My grandchildren love bubbles. They love to watch them fall to the ground. They love to reach out and touch them. Of course at the moment they are touched, they disappear. Life can feel like this. We can see something that looks so appealing, and chase it, but once we touch it…it’s gone.
Recently I heard someone say, “I moved to the country of my dreams, and got the job of my dreams, but I only feel empty.” It kind of reminds me of a dentist I once spoke with. They have been running their own dental practice for 20 years. But she said, “I think I chose the wrong occupation.” I spoke with a man who played briefly in the National Football League. He told me, “It felt like nothing. People were so excited about me getting to the NFL, but when I got there, it just felt like a job.”
What we are talking about is disillusionment and disappointment. And these things lead to discouragement and depression. I want to bring you clarity that can help you chart a different pathway that will lead to fulfillment and excitement about the life you are living.
There is one fatal mindset that sets us up for this empty feeling.
Here is the wrong mindset:
We are looking for something outside of us to acquire or achieve to validate ourselves. We tend to think “If I accomplish something great, I will be great.” Or, “Once I get the house of my dreams I will have made it.” Many people think this way of their occupation. “If I get that job, I will be somebody.”
But what if we saw life from a really different perspective?
Instead of finding something great outside of me, what if I give the great gift inside of me to the world? Instead of looking for a job to make me great, what if I get a job and I make it great by how I do it? Instead of chasing bubbles, what if my life produces fun bubbles to bring joy to others?
Let me explain it this way. Think of Thomas Edison. He did some great things. The invention of the light bulb was one of those things. I really doubt that he was trying to do that in order to prove or validate himself to the world. He probably created the light bulb because he had a great desire to make a difference in the world. Instead of trying to prove himself to the world, he simply gave his gift to the world.
The search to validate ourselves is a primary cause of our disillusionment with our life and career. We try to validate ourselves through external accomplishment. We watch others accomplish things, or work a job we dream of, and we assume they are really fulfilled. So we strive to find our great thing out there in the world. But we are just chasing bubbles.
There is a different way. We can see ourselves as a person with a gift for others. And we can greatly give our gift. Instead of trying to become great; we can serve greatly. We can show up boldly. Instead of having something to prove every day, we can have something to give every day.
With this mindset, you will grow in fulfillment. And over the course of time you will accomplish great things. And with this heart of fulfillment, you can live with the joy of serving every day instead of chasing bubbles every day.