Here are five tips to help you feel fulfilled by Anamaya clinical psychotherapist, Jim O’Connor

28 MAY 2015 by Psychologies

1. Start at the very beginning. The journey to fulfilment begins the moment you intend to learn how to lead a fulfilling life – what I call the fulfilment intention. The most fundamental motivation of your life is not to just exist, not to just struggle, but to learn how to create a fulfilling life. Then life stops being a scary world of struggles and difficulties, or a world of mediocrity and sameness, and becomes a world of endless possibilities.

2. Know what you’re looking for. Well, you already know what you’re looking for – fulfilment. But before you can recognise when you have, it helps to know what it looks and feels like. The definition I use for fulfilment is ‘a creation of positive experiences’ – a fulfilled person knows how, and has the power to, create positive experiences. A positive experience makes you feel good, grow in your abilities, is important to you and leaves you feeling optimistic and enthusiastic for more. And if you become good at creating fulfilling experiences, your perceptions about life and living shift from pessimistic to optimistic, and from uninterested disengagement to highly interested enthusiastic engagement.

3. See all things as a fulfilment puzzle. If you see life experiences as things that just happen, you will not actively try to influence the directions or outcomes. If you see life as a series of experiences to be endured, you’ll do just that: endure. However, if you see life, and all its experiences, as potentially fulfilling, then you’ll focus your efforts on learning to create the most fulfilling experiences you can. It isn’t so much a choice but an intention to squeeze the best out of life and living, no matter what. All experiences are just puzzles that you can learn how to optimise for fulfilment.

4. Learn how to drive the mind-body emotional machine. You were gifted the most incredible experience-creating device the world has ever known – your mind, body and emotional system. Each part of this system is important in creating positive experiences. The mind is the ‘director’, the body is the ‘doer’ and the emotional system is the ‘feeler.’ When they work together in a positive manner, you get a fulfilling experience. When they work in a negative manner, you get a negative experience. If you learn how to adapt your perceptions, plans and preparations, as well as your strategies for engaging in life and living, you will become masterful at creating positive experiences and less negative ones. By also developing key mind skills, highly adaptable beliefs and behaviours driven by the fulfilment intention, you will become more masterful at creating fulfilling experiences and a fulfilling life.

5. Avoid the traps. There are a number of traps that we can fall into when mastering living with fulfilment, such as: 1. Believing pleasure-seeking is the same as fulfilment. Pleasure is an experience that is fulfilling, but it doesn’t sustain long-term fulfilment; in fact over time, pleasure-seeking behaviours can become less fulfilling if you rely only on them to be fulfilled. 2. Becoming preoccupied with only one aspect of life. Preoccupation with any aspect of human experience means you will not benefit from other fulfilling experiences. A balanced approach to survival, security, emotional wellbeing, social engagement, individual self-confidence, esteem and self-image is key to mastering the craft of living with fulfilment.

And finally, remember the promise: if you adopt a desire to pursue fulfilment, you will transform your life into something amazing. This is something worth living for – you’ll get your mojo back.

‘Living with Fulfilment’ is one of the brand new self-development modules available on the Anamaya app available on the iTunes store now. With more than 350 meditations and 14 new therapy-based self-development modules, Anamaya offers help with specific day-to-day issues to help users develop their mind for ‘a better way of being’.

Photograph: Corbis