The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

We have probably all reached a point at which we have stopped for a moment, looked back at our lives from a broad perspective and felt that something was incomplete – something was missing, there was a space that needed to be filled.

This is where the journey begins, the search for self-significance and the desire to fill a full, fulfilling life. This journey usually includes several phases, before we reach the final choice between two options – repressing the difficult feeling, or deciding to make a change.

The phases of this process include:

Phase 1 – the recognition

Recognizing that something is missing is the most important phase of the process. Only when we feel that there is an empty space, will we naturally feel a need to fill it. The decision to do even more in what is an already busy day is not obvious. Neither is the thought that doing more would actually make us feel more fulfilled and complete.

Phase 2 – the decision

At this phase, we have made the decision to do something more in our life. To commit to an activity that will fill us with renewed strength, that we will feel a connection to, will enjoy doing and will provide us with added value. We have made a decision to find the missing piece of the puzzle.

Phase 3 – the implementation

Now, after having made the decision to make a change, we need to understand how this change will express itself in our daily life. Firstly, we need to set aside time for this passion, so that this additional activity will become a part of our routine. Then, we need to choose the activity that is the most suitable for us. This is easier said than done, as considering the pros and cons of several activities that interest us may prevent us from taking action. At this point, it is important to understand how to make the decision. We need to go with what feels right for us and try it out.

Some of us will realize that they need to enrich their knowledge and will decide to take courses or participate in training programs, to complete an academic degree or take part in workshops; for example, to study photography or join a literary writing workshop. Others will turn to sports, join a gym, learn to surf or join a sports team. These are all examples of our hidden desires that have been with us for a long time, yet we have never found the time to realize.

Another option, which does not always come to mind at first, is volunteering. Today there are many places where one can volunteer, in a wide variety of areas: education, community service, environmental protection, and many more. In this type of activity, we mobilize ourselves on two levels – the first, to help others and preserve an idea or concept; and the second, to advance our agenda and benefit from added value. Volunteering allows us to engage in areas that are of interest to us, to take part in affecting change and becoming a member of a large community of volunteers.

The bottom line is, whether you have chosen to volunteer or to take part in other activities, it is important to persevere and not give in to daily pressures. We must remember that nurturing our soul is the key to living a more complete and fulfilling life.

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