Are you a performance driven or a fulfillment driven individual? Do you compete or do you live? Do you struggle each day or do you enjoy every second?
Whenever I ask those questions I’m getting the most intriguing answers. But each and every answer reinforce the fact that people are extremely motivated by performance. Fulfillment seems to be seen rather like a consequence of a performance based attitude, than as a path to be followed on its own. In today’s post I’d like to sketch a few directions about how performance and fulfillment approaches are shaping our lives.
So, how do you define performance in your life? What’s fulfillment in your life?
External versus Internal
For me, performance is external. Is something that I have to be congruent with, something that I have to align with, something outside myself. In order to perform, I have to shift, to remodel, to rewire, to rearrange myself, according to an external model. Even if I try to create my own model it will still be based on outside perceptions. Performance is happening on the outside.
Fulfillment is internal. Is something in which I can genuinely dive without any outside support. Is something that emerges, that grows from within. In order to be fulfilled I only have to embrace, to accept, to dissolve into a sea of inner resources. I don’t need an external model for my fulfillment, everything I need is already there. Fulfillment is happening on the inside.
Rules versus Freedom
Performance means usually to respect a set of rules and be really good at that. Every performance needs to be measured and for that it needs rules. Rules are bounding, limiting and restraining. Performance comes from total obeisance of the rules and from acting in a finite territory.
Fulfillment doesn’t need any rule to happen, is just there. Fulfillment doesn’t really have a measurement system, it either is or it isn’t. Fulfillment happens in freedom, is endless in its nature and unmeasurable. Fulfillment comes from total flexibility and from acting without any restraints.
Proof versus Knowing
Every performance is meant to prove something. Most of the time it proves a higher capacity of the performer, it proves the fact that more can be achieved. Without any proof there wouldn’t be any performance.
Fulfillment doesn’t need to prove anything, it’s just there. Fulfillment is feeding your sense of completeness and integration. It nourishes your deepest connections to yourself. It doesn’t need more of anything, because it is already complete.
Consuming versus Creating
Every performance is consuming something. It’s consuming your resources, your time, your skills. In order to achieve a certain performance you have to spend something. Every performance is expensive.
Fulfillment doesn’t need anything. Even more, fulfillment is always creating something out of your current state. Fulfillment is never expensive, on the contrary, it always gives you something instead of taking something from you.
Being only performance based or only fulfillment based is not a choice for me. I rather go with a balance between performance and fulfillment. Changing from one attitude to another as I grow.
Shifting my status using performance based approaches is leading to fulfillment sooner or later. After a certain period of adjustment to external stimulus and rules – in which I am totally performance driven – I find myself joy in an inner fulfilling abandonment.
After respecting the rules of climbing I can rest into a peaceful stillness on the mountain I just conquered.
After consuming experiences I can create things based on that.
After getting proof of overcoming my own limits, I can enjoy the simple truth that I can always do that.