In my twenties, my view on life was “variety is the key to fulfillment”. Every four years or so, I felt the itch to leave my comfort zone and spice up my life by doing something different. Maybe it was to learn something new, start a new project or simply repaint the house.
Sure, I needed security to put food on the table and a roof over my head, but I also loved to challenge myself, take risks, try out new things and meet new people – and still do.
I was perfectly content discovering the world. I moved from England to Holland and learned to speak Dutch. I danced, drank and dabbled in everything life had to offer.
If that weren’t enough, I took vacations to almost every major European city. I visited 4 continents and even crossed the international dateline to experience the same day twice.
As I hustled between comfort and variety, it wasn’t long before I began to notice an underlying restlessness.
I did some research and turned to the authors of personal development for guidance.
I found that we all share six common needs, and all behavior is simply an attempt to have these needs met.
First there are the 4 needs of the personality:
Certainty: safety to avoid pain and have pursue pleasure
Uncertainty/Variety: change, new stimuli, surprise, risk
Significance: feeling important, special or appreciated
Connection/Love: intimacy and closeness to another
Second there are the 2 needs of the spirit:
Growth: understanding and increased capacity to learn
Contribution: service to the world, supporting other people
According to the research, fulfillment can only be achieved when we focus on the two needs of the spirit to continuously grow and contribute beyond ourselves in a meaningful way.
At the time, I associated contribution exclusively with the concept of duty, volunteering and military service, all far removed from the personality lifestyle I had become accustomed to.
What really threw me was what I found next:
Dysfunctional behavior arises from the inability to consistently meet the two needs for growth and contribution.
For me, this insight was an epiphany. It explained why I had come to feel restless and stuck in life. I had focused on the self-full needs of the personality rather than the selfless needs of the spirit.
To my credit, I was not shy on growth, being an avid reader of self-help literature. I have a natural talent for nurturing others, but till that point I hadn’t really applied it beyond my circle of friends.
It was evident that I fell short on making a wider contribution.
Being responsible for the needs of others is an essential requirement of the soul. We cannot continue to develop after age thirty-five if we don’t create opportunities to give unconditionally – Psychologist John Gray
This research struck a chord with me. Instantly and instinctively, I knew that this was the missing link to my fulfillment and desire for a meaningful life.
This new insight compelled me to study and graduate as a certified life coach. I developed mentoring skills to help others who are stuck in some part of the life and seek clarity and guidance to design the next chapter of their life.
I also began to share tips and tricks on building the life you want.
Thanks to making growth and contribution my focus, I feel more balanced and centered.
I’ve learned that giving to others in service is the key to a fulfilled life.
Contribution is king.
If you feel inspired to to contribute or are already contributing to others in whatever form, I would love to hear from you. Leave a reply below
– The 6 human needs, why we do what we do by Tony Robbins
– How to get what you want and want what you have by John Gray
– Cover image: Victoria Nevland