I was recently invited onto @TheShagsworth’s podcast and he asked me the question of all questions: What's the meaning of life? I've thought about this question a lot and my answer is: fulfillment When I use the word fulfillment, I mean it from a genuinely internal sense. We often look for things to make us happy or feel fulfilled but they can't. It's a material possession designed for short-term pleasure but it can't (and doesn't) make your soul whole.
A counsellor asked me some years ago: “what fills me?”
I haven’t yet to have answer, but paying attention to my inner self for a while.
I’m sure I will find my German train.
Here's the truth about combat PTSD. It's not the haunting images of war that make men (they are still mostly men) have the most problems after the war. It's the absence of the war. It's the most amazing thing they can ever do, they did it, now it's done, and over. Most of us return to civil life and have a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, and a readiness to settle down. Some of us are addicted to the high, even if we hated it while it was going on, and in peacetime we have...what? "In Vietnam I commanded multimillion dollar weapon systems." Rambo complains. "At home I can't even keep a job washing dishes." (I am probably wrong on the exact wording.) This is the truth of things. It is why men (again, they were almost all men) came home from World War II and rode Harleys in bomber jackets. Veterans using drugs to find a high that competes with what they no longer have should not surprise us. Sebastian Junger has a new book out about this and I have it on my reading list. Having that sense of fulfillment, of being at peace with your past experiences and satisfied by your own achievements, is indeed the key to happiness.
Thoughtful, thought-provoking, and inspiring!
Right on the nose! I think a lot of the dysfunction we’re seeing in our society is actually a kind of spiritual crisis. The affluence in the West has taken our attention away from the basic needs of daily life while also concentrating people in urban areas where there’s little opportunity to be in nature; at the same time, a relentless push towards ever-increasing social liberalism has removed the idea of god from daily life -- with nothing but post-structuralist power dynamics to replace it. Is it any wonder that we’ve become a tribal, atomized, angry, directionless mess?
If people had more purpose and fulfillment, we’d be in a path towards more “meaning”, and less “meanness”!
Well said. I've heard that finding someone else to help in some way is the best 'treatment' for depression. Your words echo that understanding.
This is perfectly timed for me. I appreciate your sharing this significant insight about fulfillment. Thank you.
Love this! I’ve always been drawn to service industry too. Have sometimes been looked down upon for this but it truly is fulfilling to help make someone’s day brighter. Nothing like it.