Happiness vs. Fulfillment


I think that many, many people are chasing the wrong thing when it comes to what they want in life. So many times I’ve talked with friends and family, and the one main thing that they tell me when I ask them, “what do you want out of life?” is “to be happy.”


While feeling happy is an amazing thing to strive for in life, there are a few reasons why I think there might be a better option.


If your main goal in life is to feel happy, what’s going to happen when a negative situation comes up? Will you allow yourself to feel negative, or paste a fake, happy smile on your face and move on without coping. In my personal experience, brushing things off until they blow up is something you do NOT want to do. It leads to high stress levels, unhealthy coping strategies and likely will make the people around you less inclined to help you out in your time of need.


Being happy in life is good, but you need to allow space for ALL emotions.


Another reason why there might be a better option is that (especially in the millennial generation) we are still trying to learn that our happiness does not have to come from other people. If this is the first time you’re hearing it, I’ll say it again: your happiness does not have to come from other people. Others can do things that lead you to feeling happy, they can say things that make you happy, but choosing to feel happy is up to you. Think about it like this: if someone came up to you while you were crying about something sad, and they tried to make a funny joke, would it make you happy? Chances are it probably won’t.


You can’t rely on others to make you happy. If happiness is something you want to have, that is perfectly fine, but you have to learn to accept that it is not another person’s responsibility to make you feel that way.


I think that there is a much more meaningful thing to “chase” in life, and that is fulfillment. There is a large difference between what the two will give you. Happiness is an emotion you feel in a given moment, it is fleeting. Fulfillment, however, is a more long-term feeling of satisfaction and peace.


I think that it’s better to pursue fulfillment because it is easier (usually) to know that it comes from you and is your mind alone. Fulfillment comes from having the things that you want, and everything lines up with who you are as a person.


For many years of my life, I wanted to be around other people strictly because they made me happy. They told funny jokes and we would all go out and have a good time, and that was all I needed. That led to me eventually being worn down and feeling empty because the other aspects of those people weren’t something that I got along with. I was friends with them just because they were nice or funny, and eventually it lead to us drifting apart. Weird right?


Happiness is an amazing thing. It really is. You can still have that in life. But you have to understand that the only one in charge of how you feel is you, and you have to be willing to chase the right things in order to live the life that is best for you.


What do you want out of life? What is your main goal? If it’s happiness, does this change your mind? And if not, why? Let’s start a conversation!



Julie is a twenty year old who recently graduated high school. She has Cerebral Palsy, but doesn’t let that hold her back! She looks forward to becoming a certified Life Coach, and obtaining a degree in psychology. Helping people succeed is her passion, as well as hiking, working out, and writing. You may reach Julie at www.thecontinuationproject.wordpress.com or email Julie at jujubead57@frontier.com