Achievement

There are countless things that may be considered achievements. There are as many definitions as there are people. Rather than try come up with a universal definition, let's explore what achievement could mean if we were to venture beyond the conventional, the commonly accepted, possessive or materialistic notions that often (not always), make up the dominant Western world view.

Fulfillment

This is what we are, whether we are aware of it or not, ultimately after in life. It is the longing of our innermost desires, and the subtle call of our true nature to return to the source of all our personal inspiration, happiness, and depth. It is our desired direction, whether we know it as such or not, or even aware of the subtle (or, sometimes, not-so-subtle) influence that it exerts over our life progression. At the purest levels, the highest levels, it is our purpose and potential. It is the source of motivation for everything we do and do not do.

First and foremost, achievement is the feeling of fulfillment.

Every person, regardless of their unique individual circumstances, is capable of experiencing that unmistakable state of fulfillment where they are themselves satisfied and proud with their own accomplishment of the moment. It comes down to key internal states which are required for fulfillment to take place. Think about when you are trying to achieve something… why are you trying to do it? The answer is because it will make you feel an internal satisfaction, a period of balance in which you are satisfied with your progress – you are content to kick back, say “ahh” and enjoy what you have accomplished. You gain a sense of freedom and liberation from your goal, a time during which you feel compelled to ponder how you got here, what it took, and where you might go next. Or you might just sit for a while and feel pride, strong emotions of power or self-reliance, strength or commendable characteristics that are important to you. You will feel impressed with yourself. All of these things, these feelings, can be summed up in one word: fulfillment. It is a state of internal satisfaction, not an object of attainment.

Secondly, achievement is the process of fulfillment.

This goes deeper than the mere feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction we associate with our goals, or our progression through life and the challenges it presents us with.

If we more or less accept the idea that life is a moment-by-moment series of choices, then we can see that with every moment that passes and every choice that is made, we either fulfill (or embody) that which, at the basic levels, makes us who we are, or we shy away from, reject, abandon, or otherwise choose not to draw upon those genuine qualities and aspects that define us (in that moment).

Strictly speaking, this issue of choice refers to the process of being, or the living that happens when we are at our most natural, most true-to-self state of existence - unobstructed by superficiality and distraction.

Consequently, fulfillment of that process [of being] can likewise be called achievement, since it is the culmination of all our past knowledge, skill, experience, and defining characteristics. In this case, fulfillment refers to the draw we make against that experience, to the extent that we apply its value and make use of it in the present.

Knowledge remains dormant, until applied situationally.

Why is this process so important, and, if it is that important, how do we make better use of it?

The answer lies in our own unique experience with this process against the backdrop of all of the events that influence the outcomes of our particular situation. If we search our past experience, we will find moments in which our actions were both situationally precise and at the same time inherently meaningful (to ourselves and/or others), and rewarding in and of themselves, without further reward. Those moments are personal insights into genuine sources of fulfillment from our unique experience.

Furthermore, they are roads of thought that can be followed to the more 'global' perspective-driven issues of human Purpose and Potential.

For a further exploration of the subject of deriving principles from experience, see the section entitled The Principled Approach.

Key Internal States for the experience of Fulfillment

These states have the potential to create favorable ground for both the feeling and the process of fulfillment to manifest in our actions;
  • The stress and pressure of trying to achieve is momentarily alleviated;
  • A feeling of significance - that something has been done, that you have gotten somewhere;
  • A feeling of pride and self-satisfaction;
  • Rejuvenation; the “aah” feeling that makes it all worth it, and gives you motivation and energy to go further or to do new things;
  • The joy, happiness, and internal balance that you originally perceived when you set out to achieve the goal – the reason, the “why” you got started on doing what you were doing in the first place. (is personal, individual. Can be anything from a sense of belonging, to acceptance, to whatever else that is important to you)
  • A feeling of empowerment to do more (whether it be more of the same or something new)
Fulfillment at the highest level

All of the above is individual fulfillment. These are all things that you can experience internally when you reach a goal, or when something in your life happens that makes you feel fulfilled. There is also another kind of fulfillment. Not only the individual, but the kind of fulfillment that spills over into the rest of your surrounding world, where the cup, rather than being empty (unfulfilled), half full (growth process), full (fulfillment), it is overflowing (highest level of fulfillment) and giving something back.

True achievement
True achievement is not only empowerement on the individual level (beach bum, yet 100% fulfilled), but being OK with being a beach bum that is 100% fulfilled and finding ways to help others experience the same level of fulfillment in their lives.
Self-actualization
  • The process of finding oneself and one's place in the world.
  • The shedding of layers of artificiality and wrongful conditioning to reveal what is more essentially true and right, for ourselves.
  • The ultimate result of following the process of self-inquiry.
  • A realization of one's true nature, the seizing of that which is essential and pure, without the preconditions, distractions, and limitations of the ego or external circumstances.
A point where the process of "personal growth" seizes to be a conscious effort, and becomes a natural phenomenon that's merely "allowed" to take place. In a certain sense, this is the "getting out of one's way", and is the point at which an individual enters the path of mastery. The personal freedom and ability to re-define oneself accordingly, without grasping too tightly at things that may have been true in the past but do not necessarily apply (a function of the ego).

"Moment after moment, you become you yourself."
~Shuryu Suzuki Roshi
Not Always So