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Fulfillment is a relatively new concept, especially as it applies to work. If you were to open up a dictionary from 1755, the word fulfillment would be nowhere to be found. Yet, these days you hear so much about living a fulfilling life.

Fulfillment is defined as the achievement of something desired, promised or predicted. Meaning, if you had a dream as a child to fly to the moon, you would feel fulfilled once you flew to the moon.

We so easily forget what our childhood dreams were as we go through school and are taught to be a certain way. As we age, we stop knowing what it is that we really want. We might know we want a certain car, or a certain experience, but beyond that, we just go with the flow.

So step one in having a fulfilling life is KNOWING what you want. HAVING a desire. Without something to shoot for, we’ll never hit the target.

When creating your vision, it’s not so important to think of what you’re passionate about, or what career you want to be in, as both of those will most likely shift as you age. Instead, just think of how you would like to use your time. What’s something you could do again and again, day after day? Maybe it’s helping others learn to write a book. Maybe it’s chess. Maybe it’s reading. Maybe it’s walking down a beach.

And then once we know what we want in life, we can then break it down into actionable steps. Action is what actualizes your dreams to fruition. Without action, there will be no results. The steps might change over time, and they might be completely different than we expected, so it’s important to stay open and flexible

Once the road has been set, the third step is to commit, and not stop until it is achieved. I have a mentor who constantly says “You can’t possibly fail if you don’t give up.” While this is ultimately true, I constantly am seeing and feeling myself failing. And that’s when the other line comes in from another mentor “Fail Forward.”

If we are constantly failing, it means we are pushing ourselves, while learning and growing. If you think about when you learned to ride a bike…you probably didn’t hop on the first time and take off perfectly balanced. I know it took me a few crashes, plenty of tears and at least a few scraped knees. Anything worth doing is going to take time, and will most likely include failing.

So the first, and maybe the most important step is getting clear on the direction. Take a few minutes and close your eyes. Really thing about what your average ideal day would look like. What’s the first thing you see when you wake up? Get really specific. What are the smells? How’s it feel? Who’s there with you? What are you eating? The more specific the better. And these can all change and morph the more you do it.

Doing this simple yet powerful exercise on a regular basis will help you really narrow in on the things you want in your life, and then start having and doing them as soon as you can! There’s probably a few things from your ideal day that you can start doing right now.

So what are your some of your goals? What are your dreams? I’d love to hear about them!