I refer to the image above as my FAD — Fulfillment Audit Dashboard. Each card contains a role I play. Within each card there are questions that allow me to determine if I have met the expectations I set for myself. Each day, I evaluate the expectations and if I have accomplished what I expected of myself.
Most times I don’t check the Personal Growth card. You can see that reflected above. Either my other roles took longer than expected, I had obligations to my children or my husband, or my boss, or I simply got lazy and sat my ass on the couch to watch murder shows on Netflix. It happens.
The very act of evaluating what I wanted to accomplish versus what I accomplished helps me.
Before creating the dashboard, I thought about times I felt fulfilled. What did I do on those days? What did I accomplish?
This is unique to each individual and needs to be thought about carefully. When it comes to me, I want to excel at work. I want to contribute to company growth and development of user friendly solutions. I want to give my children individual time and have alone time with my husband. Usually I can accomplish all of these in a day.
I’ve discovered that checking only 3 cards doesn’t leave me fulfilled.
Isn’t being a good worker, mother and wife enough? No it’s not.
The days I don’t check the fourth card off is a day I don’t grow. In addition to being a worker, mother and wife, I want to be the best version of myself. In order to do that, I need to focus on myself.
And this, my friends, is where self-awareness comes in.
If I hadn’t reflected, I wouldn’t understand that the fourth card is critical to fulfillment. The days that I check off all cards are the best days. I feel unstoppable on those days.
Sadly, we deprioritize the fourth card. We don’t invest time in activities that challenge us. We don’t focus on learning. We forget that we need to do these things to gain fulfillment.
Being self-aware is not the absence of mistakes, but the ability to learn and correct them. -Daniel Chidiac
Good news! We can make mistakes and still be self aware. I can’t count the number of times I’ve learned from making mistakes. In fact, the most consistent thing I’ve done in my life is make mistakes. With mistakes, we learn lessons. From lessons, we grow.
If you’re at a place in your life where you feel unsettled, it may be time to invest in yourself. It’s not enough to focus on what makes you happy. If you focus on what makes you happy, you’ll be too comfortable to grow. You need to be uncomfortable. We grow from challenges.
For this reason, I’m not going to tell you to focus on what makes you happy. That’s bullshit and won’t get you anywhere. I’m going to tell you what helped me.
Create your own fulfillment audit board.
You knew this was coming. Create a dashboard of all roles you play, what you expect from yourself for each one, and add one in for personal growth. Each day review the dashboard and evaluate yourself.
Find things that challenge you.
Want to run a marathon? Start working toward that goal today. Go outside and run. Take baby steps towards your goal. Baby steps on the personal growth card count when they are consistent. Too often, we focus on the end goal and forget about the journey. I’m sure you’ve read before. We forget the journey is where we grow, not the end. The marathon itself won’t challenge you, it’s the day to day running grind that will.
Make a commitment.
Commit to your personal growth. If you want to start woodworking and can’t seem to stop watching people do it on You Tube, you’re not committing to yourself. Buy some wood. Get some tools. Start making some joints. Chip away at your goals.
Learn something new.
If the very act of engaging in a new hobby is daunting, start with learning something new. Read a new book. Take a Linked In course. Watch a You Tube video on literally any topic you’re interested in. Keep your mind working.
Be careful with this because you can get too comfortable. I have an urge to learn, turn on You Tube and find myself watching home organization videos. Yes I’m learning but I’m not doing enough to challenge myself. I can’t check the personal growth card off that day. This leads me to my last point.
Be honest with yourself.
If you’re comfortable, you know you’re comfortable. You’re reading this on your phone with a glass of wine in your hand watching a show on Netflix. Maybe some of this story is resonating with you. Maybe you’ll even create your FAD tomorrow. Be honest with yourself and find things that truly challenge you. Don’t limit yourself and stay comfortable. Growth isn’t growth if you’re at a plateau.
I struggle with fulfillment. I enjoy my job and my family. But I want more. I know you want more too. We all do. We are capable of much more. Let’s commit to ourselves and each other that we will challenge ourselves. We can learn. We’ll make mistakes but we won’t stop focusing on our growth.
Create your FAD and let me know if it works for you.