You are probably one of the people who loves to see results from your actions. At work it may be meeting a deadline, hitting a number or achieving a challenging objective.
At home, it might be winning a game, cooking a great meal or completing a task you set out to do (I hear my messy garage calling!).
It feels great.
And, it is very fulfilling on one level.
The reason it feels so fantastic is because it satisfies a Core Need for you.
However, sometimes all that focus and action leaves some other needs by the wayside.
Getting to the Core
We all have a set of personal Core Needs, usually between 8 and 20, that drive energy, engagement, satisfaction and fulfillment within us.
When we talk about Core Needs, we aren’t talking about “being needy.” It’s not a shortcoming that we have needs. It’s just part of life. It’s about having what you need to be able to thrive not just survive.
Getting some of the results we mentioned might be satisfying a Core Need in you for accomplishment, achievement or recognition. Yet, what about your need for connection, exploration, reflection, down time or the like.
It’s the balance between your various Core Needs that brings that sense of fulfillment. Where are you paying your attention?
Getting results is great. Getting fulfillment is even better.
You have a range of Core Needs. Resist the urge to focus narrowly on only a few. Sometimes when things are uncertain, stressful or unclear, we all have a temptation to “double-down” on what actions we can take in the short run and we neglect other facets. Go broad.
Make a list of what they are. Ask yourself: “What are some examples of situations from my work or personal life that were very positive for me? What was it about them that made them so positive?” This will give you a good head start.
Some is Better Than None
Think of your personal set of Core Needs like they are the “fuel tanks” that power you around.
If you have all your gas in one tank but the rest are empty, you’ll slow to a stop because your energy gets drained.
Burnout happens when too many of your tanks are low.
While not every tank is going to be full all the time, you need at least some fuel in all your tanks in order to feel a sustainable sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Which of your Core Needs are running “on fumes” and may need some gas added?
Knowing your Core Needs is the first step. Being intentional about getting them all filled is the second.
The third step is to get your mindset focused on your ability and willingness to work at keeping your tanks filled.
Our beliefs, expectations and assumptions, especially those in the back of our minds, have a powerful impact on getting and sustaining that fulfillment.
Check out your own mindset. Ask yourself:
1. Do I believe that it’s possible to get my Core Needs met at work and at home, or am I skeptical about that?
2. Do I think that I deserve to allow the time and energy to get my Core Needs met, or do I question whether I am entitled to?
3. Am I open to the possibility that, even with my current situation that I can find a way to get more of my Core Needs met?
Armed with the answers to these questions, you can assess, “Does my mindset work for getting my Core Needs met, or do I have to change my thinking?”
So, keep on getting those great results. And, at the same time keep the focus on getting your entire set of Core Needs met.
It’s the fulfillment that motivates and carries you forward in your life and work. Make the most of it!