Michael. D. Higgins, age 70, was elected President of Ireland last week after a career as an academic, politician, writer, poet, humanitarian and promoter of the arts. He could be forgiven for choosing to retire but instead decided to reinvent himself yet again. No doubt for him continuous growth is a way of life.
Sometimes those who have achieved their career, family, material and social goals wake up one day with an empty feeling and wondering ‘ what is it all about ? ‘. They thought they had ‘arrived’ and were looking for their just rewards. Isn’t it so unfair that fulfillment can remain elusive after all that hard work !
This tells us that fulfillment comes not from the ‘arriving’ but from the journey, and that the end of one journey should herald the beginning of another. Of course, we may be on a number of different journeys at the same time.
For others growth can come from dealing with difficult challenges, which unearth latent talents under the heading of ‘necessity being the mother of invention ‘ e.g. business start up following a job loss. Admittedly ‘gifts’ from a crisis are likely to be more easily appreciated with some hindsight !
So consider getting out of your comfort zone – being ‘stuck in a rut’ , namely doing the same thing over and over again, is a state of mind that you can change. Encourage your creative side and you might be surprised at the other ‘selves’ you stumble on that have been lurking beneath the surface. Truly fulfilled people do this naturally as a way of life.
You know you are on the right track when you feel energised, and have regained (or achieved for the first time) that feeling of youthful enthusiasm for what you do.
The above is not necessarily about fundamental change (although it might be), but about giving yourself permission and flexibility to grow.
Summary : Seek out and be open to the ‘new’ as a recipe for personal fulfilment.