The other day I found myself at a huge event where NFA SuperStar Tony Robbins was doing his thing. In case you don’t know, Tony has been the undisputed champion of self help and business coaching for decades. This guy has studied what it takes to be a better, happier, more efficient, more successful, more prosperous human.

He riffed on tons of amazing ideas but one thing resonated with me in particular. He spoke about ‘The Science of Achievement’ and ‘The Art of Fulfillment.’ He basically said that it’s essential to strike a balance between these two things. If you’re incredibly successful but have no real fulfillment in life, you simply will not be happy. And if you only seek fulfillment, perhaps you will not achieve your goals.

Not long after this I was hanging out with Eryn, my wise and wonderful girlfriend. Things got a little heated. In fact, the pot boiled over.

My NFA workshops and other endeavors had been taking off lately. Awesome! I’d been devoting many extra hours to emails, developing workshops, speaking gigs and working with my publicist. All great. But I forgot about the fulfillment part. I simply wasn’t spending enough time, energy, love and presence on Eryn. I was directing it towards my achievement.

She eventually had enough of it and took a big step back in the relationship. A BIG step.

I took a deep dive into introspection. My heart bled. I couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t eat. I found myself trudging through midnight hikes across the city in the rain. You know what I’m talking about.

Somewhere in those dark days it became glaringly obvious. The fulfillment of being with her— taking a walk in the woods, cooking together, doing dialogues in dorky voices, hanging out and letting our love light shine— was worth a million times more than checking off a bunch of tasks on my to-do list.

This was a huge wake up call for me. Why? Because I’ve generally pushed too hard on the achievement side. Yes, I want success. But I really want fulfillment. We all do. It’s just that we forget and find ourselves focusing on achievement. The culture screams it. Our sense of self demands it. But the reality is, true happiness is found in fulfillment. Whatever that looks like to you. Exploring nature, listening to tunes, being with friends and family. Whatever.

I really needed to hear this. I’m going to remember it. And act on it.

Thank you, Tony. For planting the idea in my brain.
Thank you, Eryn. For helping me understand.



What is your fulfillment? How to you strike a balance between achievement and fulfillment? Write to me. I want to publish your comments and ideas in future blog posts and newsletters.