Fulfillment (repost from 2005 with additions)

Gustav Klimt, Fulfillment

“There is the kiss of welcome and of parting, the long, lingering, loving, present one; the stolen, or the mutual one; the kiss of love, of joy, and of sorrow; the seal of promise and receipt of fulfillment.” –Thomas C. Haliburton

“Plant the seed of desire in your mind and it forms a nucleus with power to attract to itself everything needed for its fulfillment.” — Robert Collier

Accomplish your visions.
Persevere in your ambitions.
Only then can you negate
Visions and ambitions.

Some say that one should not have ambitions; they equate these with greed and lust. However, some ambitions are the result of curiosity and inner desire. They are individual interests, like wanting to know about a certain subject or wanting to achieve goals. As long as they do no harm to others, they should be exercised rather than suppressed.

Many young people are held back by their peers and their elders. Sometimes there are valid reasons, but usually the motivations of the others are colored by fear, ignorance, jealousy, or inadequacy. No one should hold you back from achieving your life’s goals.

Whatever you want to do, do it to the fullest. There are just a few provisions. First, you must realize that nothing is forever. You may achieve your goals only to find out that they are no longer important to you. This is all right. That means you have come to the end of your interest and are now free to go on to something else. Secondly, your ambitions should not determine your life. You are a human being first, and your goals are merely adjuncts to your basic quest as a person. Finally, you should realize that the fulfillment of your goals should include the eradication of all fears. Once you have accomplished these things, you will truly have nothing standing between you and spiritual realization.

Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao

Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.
— Sir John Lubbock

“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” — Mark Twain

“As long as anyone believes that his ideal and purpose is outside him, that it is above the clouds, in the past or in the future, he will go outside himself and seek fulfillment where it cannot be found. He will look for solutions and answers at every point except where they can be found–in himself.”
— Erich Fromm

I’m someone who always enjoys learning new things, and acquiring new knowledge. My ambitions are usually focused on learning some new skill or learning about something. One of the difficult parts of the Tao for me is realizing that I need to get out of my mind sometimes to be with the Tao. So I tend to give in a lot to my ambition for knowledge.

My visions are often centered on creating a new piece of art, or adding something new to my life. I’ve been wanting for some time now to get myself focused again on my art, but I make way too many excuses, and the art gets put off again and again, as does actually bringing new things into my life. I want to learn more Chinese brush painting and return to working with watercolor. I want to continue to grow and move along new pathways.

Ambitions and visions are important clues for us to understanding ourselves. I don’t know that we ever really get beyond them. Even the idea of not having them is sort of an ambition of its own. But can we feel fulfilled without accomplishing all our ambitions? Of course. I still feel fulfilled much of the time, even though I haven’t accomplished all the things I’ve set out to do in the day. It’s important to learn to get satisfaction from life itself, and not only from our achievements.

I think the real fulfillment for me is in knowing that wherever my path may take me, I can find satisfaction and contentment and enjoy whatever the day might bring for me.