My entire blog is centered on the fact that true fulfillment can only come from within. But I also know that some people hear that and roll their eyes, while others nod in agreement but still don't know exactly what it means.
I don't know all the steps toward becoming truly fulfilled and happy, but I can, with confidence, tell you the first step - and that is to recognize and acknowledge that you'll never get it from the outside world.
Step 1: Acknowledge that the happiness you seek can only be found from within, and therefore will never come from anything on the outside.
What do I mean by outside? I mean your bank account, your parents, your relationships, your friends, your job, your house, your car, your clothes, your neighborhood, your school, your community, your government, your president, your lifestyle - all of that is external to your happiness, and it's what I call style.
Substance, on the other hand, is everything within you already.
Haven't you realized that every time you get something new that you thought would make you happier, you always end up with the same feelings you had before? The same problems, wishes, frustrations, stresses, depressions, whatever. The newness wore off, and you found yourself back to where you were before.
On top of that, we hear countless stories of people becoming mega successful with their business and finances, but feel completely empty, alone, and even suicidal after they "made it." They spent years and years searching for a feeling by changing things in their outside world, only to realize they had that feeling all along. They just never bothered to look within.
True wealth is the ability to fully experience life. Nothing on the outside can ever give us that. We already have it, if we wake up to this truth.
How many new outfits, new cars, new relationships, new jobs, will it take you to realize that the problem isn't in the outside world? The problem is inside of you. But that also means the solution is in there too.
If you're not willing to agree with this or you're not interested in learning more about this truth, then you're setting yourself up for a really hard life. I'm sorry, but it's the truth.
Here's how I recommend taking Step 1 towards fulfillment.
First, check in with yourself.
Do you wish you had things you don't?
Do you wish your life conditions were different?
Are you searching for a better life?
Are you currently working towards something in your life?
Are you studying to become something?
Are you working to pay your bills while you hustle on the side to get somewhere?
If that's the case, ask yourself why you want those things. What do you think they'll bring you? What do you really want behind all that?
Really get curious about these questions, and spend some time with them.
But please do not misinterpret what I'm saying. Nowhere do I ever say that any of that is wrong, and that we shouldn't go into the world and build, create, share, and do great things.
All I'm saying is, those aren't going to bring you that lasting sense of deep, inner fulfillment that you claim you want. So stop doing all that in order to feel good. Instead, work on feeling good, then go do all that.
That business that you're starting? I applaud you for doing that, but ask yourself why you're doing it. There's nothing wrong with going full-force into a business and making it your mission, but don't mistake it for the source of your happiness. Don't equate your fulfillment with the lifestyle it could create.
That soulmate, person of your dreams you're searching for? Go ahead and keep searching, but promise me that you won't expect that person to make you happy. That's your job, so you'll never find someone who's going to do it for you full-time.
That trip around the world to find yourself? If you think you need to go to the other side of the world to find yourself, first ask yourself, who's doing the looking?
You guys, please realize that every ambition you have, every business you start, every relationship you seek, are all great in their own right, but they'll never fulfill you like you think they will. In fact, nothing can make you fulfilled. You already are fulfilled, but just don't realize because you've built a false sense of identity around everything external.
The real you is inside.
Live with substance!
P.S. If this isn't making sense to you or you're rolling your eyes, I understand, and I have empathy. I only wrote about step 1 because I don't yet know what the other steps are. But I do know that what I said is true.
P.S.S. If you thought of a friend or loved one while you read this, I encourage you to share it with them. You never know what door it could open inside of them.