Fulfilled #illumedati 3

Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays and this is kind of a random topic today. Since I’m a physician, people usually ask me “What do you want your daughter to be when she grows up? A doctor like you?” Before today, I would usually say something like “I just want her to do whatever makes her happy.” However I have a new answer now. When she grows up, I want her to be Fulfilled.

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What do you mean, Fulfilled?

Well, previously my answer was that I just want my daughter to be happy, whatever she does.

“What do you want Kylie to be when she grows up? A doctor like you?”

“Happy. I just want her to be happy.”

However, last night on my drive home from work, I was thinking about that answer and I realized. I don’t just want her to be happy.

Whatever she choose to do, I want her to feel fulfilled.

What’s the difference?

Well, they’re kind of similar, however, happiness is implicit in the word “fulfilled”. As such, to be fulfilled, happiness is already present.

Being “fulfilled” includes being happy with “fully developing one’s abilities or character.” It can also be interpreted as possessing the feeling of having reached one’s potential“.

So basically, when I say I want my daughter to be fulfilled, I am saying that no matter what she does in life, I want her to be happy and explore it to its fullest. I want her to look back at her time growing up and feel proud of herself and her accomplishments.

Hmm… but isn’t that more narrow than just “happy”?

Yes, I can understand how many can interpret the answer of “fulfilled” as being more narrow than “happy”. However, the question itself was already kind of narrow to begin with.

When you ask someone want they want to be when they grow up, they usually assume that you mean a job.

However, I don’t think the question needs to be answered that way. Just saying you want to be happy is kind of a nebulous statement which implies you are answering the question on a more of broad scale, outside of a job. One can attain happiness outside the scope of a normal day job. In fact, I think nowadays many would prefer to not work a normal day job.

Happiness, while nebulous, is also relative. One person may find happiness in another way than someone else. Also, even if exactly the same event happened to two separate people, the degree of happiness they may feel may be different. That’s because people are different.

So, to me, “happy” is simply too nebulous of an answer and doesn’t really answer the more narrow question of “what job?”.

For this reason, I think fulfilled is a better way to put it. It helps the person who is answering the question to understand that I want my daughter to do whatever she finds interesting. More so than that, I want her to be happy doing it and I want her to push the boundaries of whatever she chooses to do.

I see.

Of course, it’s Whatever Wednesdays and these are just my random musings on my drive home.

Anything else?

Well, this is only kind of related. However, also implied in my answer of “Fulfilled” is that I want her to develop her own sense of what it means to be successful. I also want her to not afraid to be wrong. Success doesn’t mean always right and never wrong.

I want her to struggle. 

I like to think my daughter is a pretty smart little girl. She understands concepts relatively easily and absorbs knowledge like a sponge. However, because most things come easily to her, when anything is difficult, she is quick to give up. For this reason, while we praise her for getting things right that she is good at, we praise her even more when she gets something wrong but then learns from her mistakes. To be honest, I’m not that great at this since I just tend to expect that she’ll understand. My wife is the one that reminds me to praise our daughter whenever she tries really hard as something.

However, I’m trying to be better, like with Legos.

I think Legos are awesome, as I’ve already stated in my prior post. However, what I think makes them so great is their infinite re-usability. Now, my daughter can’t read yet, aside from the normal sight words and a few sight words books. However, that doesn’t stop her from trying to follow the instructions to the Lego Sets we bought her. This last time, I tried very hard to let her try to make the set by herself only with help and guidance from me. I would praise her whenever she was able to figure things out the first time. However, more so than that, I would praise her again whenever it wasn’t quite in the right place but she was able to figure it out after a little trial and error and guidance from me.

After it was all done, she was so happy and ran to show my wife and proudly say “Look what I made mommy. All by myself, except a little help from Daddy.”



Ramblings of a tired man driving home from work last night.

Not just happy, but fulfilled.

Agree? Disagree?

Am I incoherent and should stop writing when tired?

What do you guys think?

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei


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