One of the most important things I've learned from my mentors taught me to never to focus my life on self-fulfillment.
What's the difference? What’s the main difference? The motive. Self-fulfillment means doing what I enjoy most and will receive the most strokes for doing, while self-development means doing what I am talented and uniquely fit to do, and that becomes my responsibility to others.
Chasing self-fulfillment is a bit like chasing happiness. It’s an emotion that cannot be sustained. It relies too much on circumstances. It depends on a person’s mood. In contrast, you can develop yourself regardless of how you feel, what circumstances you find yourself in, your financial situation, or the people around you.
Write down your top three to seven goals and dreams then write down the names of the most important people in your life. Be honest with yourself. Which comes first? The people? Or your goals and dreams? If you are like I was early in my career, my agenda was first. Fortunately, I realized very early in my marriage that I needed to put Andera first. That opened the door for me to be less selfish in other areas of my life. The longer I live, the more important people have become to me. At this early stage of life, nearly everything I do—even related to personal growth—is motivated by a desire to help others.
Make the decision to put others ahead of your own agenda. Put your family ahead of your own agenda. Put the development of people at the workplace ahead of your own advancement. Serve others instead of yourself. Commit to it, and then invite others in your life to hold you accountable. Lastly, remember, sometimes the seeds you sow take a long time to grow, but you always see a harvest.