The Illusions of Fulfillment That Sabotage Leaders

The illusion of fulfillment causes leaders to crash and burn.

Power and authority:

Power and authority feel like fulfillment but the feeling is intoxication. Those worthy of power and authority feel humility and responsibility when they receive it. Those unworthy, feel arrogance.

Relaxation:

Don’t confuse fulfillment with relaxation.

Relaxation and fulfillment feel almost the same but they’re separate experiences. Sitting on the beach with your toes dangling in the water feels relaxing. Sacrificing in service to others feels fulfilling.

The danger you face is relaxation feels like fulfillment. But relaxing feels good while you’re doing it, working through tough challenges feels fulfilling after you do it. A team that sticks together through conflict feels fulfilled when they work together.

Preparation and work:

The excitement of being successful without doing the work is like getting away with speeding. But it’s not fulfilling.

The difference between relaxation and fulfillment is relaxation turns to boredom.

Preparation and work lead to fulfillment. The sense that you did your best is fulfilling. But showing up unprepared felt good while you were dangling your toes in the water.

Enjoyment isn’t fulfillment because fulfillment costs and enjoyment is easy. I can walk through the Metropolitan Museum of Art and enjoy the paintings. But I haven’t done the work of understanding art to feel fulfillment.

Self-respect:

Self-respect is the noble side of fulfillment. You don’t respect yourself while relaxing, unless relaxation has been earned. Even then, small doses of relaxation are enough.

What did it cost you to earn the opportunity to dangle your toes? If it didn’t cost you anything, it’s quickly boring, not fulfilling.

Anything that comes easy isn’t fulfilling.

The opportunity of leadership is feeling self-respect and gratitude for paying the price.

Fulfillment is inconvenient.

What are the components of fulfillment?