8 qualities of people who live a fulfilled life

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You want to live a fulfilled life. (Who doesn’t?)

I used to think that a fulfilled life was for people who went down in history books — but I was surprised to find even someone ordinary like me could live one.

It only takes a certain mindset — certain habits, practices, and characteristics that you follow on a daily basis.

Now I make sure to live by these 8 qualities of people who live a fulfilled life every day. And you can too. 

Keep reading to find out what they are. 

1) They’re generous

One of the key qualities of people who live a fulfilled life is that they are givers.

Let’s face it, life can be scary. We can lose things, and often it feels like we’re in competition with one another — in work, success, and love. 

As a result, many people fall into the mindset of trying to hog as much as they can for themselves. It’s a protection mechanism, and a natural response when you see your environment as having lots of threats — and I must admit, I used to think like that too. 

But eventually I realized that if I wanted to live a fulfilled life, I had to break free from this thinking and adopt a mindset of abundance. 

There is enough money, opportunities, love, and anything else you want to go around for everyone. 

When you give to others, you don’t take anything away from yourself — on the contrary, studies prove giving to others actually makes you happier

And, giving doesn’t have to be financial. You can also give:

  • Compliments and kind words
  • Help when someone needs it
  • Your expertise or knowledge
  • Your time through volunteering
  • Gently used items you don’t need anymore

2) They plan ahead

How do you think a fulfilled life is built? Is it something you think someone just slaps together on a whim, or does it take careful planning?

Usually people don’t create a detailed blueprint of their life, but the fact is it’s more of the second one.

Finding fulfillment means going in a meaningful direction with confidence and purpose. For this, you need to know where you want to get, and have a plan for action steps and overcoming potential setbacks.

I’ve really started embracing this over the past few years of my life. I know I want to accomplish a number of things in the next few years, and that some of them need to happen in a particular order.

As a result, this helps me know what to focus on, and what I can let go of any expectations for in the time being. 

Planning is ultimately what helps me achieve my goals and move forward in the right direction. As they say, if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. 

3) They embrace their imperfections

You’re obviously someone who’s deeply committed to their personal growth, and on constantly becoming a better person.

That’s unbelievably admirable, and something that sets you apart from many others. 

But don’t take it to the extreme. Your imperfections form part of who you are, and we cannot possibly “erase” all of them because they are what make us human. 

People who live a fulfilled life know to embrace their imperfections, and even use it to their advantage. 

When you recognize a weakness, you identify an area where you can make immense progress, or surround yourself with people who have it as a strength and can balance you out.

For example, I have always been poor at spatial intelligence — I can get lost in my own apartment, and I have a really hard time judging distance or planning routes. 

So whenever I go on a trip with friends, I take care of booking the flights and apartments and I let someone else plan the drive. That way, we all use our gifts to their fullest. 

4) They are emotionally aware

At the end of the day, fulfillment is a feeling. But it’s a bit more complex, because it’s actually felt when we reach an understanding of all our other feelings. 

You may feel frustrated, annoyed, sad, or disappointed on a daily basis. What is behind those feelings? 

When you dig deeper to understand this, you uncover your values, motivations, and dreams. And when you know those things, you’ll see the path to your own personal sense of fulfillment.

Understanding where your emotions come from also helps you understand your thought processes, mistakes, and vulnerabilities. 

And as you can imagine, this is another crucial trait to living a fulfilled life. 

5) They are grateful

In life, you have two options. You can look at all the things you don’t have, complaining and worrying and being angry.

Or, you can look at all the wonderful things you do have, and feel grateful for them.

Which life sounds more fulfilled to you? 

Gratitude is a topic we hear about a lot, but for many people it’s just something trendy to post on social media. 

People who live a fulfilled life actually embrace it in their day to day. When I started understanding happiness and fulfillment, I shifted my focus to all the good things I could be grateful for, and I saw a huge difference.

Of course, inconvenient and unpleasant things do still happen to me. But they affect me much less when I don’t let them overshadow the positive, and when I tackle them with an optimistic mindset

6) They are responsible

I don’t mean for this to take a super serious turn — but well, it’s time to talk about responsibility.

Fulfillment often conjures up images of people having fun with friends, having success in business, or becoming a master at a passion that they love.

But behind the scenes, all these things have one thing in common: a strong sense of responsibility.

This is what keeps your bonds with your friends strong, as you keep your promises and act with loyalty and honesty towards them. 

It helps you succeed both professionally and personally, as you keep your commitments and follow through on action plans to do what needs to get done. 

And it helps you get good at anything you set your mind to, because you stay consistent and continue to work hard. 

Responsibility is at the heart of everything good I have in my life right now, from my amazing relationship to the thousands of people like you that I can help through this website. 

When you adopt this quality too, you’ll find yourself on the fast track to a fulfilled life. 

7) They are forgiving

The sad truth about being human is that sometimes, we hurt each other — most of the time unintentionally.

This can range from a small insult that stings to a huge betrayal such as cheating on your partner or blabbing about a personal secret.

Going through these things is hard. But people who live a fulfilled life find a way to forgive.

You cannot undo what happened to you, and you never would have chosen to go through it. But what you can still control is how you move forward.

Do you want to let what happened dampen the rest of your life and enjoyment? Or do you want to learn what you can from the experience, and let it go so you can go through the rest of life light and free?

This quality is completely necessary to find fulfillment because you’re bound to be disappointed many times in life. If you get hung up on them, all you’re doing is accumulating reasons to be sad and upset. 

And that’s definitely not the fulfilled life you want to live!

8) They keep sight of the big picture

The last quality of people who live a fulfilled life is something it took me a while to understand.

In fact, I think it comes with age and maturity. It’s the ability to keep the bigger picture in mind.

Let me illustrate this with an example. The other day I was going to an important social event, and I had the most horrible pimple on my face — right in the middle of my forehead, too. 

I was frustrated, embarrassed, and honestly pretty down about it. It was really important to me to make a big impression. 

At the event, I ended up talking to someone who opened up to me about the health problems of a close family member. And then it hit me. Two hours ago, I was at home, fussing about a freaking pimple??

There are real problems going on in the world. Suddenly, my problem seemed trivial and silly — which, to be honest, it was. 

This is just an extremely simple example of something that all of us go through in millions of different forms. 

And this is not to say that you’re not allowed to feel things, “because someone out there is going through worse.” But it’s always healthy to keep perspective in mind, and realize what truly matters in life

Are you living a fulfilled life?

Now, you know 8 key qualities of people who live a fulfilled life.

I hope you’re nodding along with the realization that you embrace these qualities already.

But if not, you know what? You can start at any time you want! The amazing thing about humans is that we have the ability to grow throughout our entire lives.

So get out there and build a fulfilled life that you can be truly proud of living. 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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