The Fruits of a Fulfilling Life

“The fruits of a fulfilling life are happiness, confidence, enthusiasm, purpose, and any form of compensation for these are mainly by-products of doing something we enjoy and doing it with all our heart rather than receiving things we seek directly…” — Dan Miller

Have you ever noticed the early riser seems to have a different outlook on life than those slow to get out of bed? More often not than you will find most of the early risers, as a rule, are happier than the sleepy heads. This is because they love what they do or they have learned to love what they do. They have found that life is better lived doing something they enjoy rather than having to trudge through the day waiting for their eight hour shift to be completed. These people have an enthusiasm that is readily seen in everything they do. They have learned something many never seem to grasp, regardless of their length of life.

I grew up with a father that was in business for himself. He was a hard task master that did his level best to instill in his boys a great work ethic. It was very hard to please him. As a matter of fact it was nearly impossible. The three oldest of us worked from the time we were in the fifth grade. We worked after school or on weekends and all summer long. By the time I was in high school I hated working. I didn’t even want to graduate from high school as I knew doing so meant working – FULL TIME. One of the reasons of my hatred for work is I felt it had and was continuing to destroy my childhood. As a result, I didn’t feel the excitement my fellow students did toward graduating.

After graduating, in spite of trying to fail and stay in school, it was work as usual. I hated getting up in the morning for it only meant I would be free to do something I hated: WORK. In our situation, my father always assigned more work than one could do. It was not uncommon for our work day to be eleven to twelve hours long in order to complete the amount of work assigned. The reason for this was obvious: you had to get better at your craft so you could complete more work. Therefore, in an effort to minimize the time I had at work and free more time for myself, I studied how to be better at my craft. I honed in my skills learning how to systemize the work so I could complete it faster and better thus, providing more time for myself by completing the assigned work quicker.

Still, I hated working. It even got to the place where I hated going to sleep for that only meant to rise the next morning was to head off to work again. YUCK. Life was not pleasant nor was it fun. Life was actually difficult and becoming more so. It wasn’t very long with this kind of mindset before I was very depressed. I didn’t know why then, but it is obvious now. It was my outlook on life causing this depression. My hatred for working affected everything single aspect of my life. Because of this hatred I found myself not looking forward to the following day, which, as stated before, made going to sleep difficult. It also made getting up in the morning difficult for I was only getting up to go to work. It even made the time away from work difficult for I always knew what I hated was coming up right around the corner. Something had to change. I simply couldn’t go on in the same frame of mind without disastrous results, which could have been life threatening.

Fortunately, something did change. I changed. It was as easy as flipping a light switch, but it didn’t seem that way at the time. It just so happened during this dark tunnel of depression in my life that I was listening to the radio in my pickup truck when I heard an individual discussing how many people hated their jobs and how hard this made it to go to work. He said it was the reason for most of the health problems as well as mental depression. His prescription for solving this problem was for one to learn to love what they do. He continued by saying it would take an attitude change as well as setting a goal to become the best one could be at what it was they were doing for a living. That stuck with me. WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING; WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING…FOR A LIVING…a LIVING!!! It wasn’t what I was doing for death yet, that is exactly where I was headed. If I am to live then I need to start heading in the direction of the living.

The attitude I had was not taking me in the direction of the living. My life compass was set on having an existence of misery, filled with ill health, depression and emotional instability. In other words, I was headed toward an early death. What is worse, I was headed for being one of the living dead. For the opposite of life is death; the opposite of enjoyment is misery; the opposite of happiness is sorrow. My attitude had me heading in the direction of misery, ill health and sorrow. Said another way, I was headed toward death. By changing my attitude toward work, then setting a goal to make myself the best at what I did for work, I began to develop a passion. I soon found a love for that which I was doing for work. The next thing you know I was looking forward to getting up in the morning; as a matter of fact, I wanted to be up early so I could get started before everyone else in hopes of being the first to catch the worm.

All of a sudden my life took on purpose; all of a sudden my life had meaning. I no longer sought to be happy, nor did I need to try to muster up enthusiasm. The reason for this is monetary compensation, happiness, enthusiasm and the like became by-products of my new attitude and direction. The result was life became less complicated and enjoyable.

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox