What is your idea of a fulfilling life? And on a scale of 1 to 10 (least to most) how truly fulfilled are you?
Don’t take (or mistake) high level of education, high position in society, high income level, religiosity (and the likes) for a fulfilling life; many people have all that and more and are still not fulfilled in life, as you will soon see in the examples further below. In any case, notice that the question is not just about a fulfilling life (that is subjective) but rather about a truly fulfilling life! Yes, there is a big difference!
So for instance, are you truly happy with what you do for a living day to day; or if you are in school… the course you are pursuing? Especially, are you happy about its impact on society, your health, and your wealth? Chances are that you don’t, and that given the option you would love to be doing something else or otherwise working at a different place. Indeed, if you were guaranteed all the resources you would need, and if (perhaps) you were not living your life to please some particular people, and if you were not afraid, and that you were guaranteed to succeed at any worthwhile venture of your choice, with the assurance that no one would mock or judge you, chances are that you would be doing (or wanting to do) something completely different from your current occupation (or academic pursuit).
Well, job dissatisfaction is widespread. Indeed, if you randomly select 100 people and ask about their work life, it should not surprise you to note that 82 of them (i.e. a whopping 82 percent of people) will not be enjoying their work life.
Of all the people that go to work every day, only 18 out of 100 (a meagre 18 percent of workers) really feel good about going to work; a whopping 82 percent of people harbour some apprehension when going to work and wish they didn’t have to go to work; a quarter of these actually hate their jobs. This is a major source of stress and ailments; indeed, not too long ago, the BBC announced that work-related stress disorders had been on the increase.
And the consequences of stress are so serious; to the extent that, most of the ailments people report to the hospitals with are not pathogenic (they are not the effects of disease causing organisms) but rather, they are the consequences of lack of true fulfillment, which often manifests as stress. It is that serious!
Sadly, most people are not truly fulfilled in life, and chances are that you may also not be truly fulfilled in life; likewise your people.
It is possible to be lively, or even make a lot of money and still not live a truly fulfilling life! Indeed, so many wealthy (and seemingly happy) people, including wealthy professional comedians, are known to have committed suicide in the past; some even recently. For instance, in 2014 a rich and famous actor (and comedian; a very good entertainer and an Oscar-winner as that: Robbin Williams of Mrs Doubtfire fame) committed suicide.
Also, it is possible to be very religious or even highly ‘educated’ and still not live a truly fulfilling life! Incidences of very religious people (including pastors) and intellectuals committing suicide abound. For instance, on 9th September 2019, Jarrid Wilson (Pastor, and author of “Love Is Oxygen: How God Can Give You Life and Change Your World“) committed suicide; that same day, Gregory Eells (Executive director of counseling and psychological services, and head of mental health services at University of Pennsylvania, and TEDx Conference Speaker on Cultivating Resilience) also committed suicide.
Those were very sad incidences but not uncommon; these constitute just a tip of the iceberg; everyday people commit suicide, and that cuts across all classes of people. (May their souls rest in peace.) Also, many people contemplate suicide but don’t get to execute it; some also attempt suicide but somehow do not get to complete it. And as you might have figured out by now, this includes Christians and persons of other religious persuasions. It’s that serious!
Admittedly, suicide is extreme and many unhappy people may not contemplate suicide; but the point remains that majority of people are not happy! There are three main degrees of Happiness in Life: the Highest level is The Meaningful Life, then we have the Good Life, and the lowest is The Pleasant Life. Research shows that, even though each individual born into this world has the inborn capability to pursue and live the Meaningful Life, majority of people pursue the Pleasant Life, and in some cases, the Good Life which are generally classified together as the bottom because their combined value does not compare anywhere near that of the Meaningful Life.
Indeed, a whopping majority of people do not live a truly fulfilling life! Again, and for emphasis, this problem affects the rich, poor, educated, non-educated, religious, and non-religious alike. Most of the issues are not openly discussed, but come up in people’s prayers, and / or when they are in sessions with their pastors, consultants, and other potential helpers.
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For a discussion on the issue of productivity you may click here.
PS: This issue of lack of true fulfillment in life is one of the 5 notable, common and completely avoidable problems you are likely to face in life, especially out of ignorance; you may click here to see the others.