Pursue Independence and Fulfillment Instead of Happiness

by Oct 8, 2019

According to studies and research it has been proven that being dependent can lead to situations which could affect one’s psychological well-being. For example, as a young adult sharing an apartment with your parents you will experience less privacy, and will often be obligated to follow certain rules, and accept decisions which may not be well-aligned with your life’s plan.

Being dependent on others can make you very susceptible to depression. You can experience frustration when decisions are made for you. You can feel disappointed when you can’t get certain things because the people you depend on (your parents) refuse you access. You can become disgruntled when your schedule is crammed with several house chores to earn your keep; robbing you of quality time for yourself.

It’s important as a young adult to strive towards being independent. By striving to be independent and aiming to make your decision out of a place of power, you clear the path to your fulfillment.

“Making decisions towards your fulfillment isn’t always easy. Sometimes the outcomes create temporary pain, but the end goal is worth it.”

Carina, a recent college graduate who participated in my latest Rant & Grow podcast, made a tough decision out of a place of power. She broke up with her boyfriend who threatened her with an ultimatum, because she felt that such a relationship could prove detrimental to her pursuit of her long-term fulfillment.

It was a painful decision. But in the end, she’ll become fulfilled because of her ability to achieve the intended outcomes she desires for her life.

When presented with the choice of selecting between happiness and fulfillment, we always tend to go for the immediate happiness. But happiness is a fleeting thing; it’s ephemeral.

In attaining a particular level of fulfillment, you must go through certain experiences that at times aren’t going to make you feel happy. Carina’s case is a very explicit example of having to endure a break-up in order to fulfill her long-term life goals.

Another example can be seen in the situation whereby you tear up your muscles working out at the gym all for the cause of becoming fit, strong, and healthy. Of course, tearing up your muscles hurts; it’s not a happy experience, but eventually you attain the desired fitness and end up being fulfilled.

You may find this weird and probably hard to believe, but you can also experience happiness and still not be fulfilled. On the other hand, you can experience pain and still be fulfilled.

The example I gave on tearing up your muscles at the gym, all for the aim of being fit, is a typical example of experiencing pain but ultimately becoming fulfilled. Now let me give a vivid illustration of what I meant when I said you could experience happiness and still not be fulfilled.

When I was single, I engaged in recreational relationships and one-night stands, which made a part of me happy for a while, but I ended up not being fulfilled. Why? Simple! I wasn’t fulfilled because my desire for developing intimacy with a partner wasn’t achieved. 

“Just because something brings you happiness here and now, it does not mean it will fulfill your ultimate needs.”

According to a survey carried out in the United States, featured by MarketWatch, a significant rise in the percentage of fresh graduates who returned to their parent’s homes after college was observed. In the year 2005, 19% of fresh graduates returned to their parent’s house. While in the year 2016, the value skyrocketed to 28%, 9% rise to be precise. Over the same time period, the percentage of young college graduates likely to live with a romantic partner fell to 34% from 44%.

Judging by the results of the survey, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that such an outcome isn’t appealing and would end up affecting the long-term careers of such graduates. 

There is a significant decline in the needed pressure on these individuals to hustle and make a life for themselves, compared to if they were living alone and less dependent on their parents.

An independent graduate wouldn’t take up such a lackadaisical approach because they know that if they don’t work hard, they will starve. So, they hustles to remaining independent. 

Hustling is a much-needed skill that will serve them during difficult times in their adult lives. Facing challenges early will prepare them for bigger challenges later in life that come with aging parents, raising children, and the demands of careers.

To be independent means to be your boss. You make decisions for yourself without need for approval. Nothing beats being able to cater to your needs without the help of your parents. Being independent comes with a high level of respect and commendation. 

As young adults who are recent college graduates, I implore you to strive towards living an independent life for the sake of your long-term career, growth, and personal development.

“Being independent makes you feel empowered; you are in the driver seat of your life.”

As a young adult, moving out of your parent’s house after college in search of greener pastures won’t be easy, but you stand a chance to get a jump start towards your own fulfillment after you manage to pull it off.

As a young adult go for what you think is beneficial to you. Refuse to let other people’s opinions stifle yours. Ensure you have the courage to adhere to your heart and intuition. You can achieve a lot when you make up your mind to be independent.

By being independent, you have the freedom to try out new things. Don’t be afraid to make lots of mistakes along the way. This eventually gives you more insight into the world and all that exists out there. Life is a continuous journey of learning and growing.

It is in this profound range of experiences that you find opportunities for adventure and success. Dependent individuals will find it hard to come across such opportunities. This is exactly what sets most successful young adults apart from the rest.

“Our goal in life isn’t to be happy; our goals is to experience fulfillment.”

Fulfillment comes with a price tag. You have to be willing to make difficult decisions that align with your long-term goals in life. Anything worth having comes with challenges, and the need for perseverance.

“The more we earn our fulfillment, the more it becomes ours and the longer it lasts.”

This is exactly what Carina learned during our discussion, the difference between striving for happiness, instead of fulfillment. Carina is well on her way towards her fulfillment. 

She made a difficult decision to get out of a relationship that wasn’t serving her needs, and she experienced pain for it. That kind of courage will serve her well for years to come, because the temporary pain far outweighs the long-term fulfillment of being on purpose with her life.

Check out the Rant & Grow podcast life coaching session with Carina and see how I help her shift her mindset towards pursuing her independence and fulfillment. Maybe you’ll discover some wisdom for your own life. You can listen to the podcast right here.

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