“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all."
If you want to feel happy, do something for yourself. If you want to feel fulfilled, do something for someone else.
During a 75 year old study at Harvard called the Harvard Grant Study, researchers followed 268 male Harvard undergraduates from the classes of 1938-1940 (now well into their 90s) for 75 years, collecting data on various aspects of their lives at regular intervals. And the conclusions are universal. The conclusions showed that the only thing that matters in life is relationships. A man could have a successful career, money and good physical health, but without supportive, loving relationships, he wouldn’t be happy (“Happiness is only the cart; love is the horse.”).
Of course, the only way to have any relationship is to put yourself out there and be around people. Find a "tribe" to fit into. Your tribe will sustain and support you. The members of your tribe will do good things for you and in turn you will begin to do good things to and for them. This will extend from supportive to loving. And you will begin to feel fulfilled. And it all started by doing something for yourself ... putting yourself out there.
Connections are simply the most important part of living a long and happy life. The Grant Study provides strong support for the growing body of research that has linked social ties with longevity, lower stress levels and improved overall well-being.
Part of feeling fulfilled is the self confidence relationships provide.
In a recent survey, 97% of the GeoVisions Returnees (alumni) said their program improved their self-confidence.
Since a GeoVisions program provides the cart and the horse, that was great news for us. At GeoVisions we discovered we are not only providing unique experiences for people to make a lasting imprint on the world, we are providing supportive
relationships with other participants and members of their new host communities. In turn this is providing an overall feeling of improved well-being and our participants simply label it improved self-confidence.
Somewhere I read about 7 ways to feel fulfilled in your life. Obviously I'm going to say there are 8, since I'd add participating somewhere in the world with GeoVisions to the list. But absent that, here is what I recall:
1. Have Gratitude. If you are not grateful for the good things in your life, you will never be satisfied. Take inventory of the good around you. And pass it on.
2. Share Your Stories. When we share our stories we are giving others the tools they need to build, evolve, and persevere. 97% of all Blog posts on the GeoVisions Blog are written and shared by our participants.
3. Forgive. Make peace with your past so that it won't spoil the present. Once you accomplish this, you will close those chapters and live a more positive and happy life.
4. Be A Better Listener. When you listen you open up your ability to take in more knowledge versus blocking the world with your words or your distracting thoughts.
5. Turn Envy And Jealousy Into Energy. The universe does not owe you because someone else is better off than you. Channel that energy into building your personal and professional brand. There are so many people over the years who participated with GeoVisions and came home to build their own project and help those in their own local community.
6. Stop Blaming Others. Remember, opportunity is usually found in the valleys, not at the peaks.
7. Understand That The Past Is Not A Blueprint For The Future. Just because you've experienced adversity in your life does not mean that what starts badly will end badly. Do not make bad experiences a self-fulfilling prophecy of what lies ahead.