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  • Writer's pictureFiona Feeley

It's seldom about the thing you think

The majority of people who come to work with me have a specific area of their life; a ‘thing’; that they want to tackle. And so, we start the process of exploring and very quickly it becomes apparent that it is not about the ‘thing’. It never was.

When we have lost the thread of our lives, we tend to look at our external environment to identify what needs to change in order for things to improve. We look at our career, salary, possessions, relationships, body shape and come to the conclusion that if that particular element of our life was different, we would feel infinitely better. We chase success and happiness believing that they will fill the existential void we are experiencing. And yet the answers to the disillusionment we experience have always been within. In our commercially driven and superficial culture, that is fuelled by vacuous social media validation, we are conditioned into a trajectory of money making and approval seeking, neither of which give us long term fulfilment.

So, where do we look when we want to feel more life satisfaction and a greater sense of meaning? The following steps bring us closer to a life of fulfilment

1. Self-awareness and acceptance

To know yourself and fully accept your being is integral to navigating your life as opposed to allowing life to happen to you. Creating an awareness of your emotional experience and the impact it has on your thoughts and behaviours means you are living consciously as opposed to on autopilot. Accepting yourself, accepting life and accepting others for what they are, not what you expect them to be is the key to greater peace of mind

2. Purpose and play

Feeling like your life stands for something is essential in your overall sense of wellbeing and joy. Pay attention to times when you felt most alive, most useful and most fulfilled as this is the clue as to where you will find your sense of purpose. Note that your purpose doesn’t have to be grandiose, some of the most inspiring moments are found when we let loose, play and allow our inner child to peep through.

3. Connection

Isolation and loneliness kill and yet we are losing the skills necessary to connect with each other in a meaningful way. Empathy, presence and appreciation are essential components in reaching another. We need to connect with ourselves in order to connect with others beyond the surface conversations we have.

4. Curiosity and Awe

To truly know ourselves; to appreciate the world and to connect with others; we need to stay open-minded, inquisitive and embrace a life-long learning. Seeing the beauty and complexity that is life and the people in it fills us with gratitude for our existence.

5. Kindness, forgiveness and Surrender

We mistakenly think that by holding on to coping mechanisms, defences, old habits and grudges; that we are somehow protecting ourselves and yet we are merely holding ourselves back from potential freedom, joy and connection. Practicing forgiveness whenever and wherever possible isn’t about being submissive. It’s about giving ourselves the freedom to invest our energy in what we love as opposed to being consumed by resentment and hate.

Building a spiritually led, purposeful life is a vocation. It’s takes discipline and commitment however ultimately we all just want peace of mind and contentment; to feel valued and understood; to feel our lives stand for something. So if you crave a different life, start off by looking within.

For any queries on how to live a better life, get in touch by email at

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Twitter: @fundamentallyfi

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