The other day I had three of my clients here at my home for shared One-Days, where you share your One-Day with others and benefit from their contributions and insights. This is a powerful process. Because there is no script, I often get to discover new insights and aspects of Inquiry Method.
These three people have worked with me for a span of 3-12 years and been dedicated to their path of growth, so their lives are working really well. Their consensus check-in was that they were experiencing happiness and but also a continued desire to grow. As we went along, we discovered that happiness can be like an oasis in the desert. After experiencing so much struggle in life, it really is nice to rest there for awhile. However, it can be tempting to stay there and not look further.
We may wonder: why not stay if I have reached a place of happiness? It is certainly one choice but there may be a cost, we may develop a sense that our growth is now fixed, things may become stale and ultimately, we may not realize our true capacity.
I call this fulfillment; the result of our choice to continue to grow once we have gotten out of our struggle. Living from fulfillment means continually growing into what you are capable of; this is a different kind of happiness, a constant moving into a more expansive life. One could say it is unfolding happiness.
However, there is a cost to this approach as well. Risk.
The risk is in the unknown; it is not possible to explore your own fulfillment without risking yourself because you are always moving into the unknown. In truth, this risk is more perceptual than actual, because even failure encountered in the process of fulfillment only leads to the learning that creates more fulfillment. We can be so risk adverse that we avoid fulfillment.
I see this often in my work; the door is open to growing and exploring and in either condition of happiness or discomfort, we do not change. Once again, it is not so much the risk itself but the fear of risk.
From this perspective, any aspect of life can always get better. In a more fundamental way, it is perhaps useful to say that the purpose of life is fulfillment and that this feeling/experience of fulfillment is its very purpose
In what areas of your life are you in an oasis? Where would you like to experience more fulfillment? What are the risks you are unwilling to take to have your life the way you really want it?