Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Fulfillment Project Responds to You

The first week of The Fulfillment Project has been amazing.  There have been so many thoughts and ideas posted on my blog and emailed directly to me that I wanted to devote a day just to you.

First off, I got to meet Shelly. Shelly was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and decided she needed a way to focus on everything wonderful about life (I hope I've paraphrased that accurately Shelly).  This desire fueled her Big Life Project.  What inspired me most about Shelly was the way she has taken something difficult and turned it into a focus on joy.  I think that kind of focus will play an important role in The Fulfillment Project, and even though I haven't gotten to it will come.

cropped pic from Shelly's website
CP at Large on G+ recommended I read Flourish by Martin Seligman.  You can check out her blog here:  Even though I promised you this blog would be, the not very well researched account of one woman's search for fulfillment, I have trouble resisting a good book recommendation.  Flourish is now on my holds list at the library.  I have the feeling it'll be filled with some irresistible quotes. 

I also loved a comment by Hart at  She brought up the blessing of having enough, not so much that you don't appreciate the good things in life, but enough so you aren't miserable.  I love this idea, which is essentially about balance.  I'm quite certain balance is going to play an essential role in The Fulfillment Project.

Finally, the two comments made by almost every guy I know, including my husband are as follows:
1.  You seem pretty happy; and
2.  Why are you doing things you don't like (in response to my Internal Shudder post).

At first I was tempted to frame this as a Mars/Venus response, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that was too simple.  The first comment is valid.  Why should I try to make my fairly happy self, even happier?  Is it a self-absorbed, waste of time?  There's a substantial body of research that shows it isn't, but maybe the best way to make that point is to follow the age old writer's advice and show instead of tell.  Going forward I will make a point of showing why it's important for me (and you) to push ourselves to the top end of the happiness spectrum.

As for the second point, either every guy I happened to talk to this week is way more self-actualized than every woman I know, or it really is a Mars/Venus kind of thing.

Next post will be published on Monday.  It asks the question, what brings joy?  My answer pushes me back towards an abandoned passion.  I can't wait to hear about all of your passions (abandoned and otherwise) that bring you joy. 


Sarah Tokeley said...

Surely the more pertinent question is why wouldn't you try to make yourself even happier if you can?

Matthew MacNish said...

What brings me joy? Family. Writing. Nature. My dog. Reading.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think it's the logical part of us that asks that question!

clpauwels said...

Thanks for the mention and link!

I'm following your project with great interest. Good luck to you -


Johanna Garth said...

Sarah, see! That's the perfect question.

Matthew, I may need to talk to you about the dog bit later in the project. We don't have one...yet.

Alex, I think you're right!

My pleasure Cyndi and thanks again for the recommendation.

Hart Johnson said...

Hey, thank you for the shout-out! As for the man/woman thing... you know what i think? Men think we over think it... that we'd be happier not thinking about why we aren't happier. (they probably... if you really got to the root of it, think we should just think about sex more). I think there IS something to overthinking it sometimes, but at the same time, i think training yourself to focus on the good and change small habits really CAN have amazing results.

WritingNut said...

This sounds like a great project... and I agree with Alex... it is the logical part of us that asks, isn't it?

So glad I stumbled across your blog :)

Sara said...

In my experience, men are no less influenced by what they think they should like/want than women are - they are just less aware of how those "shoulds" affect their life. Is a love of flowers or the color pink really determined by your chromasomes? Or is it just that men from a very young age learn to completely shut off thoughts that don't fit within the typical idea of what a man should be? Reading Raising Cain and it just make me sad that R has no problem discussing his love of swords, but only reveals how much he loves his baby doll to a selet few boys (child 2 being one of the few who get the love of violence and nurturing at the same time).

Shelly I said...

Johanna, I'm honored you stopped by my Project site! Thank you for the kind words and the link here on your lovely blog! I have been out of circulation for a few days, and this was such a joy to find as I am catching up on my social media and reading. You made my day. So if you get some of your fulfillment from helping others and making them smile, your project is yielding fruit. :-)