Tales of Fulfillment vs. Overachievement

By Javier Munoz
Posted on: October 18, 2010
2 comments so far (is that a lot?)


In a recent post on my Facebook wall, I wrote:

NOT LOVING WHAT YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO is the greatest epidemic facing humanity. You simply cannot afford more of it. Stop it! Look inside, peel that onion, and discover your unique gift. Take action and don’t look back. You have the right to do what you love… but now is more than your right, it is actually your duty to contribute the most value, only possible, from a place of complete fulfillment.

There were a number of responses that set the stage for a great conversation. One of the replies that got us going was posted by my Facebook friend, Lynda:

Millions of people have to go to work because they have no money. Everyone is not cut out to be in business for themselves although they’d like to be. This world is so one-sided.

It is a common misconception to associate doing what you love with entrepreneurship. It is also common to associate personal fulfillment with being an overachiever. Western and American societies in particular, relate personal fulfillment to an idea of overachievement that in most cases has to do with the realization of an extraordinary feat usually resulting on the accumulation of great material wealth, fame or recognition. To Lynda’s comment, I added:

Self-employment is not for everyone neither it should be. You may also pursue your true bliss as an employee. If you cannot do it in your current job, you may look elsewhere. Contentment for the sake of survival effectively undermines your ability to grow beyond survival at a cost to you and to everyone that misses on your highest expression…

This exchange brought about an extraordinary tale from Lee Ann, another Facebook friend. She remembered her teen age years when she used to go to school on the Love Bus in south Chicago:

As a teenage girl growing up on the south side of Chicago, my high school was about 5 miles away. We all took public transportation everyday to get to school. This was in the early 80s. For a period of time, there was a bus driver on our route bus who acknowledged every bleary eyed, hormonal, grumpy teenager as they boarded the bus with comments like “good morning girl with the blue backpack”, “hello to the gentleman with the green coat”. As we would proceed to our destination, he would continue talking over the mic- saying things like “this is the LOVE BUS and it is a Beautiful day out there!”

Today, you can talk to most anyone in their 40s who attended public school on the south side of Chicago (his routes were changed periodically) about the “love bus” and their eyes will light up, they smile big and say OMG! I remember!

What a legacy. His choice to be a blessing inoculated countless teenagers and his effect will never be able to be measured. This was a man who took absolute ownership of his “job” and used it to bless others.

30 years later, he is still blessing people…

Of all people and events that Lee Ann had experienced in her life she remembered the Love Bus and how his driver had made a lasting impression on her and on many others. I would certainly consider that an overachievement! Would you say that this bus driver found personal fulfillment? Can a bus driver be an overachiever?

Go back to the terms personal fulfillment and overachievement, assess what they mean to you, and question whether your concept of these words is truly meaningful. If you have already achieved your own idea of personal fulfillment, would you be remembered, as this extraordinary bus driver is 30 years later? Is that important to you?

The Love Bus driver paid his bills and got by with a salary he received for his services. However, he filled his being fully (fulfilled) as he connected with everyone that got into the bus acknowledging them with heartfelt warmth, making their ride a positive experience, an experience that helped us be better then and now 30 years later. He connected with his own path with a heart and in doing so he found his unique expression touching the hearts of many and leaving a lasting legacy.

Your achievements, your mission, and your passion don’t have to be grandiose to be fulfilling. You don’t have to be self-employed, a renowned scientist, or a famous Hollywood actress to be fulfilled. You only have to surrender to being and doing what you love and serving others from that place in your heart. When you tune into your path with a heart, as the bus driver did, you are in fact expressing the wisdom of the guru you have within, your expansive potential, moving beyond your own survival to impact those your serve far in time and space.

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2 Responses to “Tales of Fulfillment vs. Overachievement”

  1. Joe Wilkinson Says:

    Be Creative. Be Rebellious against that voices saying you can’t enJOY fully what you do.
    Love this example… Be Fully, find fulfillment.

    per usual Javier, Homerun!

  2. Peter Says:

    The bus driver was an excellent rep for the bus company. I bet they would do anything to retain his services. I remember years ago in Sydney a taxi driver who would greet you as you entered the cab and offer you a choice of newspapers and magazines to read, then ask if you would like him to play any particular type of music during the journey. His car was immaculate. At the end of the journey he would offer his business card. This man was always being called for a fare. So even if you are employed, the opportunities exist for you to become more. If people realised that we are ALL in sales, selling ourselves, then these people would see their own advantage. I come across people who say, “Oh, I couldn’t be in sales!” They are missing the opportunity I think.

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