“What research has shown is that the heart sends far more signals to the brain than the brain send to the heart—and while both the cognitive and emotional systems in the body are intelligent, there are far more neural connections than go from the heart to the brain than the other way around.” James Doty, MD
The natural order makes the heart command the brain, but some people manage to live the other way around. When we disrupt this pattern bypassing the heart and decide from the brain alone we can get what we think we want and feel dissatisfied. Moreover, to choose our own path and change our lives according to Dr. Joe Dispenza “a person needs to marry a clear intention (coherent brain) with an elevated emotion (coherent heart)” that could be the difference between rewarding vs dreadful relationships, or a soul-sucking job vs a thriving career.
“Isn’t it crazy that all we have to do is step out of the chaos of our mind for a second and pay attention to our heart, and we get what we’ve been craving our entire lives?” Kyle Cease
People unhappy with their lives chances are they didn’t follow their heart, gave up their dreams and went along with other people’s vision. However, the feeling of unease, the dissatisfaction avoided for so many years in some cases can’t be denied, behaviors to refrain from feeling discontent, such as addictions are disruptive. Moreover, it’s important to take this longing seriously as William Scheimann referred “about forty thousand people in the United States kill themselves every year, many because they lose hope.”
As stated by William Schiemann, CEO of Metrus Group, in his book Fulfilled! Critical Choices: Work, Home, Life most of his research points out to career and relationship achievements as primary choices for fulfillment. However, there are different paths to choose from, for instance, Jeremy and Winnie planned and retired in their 30s to travel the world.
In Fulfilled! Schiemann shared the most frequent strategies for achieving success and long-term fulfillment from more than a hundred interviews from people of all walk of life; seven of them are:
“Keep the end in mind.”
Know yourself. To have a clear picture where we want to be in, we need to know ourselves. Moreover, Shiemann lists different aspects as aptitudes, knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, behaviors, and interests that match occupations, hobbies, relationships, etc.
We can influence our circumstances. Dr. Joe Dispenza encourages us to “cause an effect” meaning to change our internal environment (thinking/feeling) and then see how the external environment is altered by our efforts. Normally, we are into a “cause and effect” way of living where the external environment control our internal environment (thinking/feeling).
Let a window to the unexpected. Uncertainty feels uncomfortable but it’s part of the process and can be exciting. Let some room for spontaneity and adventure between goals and plans.
Shiemann interviewees conveyed “when you are young, you feel invincible, but most of those we talked to later in life wished that they had been better to their life system.”
Diet and exercise. Exercise and eating healthy can be daunting with so much contradictory information, but our body never lies, and we can feel when something is not good for us.
Mind. A healthy mind is so important, but a lifestyle that exacerbates stress and difficult situations can have a toll in our mind and generate somatic illnesses. Meditation is a good practice to calm and center the mind.
Look into your future. The people that you copy your habits are a mirror where you can see your future reflected. If you eat like your parents, and they are healthy that’s good news, if not consider changing for the better.
“Build a social network”
Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert Schiemann observed that “the one factor that makes the biggest difference is a couple of friends.”
Look for your tribe. When we know and love ourselves, we attract people aligned with our values and activities, and they are a joy to be around.
Set boundaries. When we respect ourselves, we don’t allow anyone to treat us as a doormat.
“Never stop learning”
Be aware of how technology has continued to replace labor in your field of work. I have seen people facing “job obsolescence.”
Shiemann acknowledged “the key today is developing some marketable skills that can be used now while honing important life skills [communication, team work] that will be valuable over time.” Furthermore, in relationships keep growing as a person to ensure you are growing together and not apart.
5.- Values and Spirituality
“Stick to your values and spirituality”
In our dealings with people from different walk of life, it’s normal to run into people with a distinct set of values, and we can become incompatible, but we can run into people with anti-values, and they mean trouble. Sticking to our values will protect us from these people before is too late.
Being aware of our values and/or spirituality would be a filter to attract people and projects aligned with our goals toward fulfillment.
Be persistent. The road to success and fulfillment is not a straight line, some curves may appear that let us to develop mental and emotional strength to deal with setbacks and keep going to achieve our goals. Many interviewees agreed that “mental toughness,…resilience and the ability to maintain a positive mental attitude was crucial to their eventual success.”
Regroup. Take time to reorganize, check the facts after any setback, check your intuition, and create a new blueprint towards your goals.
Support. Reach out to friends and family, people you trust for advice and solace. In addition, look for professional advice if necessary.
“Check in with yourself regularly”
Accountability. Look for ways to quantify and qualify your progress toward your goals, to evaluate if your actions are leading you to what you want in life, where you want to be and to feel.
Be careful with your pride. As Shiemann denotes “the more public a commitment is, and the more you put your ego on the line, the harder it is to acknowledge to both yourself and others that it was a mistake.” Moreover, even though actions bring us a sense of achievement are short life if they are not aligned with our goals, but anyone else.
A road-map to fulfillment starts with a clear vision in mind, but remember to include the heart and not just the brain to create short, long-term goals, and actions toward fulfillment.
I would love to hear what your tips are around long-term fulfillment. Leave a comment!
Author William A. Schiemann
Fulfilled!: Critical Choices: Work, Home, Life
Published by Secant Publishing (October 1, 2016)
FULFILLED! holds the key for every reader to figure out what they want most from life, both personally and professionally – and then stay focused in a consistent way to achieve their goals. The lessons in this book are based on interviews with over 100 life-fulfilled people and additional research on generational differences, leading to conclusions about what will work best for Millennials and Baby Boomers alike:
- ACE: This acronym helps individuals think about their Alignment with life goals, the Capabilities needed to get there, and how to make choices that bring continuous Engagement across work, family, hobbies and other vital parts of life.
- Balanced Scorecard: How can people achieve better balance across career, family, social, spiritual, educational, and even political needs and desires?
- Life Mapping: incorporates the unique life goals, key success drivers, and ties those to actions individuals needs to take now in their lives. This type of thinking enables them to see both the short and long term, and to adapt to change.
- Measurement: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Readers are taught how to devise appropriate measures for their individual scorecard, and how to track success over time.
- “Street Smarts:” Savvy, life-fulfilled people also have street smarts. They have learned the ‘art’ of becoming fulfilled—how to adjust to bumps in the road, how to overcome common setbacks, and the ten factors that most often lead to fulfillment.
ARC by NetGalley
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