Personal fulfilment: how a balanced lifestyle leads to a wonderful life

By David Lamb

Personal fulfilment is the achievement of life goals which are important to you as an individual. It is what makes you want to go to bed late and get up early.

It could be work, hobbies, family, fun…it doesn’t matter. It’s what drives you to fulfil your life’s goals.

Many people help to identify what will give them personal fulfilment by writing a list, a ‘bucket list’, which describes all the things they want to do before they die (kick the bucket).

A study published in 2017 found that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them, and psychologists suggest that these lists help connect people to something larger than themselves and lead to a sense of fulfilment when a goal is accomplished.

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli psychologist and economist who suggests that what people remember from hedonic events are their peaks; if there are no peaks, there are no crisp memories. Bucket lists can help to create crisp memories.

We invite all our clients to complete a bucket list, including target dates and cost estimates. We can then build these into cash flow projections to help provide the funds to support those ambitions.

Research suggests that people benefit more from experiences than buying material items. I initially disagreed with this, because, if I am going to spend a lot of money on something, I want something to show for it.

Then, within a few weeks, I bought new car and went on holiday. When I first got the car, I was so careful driving it and extremely cautious where I parked it (we parked so far away from the entrance of Tesco, my wife thought it would be quicker to walk to Asda!)

A month later, I was back to driving and parking normally; the novelty had worn off. But we still talk about the holiday years later.

Remember, though, personal fulfilment should sit comfortably within a balanced lifestyle.

In the 1946 film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ George Bailey never achieved anything on his own bucket list. But, when reflecting upon his life he realised that because he never let his own ambitions get in the way of other people, his was a wonderful life. Which is why, seven decades later, we still watch the film every Christmas.

A balanced lifestyle leads to a wonderful life…