There is a difference between being happy and being fulfilled. How many people do you know—and maybe you are one of them—who believe the road to fulfillment is by becoming famous, having more money, being super healthy, and being liked by others…? In other words: achieving what makes you happy. Being famous, having money, being liked, and even being in good health can all make you happy, but happiness is only part of being fulfilled.
Things that make us happy can be lost despite our best efforts and attention. Being fulfilled, however, comes from a well-lived life—one focused on making the world in which you live and the people you know better for your presence. Devoting your life to making a difference, no matter how minor it might seem, helps you become a better person and fills your heart and mind with a sense of gratitude and your life with an enduring purpose.
When we come to the end of the journey, we won’t measure the success of our lives by how many Twitter followers or Facebook likes we have, the prestigious connections or titles we’ve held, or the amount of fame and money we’ve accumulated. Our legacy lies in the smiles we shared, the polite gestures we’ve given and received, and our concern for others. It can be found in those moments where, despite our best efforts to help someone, we walk away without feeling like we accomplished anything—only to learn later that that person went on to do something significant with his or her life that impacted many others.
If you want to have life fulfillment and, in turn, find happiness along the way, ask yourself one simple question: If I were to come to the end of my life today, what would I regret not having done?
I’m sure the answer isn’t getting that next deal, having a viral post, or even having that corner office. If you’re not doing what the answer to the question is, I have only one question for you: What’s stopping you?
If you can’t come up with a great answer, then follow Nike’s advice and Just Do It. Start your journey on the road to fulfillment, and you’ll also find happiness along the way.