The first move toward mastery is always inward—learning who you really are and reconnecting with that innate force. Robert Greene
The process of creating a rewarding and fulfilling life, however you define it, starts from within. Looking within is a term that is used frequently but exactly what that means is often left unclear and hanging in the wind for you to figure out yourself.
Looking within is not a physical act. It has nothing to do with your eyes. The key to understanding what looking within means, as noted by author Robert Greene, is a reconnecting with the innate invisible force that gives life to the body, whatever you choose to call it. It is a process that leads to the realization that who you really are is far greater than your mere physical existence.
How you arrive at this realization is different for everyone. For some, practicing meditation works best; for others taking walks in nature is what works. Sometimes, however unfortunate, it’s a traumatic life experience that leads to a shift in consciousness and a life transforming awakening experience. Although the process can be different for everyone, the one thing shared amongst all who begin the search is that gnawing sense that there must be more to life than this. That sense that “I am here for a greater purpose than this,” this sense, in essence, is a state of unfulfillment.
There is a scene in the Matrix, one of my favorite movies, where the character Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne), explains to Neo (Keanu Reeves) that “no one can tell you what the Matrix is, you have to experience it for yourself.” Equally, no one can tell you what awakening to who you really are is, you must experience it for yourself. What one can tell you, is that arriving at this place fulfillment is possible for all who truly desire to do so.
Self-fulfillment is not something you find; it is something you create for yourself.
As noted, there is no one size fits all method to get there, what works for me might not work for you. Uncovering what works best for you requires an open-minded approach to exploring different processes until you discover your best fit. I would suggest the exploration be fueled by a spirit of curiosity and wonder rather than a sense of desperation, but if you seek, you will find.
When that inward shift occurs, your outward experience and view of life changes in proportion. A few signs that you are arriving at a state of self-fulfillment include first and foremost being comfortable with who you are, including accepting that we all have flaws, and we need not be defined by past mistakes. There is no longer a desire to compare yourself with, nor seek to impress anyone else. You do not define yourself by what you have or what you do to earn a living. You understand that the physical world, although real, is not all there is to reality and that there is something greater in which you are a part of. These are just a few indicators. Each person’s unique experience of fulfillment could include additional indicators not noted here.
As more of us strive to be the best versions of ourselves possible, the impact we can have on our world is immeasurable.
I would hope that it does not take a traumatic experience to occur before beginning the process, and that you will experiment with different methods to step back from the hustle and bustle “rat-race” of life and give yourself time to be alone and reconnect with innate essence of who you really are. This is reawakening to your true self, is the essential component in creating a rewarding and self-fulfilling life.