a person be engaged in their learning. A study done by Gallup in 2016 found that our motivational peak was in kindergarten. 26% of children in grade 5 were disengaged, 55% by year 8, and 66% disengaged by high school seniors. You might expect that the motivation would then improve but the study found that once you graduate and obtain employment that 67% of employees where disengaged in their jobs. To me this shows the importance of really tapping into what motivates you, holds your interest, before choosing a career or life. Try to prevent being the disinterested worker/student.
Choice is the ‘act of choosing between two or more possibilities’
" It is in a moment of decision that your destiny is shaped' quoted Tony Robbins (motivational speaker)
Make active choices – choose the best FIT.
The best fit being the choice that best fits your own individual motives.
When you make choices based on your authentic motives then these decisions are always good ones.
An added bonus is when you are young you have lots to gain and little to loose.
You can learn from your mistakes or hurdles.
As you understand your individuality more and more you will make choices that FIT better and better. And already by doing this you will become more fulfilled.
When you make a bold move/choice you are announcing to the world “ this is where I am heading”
You are speaking your truth and defining your boundaries.
Strategy is “a plan of action that is designed to help achieve an aim’
In true individualisation it is important to find the best strategies for YOU. A strategy is a method used for getting better or achieving. Best strategies are the best ones for YOU. Know and learn your best strategy. You may get ideas from others that can also work for you, but you may get ideas that do not work for you. It can take time to learn the best strategies for you. Schools themselves are not designed to help you find strategies for you or they might give everyone the same strategy which may or may not work for you. Tap into strategies that work for you. Ones for study, ones for relaxation, ones for interviews, ones for essays, one for optimal sleep are examples to find.
For instance, in school and for study - succeed your own way –get ideas from people and find your best strategies.
Ideas to think about when finding your own strategies:
Do I learn visually? Would visual posters help?
Which environment do I focus best – library, study, oval, at school?
Who helps me and who drains me?
Which friends are going to help?
What relaxation techniques or environments help me?
What do I need to keep focused?
What time of day is best for me to focus?
Mental strength is a ‘ measure of individual resilience and confidence that may predict success in sport, education and the workplace’
Know your strengths
There are three different things we need to know about strengths –
There are always unknown strengths - ones that you are yet to discover.
A strength can work for you in one job but be not as helpful in another. For example, a harder hearted person may be good in the army, but this same strength may not work as well in social working or counselling
What is a strength today may not work for you tomorrow or in the future?
Having mental strength, at times of what is perceived failure, can turn it into a positive.
Success and fulfilment are not a straight line, it is a journey where failure and hurdles are something to welcome as it helps us move towards excellence.
For example handing a teacher an essay or practice exam and failing it, or being corrected, can only lead to a better result when the marks really count.
Energy is 'the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity'
Finding fulfilment is also about state of mind and energy. Do you see the glass half full or the glass half empty, and are you waiting for life to come to you, or are are you putting in the energy required to succeed. It can be the old saying 'you get out of life what you put into life'. If you want to grow focus your energy onto your goals and choices so you can see the best results you can. Energy is all about focus. What you focus on, you are giving energy to. When working focus on work, when studying focus on study, in relationships focus on relationships. By directing or shifting your focus and giving things/ people energy you will gain confidence and get better results and hence fulfilment. If you are distracted the energy is not being focussed.
If you are giving something 100 percent of your energy you will get the best results you can at this time.
Authenticity is ‘ the degree by which an individual’s actions are congruent with their beliefs and desires despite external pressures’
In a world advancing with so many choices – finding the personal and individual pathways is so important so as to not lose your authenticity. In schools we are not doing this.
‘ Be the same as everyone, but better’ is the general rule in regard to getting an ATAR mark. Sadly, it is not just YOU improving YOU, but it is you academically striving to be better than others to get ahead or get into a course.
Knowing your motives leads you to authenticity
Making smart choices that FIT right for you provides you with direction
Knowing your strategies can help you engineer your own achievement
*** When you do all three things you will feel pride, self-worth and be true to your authenticity
Fulfilment is a live experience that must always be nurtured with growth , development and self improvement. The moment you stop trying to get better is the moment that fulfilment begins to wither. The moment you close yourself off to an opportunity that could have increased your sense of authenticity is not ideal. Being comfortable and not making steps forward in life could perhaps stop you holding the fulfilment or stop you growing as a person.
Something to take into account -do you seek approval and is this a good thing? We may want to make people proud or like 'people-pleasing'. When we get approval, we feel good about ourselves and it feels like we are on the right track. Approval can feel like we are on the right track. Yet if we only do things for approval but not for ourselves then we are not being authentic to ourselves.If you change yourself to seek someone’s approval, then it is not being true to yourself, it is not being authentic.
Lastly do not focus on your destination.
“ The truth is most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive”
Quote by Bill Waterson
Journey To Fulfilment
There is an old saying ‘it is the journey not the destination’
There are people in the world that find fulfilment and sometimes they do it by finding their own path. These people follow their passion but more than this they engineer it by understanding and taking action on the back of tuning into their motives. In doing this they lead to their purpose.
Every time you make a choice based on the right fit with your motives, this can only head you towards a fulfilled and a purposeful life. Without even knowing it you are heading down a road in the right direction.
A good analogy is a smart chess player who has ideas, has plans, has strategies that may work but they still focus primarily on one move at a time leading them in the right direction. They do not assemble a plan for 10 moves ahead and stubbornly stick to it. If you commit yourself to a straight line you may close off numerous windy paths that may lead you to a more satisfied version of your dream in the end.
Follow your heart and motives in life and make clever moves one at a time; the decisions that fit your motives.
Time does not matter for an achiever. Time depends on the individual, not the course length. The time that passes on your journey of self-improvement will always be relative to decisions you make, and the action taken. Do not ask the question how long that will take but ask the question is this the right strategy for me now.
It is your journey and therefore your time and it is not a race and cannot be compared to someone else’s journey. Focus on the opportunity at hand not the prospects at the end of the road.
A good achiever may not focus on their destination, but they do have goals. ' Setting goals is the first step to moving the invisible into the visable' - quote Tony Robbins
Goals emerge out of your individuality. Goals come from choices. Strategies help you reach your goals. Goals are good.
Maybe we should NOT be continually asking children “what do you want to do when you are older” – Instead ask them about motives, strategies, likes and dislikes and what makes them feel good about themselves and what goals they have and what choices they are making and what makes them feel authentic.
In the past it is thought that only a minority of people attain fulfilment but with this new mindset I would like to think more people can find true fulfilment in their lives. With this mindset everyone is capable of achieving excellence and fulfillment. Hopefully in the future more schools and universities will encourage this mindset to help people reach their potential and to help them find fulfilment not only in their work but also in family life and relationships.
Everyone has a talent and with this mindset more people will tap into their talent.
Fulfilment is not something you are born with.
Fulfilment is something you can work towards if you choose. It is a feeling of happiness because you’re doing and being what resonates with you as an individual in work, relationships, family, lifestyle and fun.
Dark Horse. Todd Rose
The Art of Fulfullment You Tube Anthony Robbins
Success Without Fullfillment Is the Ultimate Failure You Tube Anthony Robbins