"Time for Change" would be a great title for a country song. That song could go something like this:
I’ve lived life full. I’ve climbed and stumbled,
full of pride and seldom humbled.
I’ve gained and lost. I’ve chased a fortune.
My love is money, and I want my portion.
But now I’m down to my last four quarters
and it’s time for change.
But this isn’t a song about a sad cowboy, down on his luck. It is a rant about reflecting on life’s journey and the discovery of what is really important in finding fulfillment.
We live in a world that constantly encourages more — more stuff, more accomplishment, more success. Most days, we are bombarded with marketing and advertisements that encourage competition and a constant pursuit of happiness through big purchases and material achievements. But those things don’t often bring long-lasting joy and their pursuit sometimes leaves us unfulfilled. So, what does lead to lasting fulfillment?
I think the answer is three simple things – purpose, community and enough resources. Like the sides of a triangle, these three things should be balanced. When asked about their formula for longevity, centenarians — people who live to age 100 or more — often reflect on factors that fit nicely on this triangle. Beyond diet and exercise, centenarians cite having a sense of purpose. They like their lives more when they feel their activities have meaning. They want to feel safe and value being part of an active community. They also cite having enough resources to meet their needs.
I encourage us all to reflect on our own fulfillment triangles. Are they balanced? Are we pursuing material gains at the expense of our true purpose or our time with the people we care about? It’s never too late to change our priorities.
I’ve lived life full. I’ve climbed and stumbled.
Once full of pride, I’ve now been humbled.
I’ve lost but gained, and learned to care.
Your love is the real treasure, and I cherish my share.
No longer down to my last four quarters,
I offer you my change.
- Mike R.