I was thinking today about the difference between the concepts of success vs fulfilment… For me, success is integral to fulfilment and not an accomplishment of its own. However, success does not necessarily mean fulfilment. I would consider myself successful, but I had no idea what fulfilment was.
Many years ago, fresh from university, I made a decision to join a world of business process management instead of choosing a career of computer programming in the Banking industry where I fell asleep during the interview trying to prove my Turbo Pascal coding skills. My job took me from South Africa to England. Where, as a consultant, I travelled around Europe landing projects with the Ministry of Defence, Anglo Irish Bank, VW and countless others.
What does success look like
At the age of 27, I was being consulted on process automation techniques, often presenting to people twice my age. Some mornings, waking up in yet another posh hotel, I would pinch myself unable to believe my luck. I wasn’t the smartest nor the most switched on person. Nor did I have any sales skills, sometimes even being kicked under the table by a colleague for my brutal honesty.
But yet somehow, I managed to wing it.
After my son was born, the most exciting part of my job, travel, came to an end. Being transferred to the least preferred ‘niche’ of training, I miraculously landed a six-figure contract and decided to quit full-time employment. Whether it was luck or skill I am not sure, but the contracts kept coming. However, I kept on getting bored and underutilised. Was I successful? I think so. Fulfilled? Definitively not. And so I tried to fill the emotional disconnect by moving houses and maxing out credit cards on skiing holidays, trips to Disney World, family visits to South Africa and few European breaks in between.
But I felt stuck in a repeated rut of mundane drudgery.
Self-growth and soul searching in search of fulfilment
2018 was the year of self-growth and soul searching. Desperately trying to find my purpose and my Why. I submerged myself into daily meditations and replaced pseudo literature with the books of people I looked up to. Dr Jo Dispenza, Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton, Neil Donald Walsch and a few others topped my Audible chart. Most of my free time was spent trying to go within as I did not want to go without any longer. It is during those quiet moments that I began to discover who I truly was and how badly I wanted to make an impact.
The desire for change did not emanate from my head nor from my heart. It was some inner voice clearing up the doubts in my mind. I also realised that the change I craved could not take place whilst I was trading so much of my time for money and doing a job that gave me no gratification. In the midst of this epiphany, I stumbled upon a presentation by Stuart Ross talking about Digital Marketing. A concept completely unknown to me until then. My attention was not captured by the prospect of financial freedom or an opportunity to generate income. It was the concept of mindset and self-awareness which were part of his message that strongly resonated with me.
I have now been on this digital journey for a couple of months and feel more passion and fulfilment than during my 20-year IT career. For the first time, I can truly say that I am successful and fulfilled.
What does success mean to you?
Are you fulfilled in your job?
What can you do differently to have even better & more meaningful life?