The Art of Fulfillment

I was recently listening to Tony Robins talk about fulfilment, or the lack thereof, and happiness, or the lack thereof.

When you hear the word fulfilled, how do you experience it? What comes up for you? The challenge is that the world we live in is so hectic, and we spend so much of the day in a state of “mindlessness, “not noticing our surroundings or were we are. We are worrying about the next meeting, replaying the last one, wondering why so-and-so hasn’t returned our call. Our inner voice of negativity — whose existence causes doubt and insecurity and reminds us to think and dream small — is incessant.

The most precious moment we have is now. Life happens in the now, whereas frustrations and unhappiness live in the past. They nudge and poke at us, determined to define our present and future.

If you want to test the power and necessity of now let’s, consider breathing. Breath is the one thing that we can’t live without for the shortest period. How many us pay attention to our breath? We can live for days without water or food. But in the “now” how long can be without breath?

My mentor and friend Andrew Neitlich (Center for Executive Coaching) has some great questions about fulfilment: What beliefs do you have about fulfilment both in and out of the business world?

  1. What would a fulfilled team look like?
  2. What would it take to make this quarter the most fascination and rewarding?

Fulfilment, the sense of being at peace with who you are and where you’re at, wherever that is, is intrinsic. It’s an inner journey in which outer circumstances have little impact. Other people can’t give it to you.

Can you imagine feeling/being more fulfilled? What would life look like, taste like? What higher level would your relationships and health be? What would your sense of self be? And the fact is that the choice is ours.

This isn’t to say that the world isn’t a mean place sometimes. The economy can tank, relationships can end, people die. But paraphrasing Jack Canfield, it’s not the event that determines the outcome. It’s our response to it. It’s not about happiness always, but it is an iron-clad belief that living a fulfilled and positive life is your right.

Here’s a challenge for you: determine 3 or 4 areas in your life and/or business where you chose to be fulfilled (spirituality, trust, humor, the team you have, etc.) and just make the decision to drop the baggage, or the fear, or the indecision and clutter.

Unhappiness, unfulfillment, mindlessness — these are all choices that we make.

Why not make a different choice? It’s just as hard or as easy. The effort is the same.

It’s not magic, and it isn’t without effort.

The choice is always ours to make.

Clients Willing to Play

JMCA Party 1

On Tuesday, February 2nd, Betsy and I had the pleasure of hosting our annual Client Appreciation event; this year at VisArts in Rockville, where we picked up paintbrushes, for the most part with skepticism, and took on the challenge of painting a canvas. In the process, we laughed, we networked, we had fun, and we all had the opportunity to express our creativity.

JMCA Party 2Over the years, I’ve worked with many entrepreneurs and business people who express their creative spirits through their work. At the event, we took that creative spirit to a place most of us haven’t tried before. Some of us even painted “outside the lines” (we know who we are) and were surprised at the amazing results, which were as varied as we are. What all the paintings had in common was they showed our willingness to take on a challenge and run with it!

JMCA Party 3Thank you to all who came and we missed those who couldn’t make it. Enjoy these photos and view the rest of the album on our Facebook page (and please like the page if you haven’t already!).

Jeff and Betsy

 

 

Gratitude and proactive action

Sunday, April 13, 11:15 p.m. Betsy and I are asleep in the bedroom when suddenly the house shakes and it sounds as if something exploded. We enter the darkened hallway and encounter a thick dust we can’t readily identify. Upon turning on the light, we see that our entire living room ceiling has collapsed in one piece, with large pieces of fiberglass and insulation covering our furniture, artwork, TV and stereos. Despite reassurance from the fire department that our house is still structurally sound, we opt to spend the night at a friend’s house and, the following morning, begin the arduous task of sorting through the damage, contacting insurance and bringing in construction crews.

We learned that the sheetrock in our living room ceiling was not properly secured when the house was built more than 40 years ago,* and that we face the same potential problem with our dining room and kitchen ceilings. We decide to take preventative measures and reconstruct the ceilings before the other rooms experience a similar fate. In business, as in life, it’s one thing to not know there is a problem. But it’s quite another to know there is a problem and ignore it.

Thirty minutes earlier that Sunday night, both Betsy and I were in the living room watching TV. It can always be worse.

Jack Canfield talks about changing results. While events outside of our control will undoubtedly take place, we can only own how we respond to them. It is a powerful lesson, and one that applies equally in business and in leadership. We need to proactively address our issues before the ceiling (metaphorically or not) collapses.

With gratitude,
Jeff

*For fans of the movie Apollo 13, “it was determined that a damaged coil built inside the oxygen…caused the explosion that crippled the Odyssey. It was a minor defect that occurred two years before…”