The term fulfilled life is quite broad. The things that create a fulfilled life for me—my family, friends, dogs, medical career, and businesses—may not be what you consider fulfilling. People outside of the medical field often think doctors “have it all,” but do we?
We generally live good lives, free from the want of life's necessities. But beyond food and shelter, what do we need? Let's take a look at what may be holding you back from realizing what will fulfill you and how to achieve fulfillment.
Five Things That Keep Us From Having A Fulfilled Life
It's good to look at what may be getting in the way as you work towards achieving your dream life. Here's a deeper look at five roadblocks that may be holding you back from a fulfilled life.
1. Not Knowing What We Want
Sure, we have lots of “wants” in life. The problem many of us face is that we can't decide which ones we want to prioritize. Do we want to spend our free time with family or work on creating more passive income streams? Do we want to stay in medicine just long enough to pay off those student loans or until we safely achieve FIRE status?
How many of us have spent time trying to clearly define our goals? When you decided to go into medicine, you probably had a very clear vision of where you wanted to be. It was pretty clear – go to med school, graduate residency, go to fellowship, then find a job. Then once you became an attending, all that dreaming ended. You goal became to simply survive life. I know this, because I went through it myself.
That is, until I was forced to figure out exactly what I wanted. Politics at work made me realize that relying on medicine alone wasn't going to be enough to secure the future I wanted for myself and my family. So I made a decision that I would create other income streams so I could completely control my time. That helped me get where I am, and I'm still constantly learning how to live life better.
So do you feel like you're crystal clear on what you want? Maybe you have it already or you need to take steps soon to put you on a different trajectory. Either way, knowing what you want is absolutely important to get you where you want to be.
2. Giving In To Our Fears
It may be hard to admit our fears openly, but we all have them. You probably know that old saying by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Some people might refer to these fears as limiting beliefs. However, think of the last few things you were afraid of or extremely worried about – things you lost sleep over. Now, how many of those fears actually came true? I hope none of them.
There's a great acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. The ancient philosopher Seneca said, “We suffer more in imagination than reality.” I know that's been so true for me. I've spent more time worrying about so many things that never became real.
How does this show up in investing? Well, maybe you want to start investing in real estate, but you keep seeing housing prices climb to staggering highs. You worry that we're in a bubble and you're worried home prices will tank. You don't want to lose money so you decide to stay on the sideline and do nothing.
Well, I have friends who have been sitting on the sideline since 2015 waiting for the next crash. Could there be a downturn? Absolutely and there's no doubt that everything goes in cycles.
It also doesn't mean that you won't do well. How do you prevent that? Well by educating yourself, mitigating risk where you can, and being ready to make decisions if the environment changes.
Did you know that the greatest transfer of wealth happens during downturns? Did you also know that some of the most notable companies were built during recessions? Companies like Disney, Microsoft, Airbnb, FedEx, etc.
Self-imposed fears and limiting beliefs will absolutely prevent you from taking necessary risks to get where you want to be.
3. Staying Within The Comfortable Confines Of Medicine
Similar to how our career choice removed much decision-making in our earlier years, it also keeps us comfortable. Sometimes too comfortable. We earn good incomes that provide for our needs, and often more. Our jobs are relatively stable and will always be needed. Once we get settled into a job, the work becomes very routine.
We may get tired of setting bones or doing surgery, but it's what we were trained to do. The longer we do it, the more routine it becomes. And the harder it is to disrupt a healthy income in pursuit of something else.
The issue is, if control of your time is important to you, figuring out how to unlink time from money is essential. Having your income tied to your time in the hospital will always leave you in a situation where you're at the mercy of someone else.
It might feel like it's easier to just practice medicine and not take any risks with investing. I believe that many of us at some point will have to deal with a situation that disrupts our day jobs. Would you rather be prepared for that moment or scramble when something does happen?
4. Not Surrounding Ourselves With The Right Community
You've probably heard Jim Rohn's popular quotation, “You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It doesn't take much thought to realize just how true it is.
We all know that if we spend time with happy and grateful people, we start to feel the same. We also know if we spend time with people who hate life, we start to feel the same as well.
If you want to run an Ironman, hang out with runners and cyclists rather than people who aren't big gym fans.
Having a community of people who will push and inspire you will help you create the life you want to live. You may not know what the exact goal is or how you're going to get there, but just by people who are living out their goals or are very close to them will motivate you. The people you choose to do life with will be your biggest cheerleaders along the way. And the first to help you up when things don't go quite right.
The community here at PIMD has been instrumental in helping me and thousands of others. In the Passive Income Docs Facebook group, you can communicate with like-minded physicians. The PIMD podcast is almost like a personal mentoring session, and the Passive Real Estate Academy combines that to give you knowledge and community.
5. Being Your Own Worst Enemy
Most physicians tend to be perfectionists and can be hard on themselves, which is a blessing and a curse. It probably played a large part in helping us achieve our career goals. It also stands in the way of achieving more.
Many of us live life trying to use evidence-based decisions and constantly weighing out the risk-benefit ratio. So many times we don't end up taking action and get stuck in “analysis paralysis.”
Some of us are very calculated risk-takers. We want all of the data and won't make the lightest decision until we're sure it's the right one. But that can hold us back.
What makes us successful physicians sometimes keeps us from chasing that fulfilled life.
Take One Action Towards Achieving Your Fulfilled Life
I'm going to leave you with a challenge this week… Reflect on what you read, and then take one step towards your fulfilled life. This could be spending two hours learning a skill. It could be deciding that you will purchase a rental property by the end of 2022. Or you could invest money in a real estate syndication.
That's all you need to do.
Next week, do another.
Soon you'll create unstoppable momentum that gets you closer to your ideal life.