Why prioritising stability will stop you from being fulfilled

Sep 26, 2019

Desiring stability is not a bad thing. However, when we over-prioritise stability, we end up giving up our dreams and fulfilment. Learn more.


Earlier this week, I met an old friend for breakfast.  He was saying that he’s reached a point in life, where he’s looking for greater fulfilment.


I won’t go into the details of our conversation, but it got me thinking.


And the result of thinking about that, really surprised me.


I think it might surprise you too


What do you think the opposite of fulfilment is?


And the answer is…




Stability is something everyone wants.


It speaks of safety, belonging, sustenance, shelter…


There’s nothing wrong with stability, in fact it’s a good thing.


Getting a job, to keep food on the table – that’s great!


What’s not so good is desiring an extreme form stability – certainty.


When we desire certainty, we’re always going to be disappointed, because nothing ever goes to plan.


Up to this point, we can all agree that desiring stability (without the need for certainty) is a good thing.


However, when we value and prioritise stability over everything else, it can start to turn negative.


We’ve all heard of people who have stayed in horrible situations, such as abusive relationships, bad jobs where they’re getting overworked and underpaid, all because it is “stable”.


“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t,” they say…


You can’t assume moving away from the stability is the “devil”!


So, back to breakfast with my old friend.


When’s the best time for him to start prioritising fulfilment?


The answer is right now.


The only reason he’s still in that job that he’s not being fulfilled by, is that he’s prioritizing the stability of a paycheck over his own fulfilment.


When I told him that, he reminded me that we had this conversation several years back, when I was still in a job too.


He said, “4 years have gone by, and I didn’t have the guts to leave”.


I reminded him that it’s not about the guts – it’s about priorities.


He’s not a coward for not leaving his job.  It’s not about character or lacking good qualities.


Most bad decisions aren’t about either character or lacking good qualities.


Most bad decisions come from prioritising the wrong things.


If we keep prioritising stability – we don’t grow – we don’t make the changes that we need.


It’s only by prioritising our own goals that we’ll get fulfilment.


And we’ll grow.


And it’s only through growth, that we get fulfilment.


I was a corporate lawyer for 20 years.


I did it for 20 years despite not being fulfilled, because it was very stable “in a way”.


I say “in a way”, because It was just stable only because I got a paycheck every single month.


But it caused “instability” in other parts of my life – working 15 hour days will do that.


The fact is, that I was just prioritising one aspect of stability.


Prioritising my own fulfilment then led me on a journey of growth.


And thankfully, with the tools available online, I managed to get stability again within several months, by replacing my paycheck.


So I now have both stability, and fulfilment.


But that came about only because I chose to not prioritise stability over everything else.



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