S:0638 Distinction: Fulfillment vs. Gratification

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Gratification feels great. When you’re gratified it means you’re getting your needs met; things are working; you’re probably achieving your goals; your life pretty much works. To feel gratified is a nice outcome and one certainly worth having.

Fulfillment is a much richer feeling.

The key to fulfillment is the word “full.” When you are full of things which are meaningful to you, when you know what you value, and when you express those values, it leads to fulfillment. It’s not just a play on words to say that “fulfilling your values leaves you feeling fulfilled.”

The tricky bit, frequently, arises from our possessions. When our possessions possess us, when acquiring them becomes more important than simply enjoying them, then we may be stuck in a gratification loop. “If I can just get X, then I’ll have it made.” Gratification always fades and then we’re on the hunt for the next fix.

Have all you want in life. Really, have it all. Leave no desire unexpressed. Just make sure that what you want, wants you, and that getting it leaves you fulfilled.


Coaching Point: What is one really fulfilling attribute of your life right now?


Copyright 2007 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.