In an earlier post, I offered Seven Simple Rules for Being a Leader. Second on the list is: “Balance accomplishing great things with finding fulfillment in small things.” What does that mean?
I’ve seen too many leaders seek coaching late in their careers, when they realize that while they’ve accomplished amazing things, they aren’t finding fulfillment in those accomplishments.
“Is that all there is?” they ask. “Why do I feel rather empty inside?”
I believe success in life comes from finding the proper balance, for yourself, between a sense of accomplishment and a sense of fulfillment. Between doing and being.
It’s not too surprising for most people the scale tips in the direction of accomplishment. We start in grade school, where we learn that high marks and rewards come much more often from what we’ve done, rather than from who we are or what we feel.
You got to the dean’s list or honor role by getting A’s in arithmetic, grammar, history, and the like – not by learning to stop and smell the roses. You probably got more rewards for what you did than for how you felt.
Nearly all time management theory is about how to get more things done (the “right” things, of course). Most of us use some form of a “To Do” list every day.
Ever stop and wonder what it would be like to create and follow a “To Be” list?
People wonder “is that all there is?” with their accomplishments because they’ve neglected the voice inside that cries out to be heard: “Fill my soul!”
As a leader, you have a compelling vision of something great. Something that will require hard work, commitment, and many hands to achieve. You dream to make the world a better place through the results of your team and you. And that’s as it should be. That’s the desire to achieve.
But along the way, don’t neglect the other side: the desire to feel fulfilled. To do that, you must remember to pause, to breathe, to reflect, and to become aware of the things that bring you joy.
As Tony Robbins has said,
Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.”
What brings you a sense of fulfillment? What can you do to feel joy and contentment every single day?
Perhaps that should be on your To Do list!