• Benjamin Gear

Satisfaction vs. Fullfillment

Sooooo, let’s keep this short(ish) and sweet. I was in a little funk over the lack of give of damn I felt I was receiving from people. Coming out of that funk happened when I realized that I was validating my worth by relationships, not by who I was, what I did, or how I lived. If you happened to read ‘Where I Am’ and ‘Judgement, kinda’ then you saw where I came to the understanding that I was kinda hung up on how I was being perceived. Pursuit of that validation impacted my treatment of others that didn’t contribute directly to my desired outcome. Which leads to my point today, Fulfillment over satisfaction.

Simply put, satisfaction is whats felt when an achievement is met; “I’ll be satisfied when…” Satisfaction is not a bad thing. Fulfillment, however, is achieved by acting in purpose. Fulfillment is a great thing. All this purpose talk can sound overwhelming or just too deep but it’s actually really simple. Generally speaking, as humans, our purpose is service; to assist, help, improve where we can. Personally speaking, purpose is simply when your natural abilities and talents are being put to use to better stuff. Satisfaction is contingent on an specific outcome, when it happens. Fulfillment happens by trying. Satisfaction is the result of having done, fulfillment is the result in doing.

I met a girl buying a charger for her phone on Monday. Tuesday she came back in to get some unrelated items and we just started chatting. Turns out she’s South African, living in the Netherlands and was in town with her contemporary dance company performing at UNC. Before I knew it, we’re sitting criss-cross applesauce on the floor for 30 minutes talking about meditation, spirituality, and judgement. The likelihood is that I’ll never see her again but what I gained from the interaction (doing, fulfillment) is much more valuable than that interaction resulting in a new Facebook friendship (outcome, satisfaction). Had we not exchanged communication information I’d have still gained just by having had the talk. The after relationship is just a cherry on top.

All that to say, chasing outcomes is a self-produced jail that every one and thing has the key to rather than me. My love of people is my gift to give and the more I give it the more I receive. Funny how that works. But if I give it with any expectation, then I run the risk of missing out on the fulfillment from having given. It will also produce a criteria for me to give, or not give, and that’s just not how gifts work. You all have a gift, specifically tailored to you. It may not be a love of people but whatever it is, it’s yours and the world needs to receive it almost badly as you need to give it. Embrace detachment from effort and outcome and you will be satisfied with fulfillment.

“TRUE happiness is a state of fulfillment.” ~ Ashish Sophat


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