Happiness and fulfillment.
Two very desirable concepts we strive for throughout our life.
Is anyone surprised? Definitely not!
Who doesn’t want to wake up every day feeling like they’re truly making a difference, being successful at something they love, happy with their relationships, and inspired by the future?
The list goes on, but you get the point. Yet you also realize that it’s not always as simple as it seems to find these truths…
That’s why we’ve reached out to the wonderful people below, all of whom we greatly respect for the work they’ve done.
Each of them has helped countless people work through their own obstacles stopping them from success. So they definitely know what they’re talking about since their thoughts come from direct experience.
We asked them all to answer this question:
“From what you’ve seen, what’s the main obstacle that holds people back from living a happy and fulfilled life?”
Their answers blew us away! We hope that their thoughts below resonate with you, and opens your mind to some new ideas and thoughts that can help you along your way.
And at the bottom you’ll find a list of everyone involved, along with one of our favorite articles of theirs that we think you’ll enjoy.
Between them all, there’s truly a goldmine of information out there!
1. Lori from tinybuddha.com
Our thoughts. No matter what our circumstances, if our thoughts revolve around fear, worry, and regret, we won’t feel happy.
I’ve gone through times in my life when everything was going “right” and I felt miserable, and times when everything was going “wrong” and I felt at peace. It seems so simple, and it is (though not easy)—our thoughts shape our emotions.
As for how to change our thoughts, meditation is a great start. It could be traditional seated meditation, walking meditation, yoga, or anything that connects body and breath.
And a tiny bit goes a long way. Even just five minutes in the morning can help us create inner calm. From that place, we’re much more effective at making external changes that will make us feel more fulfilled.
2. Greg O’Gallagher from kinobody.com
What’s the main obstacle that stops people from living a happy and fulfilled life?
Themselves. People stop themselves from living a happy and fulfilled life. There’s no external circumstances that can take the responsibility off of you.
The bucks stops with you! This may sound harsh, but this is beautiful. Knowing you have complete control and power to be happy and fulfilled is empowering.
So, stop getting in your own way! Play close attention to the stories you tell yourself about why you can’t succeed. Those are the very stories that are stopping you from moving forward.
Take responsibility, never delegate blame onto another. Envision the reality you want for yourself, the reality that excites you! And work your ass off to achieve it.
I truly believe if you have a powerful vision, you can achieve it. The only thing that stops us from achieving our goals and being happy and fulfilled are the limits we give our self.
3. Sasha Angelina from ombeing.com
The main obstacle that I have found holding people back from a happy and fulfilled life is quite simple. It is the suppression of love.
This is not just the emotional love that I’m referring to. It is a love that exists within you. It cannot be shaken or depleted, lost or found. It is a string that connects us together, manifests all things and just simply is.
When you discover this love, you hear, see, feel and experience all events and people so differently. You experience them in your true being, which is love.
The unhappiest people I have met don’t believe in love. They believe in “real” things and to them love is not real. To them, love is only a very irresponsible emotion. They will often do things to avoid any kind of love or expression of love. Love is a weakness.
And yet they suffer everyday from this suppression of love and instead feel judgment, anxiety, sadness, anger, loneliness, or worst case, numbness. A disconnect and numbing of all emotions to avoid that one emotion that we have labeled as love. Their entire existence is then created through the energy of these emotions and experiences.
Although this may sound “spiritual” it has nothing to do with being spiritual or not spiritual. Even some spiritual seekers have challenges allowing love to surface.
Love must be allowed, it is always your free will to allow or not to allow and each moment gives us the choice. Love is the basis of creation. You are love and will always be love. The Universe is love. Truth is love. All else unfolds from an awareness or non-awareness of this love. The simple action of meditating on what love is can bring an abundance of joy, purpose and clarity.
4. Paul from thedailymeditation.com
In my humble opinion the biggest obstacle people have is not allowing themselves to be themselves and to live in the present moment. Most of life is taken care of if you just stay present, stay now.
It’s like the flame of a lighter. You’ve got the spark, which is the moment, and you’ve got the gas, which is the spirit. You put the gas with the spark, the moment with the spirit, and you’ve got all you need to create a bright light that will burst through all darkness.
But those two things, the spirit and the present moment, must stay together as one, otherwise the flame is extinguished.
Bottom line, you be yourself and you keep yourself in the present moment and you’ll burn brightly. Let those two things slip apart and you’ll be all but put out.
5. Jennifer Gresham from everydaybright.com
The main thing that holds people back from a happy and fulfilled life is a lack of clarity.
As a kid, happiness was pretty easy. We didn’t need much, expectations were relatively low and straightforward. As you get older, things get more complex.
You have to choose among options and make trade-offs. But too many people keep the same mindset they had as kids. They think they should just know. Most people don’t.
That doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out of course, but it takes dedicated effort and structured thinking and testing.
6. Joshua Becker from becomingminimalist.com
The main obstacle that holds people back from living a happy and fulfilled life is the belief that a happy and fulfilled life looks different from the one they are currently living.
7. Amit from happierhuman.com
The largest obstacle that I see is unending consumerism and a desire not to be weird or uncool.
I live in a group house with one family of four and another of two. This has the advantage of making my home life more interesting and social, as well as reducing my rent to 30% of what others in my demographic typically pay. I’m happier for the arrangement and because I’m also frugal, I expect that in 15 years at the age of 40, I’ll be able to retire – free to spend my time on the people, projects, and activities that truly make me happy and fulfilled.
But living in a house with other people when I could have my own studio apartment? Weird and uncool. Hanging out at the park when I could be dropping twenties at a bar? Lame.
It’s hard. I often struggle to remember. My desire screams that I’ll be happier if I get that car, those new clothes, go on that vacation. But usually, I remember. Hedonic adaptation is a part of being a human. If I let my desire or my need to fit in drive my decisions, I’ll probably end up just as happy as everyone. Not bad, but I could have done better.
8. Erin Ashley from iridescentscarab.com
In my experience, the biggest obstacle that holds people back from living a fulfilled life is themselves.
So often, and almost instinctually, we tend to put limitations on ourselves or convince ourselves we can’t do something. Society is partly to blame, but we are partly to blame as well if we give into the negative thoughts we tell ourselves when we’re unable to do something.
We also have a tendency to blame the things that happen to us externally instead of looking inward. And I think that prevents a lot of happiness and potential to move forward as well.
We have the power to control our thinking and to control what we can and can’t do in terms of our life choices. Living without limitations would be living the freedom that each and every one of us deserves!
Some Final Thoughts & Recommendations
At the end of the day, living a happy and fulfilled life is ultimately up to you.
That’s not to say there are certain things in your life that can make that difficult to do, but the choice is yours whether you take on those challenges or not.
We hope you’ve found some thought provoking advice in this article! If any of the advice above resonated with you, we encourage you to check out that person’s site.
Here’s a list of each person who participated (thanks again everyone!) along with one of our favorite articles of theirs that we recommend you checking out:
- Lori from tinybuddha.com
- Greg from kinobody.com
- Sasha from ombeing.com
- Paul from thedailymeditation.com
- Jennifer from everydaybright.com
- Joshua from becomingminimalist.com
- Amit from happierhuman.com
- Erin from iridescentscarab.com