This summer, a few M2 (Class of 2022) students shared their thoughts on big questions in life. What does fulfillment mean to you? What does living a “good life” mean? Here is a couple of their answers. This will be an ongoing series, as we all struggle with attaining the “good life” and “fulfillment.”
fulfillment means the satisfaction of knowing I made a difference in the life of a family member, friend, patient, or stranger. Fulfillment means going to sleep at night knowing I tried my hardest to do better in the world. I believe that seeking fulfillment should also be rooted in reality, and not become searching for the unobtainable.
I believe that having a big, loving family is integral to my personal fulfillment. I am not sure what this family looks like yet, but I know that being surrounded by people (or cats and dogs) that I love will be the ultimate fulfillment. I would feel most fulfilled by providing for a family financially and emotionally and by being able to spend ample with them.
Being fulfilled also include giving back to society and my community. I would feel extremely fulfilled through being involved with underserved populations and contributing to their better healthcare and living conditions. Through living a (future) financially privileged life, it is my responsibility to “pay it forward” and provide opportunities for others that I was so lucky to receive.”
being at peace with my decisions. For me this feeling doesn’t come naturally. Instead, as a goal-driven individual, I am hard-wired to believe that fulfillment comes from achievement, or at least the pursuit of it. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that the rewards that come from achievement are often short-lived. In medical school this is an especially hard lesson to learn, when sometimes great sacrifice is required for relatively little personal reward. So, rather than focus on a particular achievement, I try to focus on why I am choosing to pursue one goal over another. Getting to the heart of “why” is a lot more difficult than it sounds, especially when it requires admitting my motives are sometimes not as pure as I’d like them to be. To me this process is liberating, however. When I am comfortable with the “why” the achievement itself feels less important. I feel assured that how I am living and where I am going is in line with what’s important to me, no matter how many ups and downs I may have to go through. Said another way, fulfillment is the feeling that comes when I choose a particular path in life confident that in the long run it will get me to the place I am supposed to be.”
a completion of a task or a leaving an experience having grown as an individual. Life doesn’t always create a clear definite path that we can follow or at least it gives us ones that may not seem like an option at the time. It also represents choosing to be apart of things that will feed your soul and make you genuinely happy. ”
Please reach out to the literature editor, Nathan Stacy, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like your definition of fulfillment or the good life published in a future edition.