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My Master’s Degree From Harvard Was Supposed To Make Me Feel Fulfilled—But It Didn’t. What Did Will Surprise You.

It has nothing to do with a degree from Harvard, and everything to do with my journey of letting go of what no longer served me.

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Hi, my name is Corinne, and I am a recovering overachiever and perfectionist. For years of my life I chased accolades… I even have a degree from Harvard to prove it. Being a big-dreamer and a go-getter, I thought achievements and success would give me the fulfillment in life I was looking for. 

Want to know a secret? It didn’t. 

But now, many years later, I am living the best version of my life. It has nothing to do with a degree from Harvard, and everything to do with my journey of letting go of what no longer served me. I want to share the three major mindset shifts that brought me from endlessly chasing fulfilment that never seemed to come, to living a truly satisfied life.

The Three Mindset Shifts That Changed Everything for Me

Mindset Shift #1: Understanding that true fulfilment comes from within.

In the early years of my adult life, I was certain that getting a job on Wall Street and going to Harvard — both achievements that were held in a very high-regard — would leave me feeling content. But here’s the kicker: once I achieved both of those things, I was still left feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. 

I knew there were certain achievements I could reach that would impress others and make them happy. Surely, this would leave me feeling good and fulfilled, right?  You see, these “successful” career moves were things I THOUGHT I wanted to achieve. But, over time I realized that I was letting external factors play into my goals, and ultimately, my feeling of fulfilment. 

Here is what I now know: True fulfilment comes from within. Satisfaction will never come from other people’s thoughts or opinions. It will only turn into an exhausting rat-race of chasing after the “next” or “better” accolade. Fulfilment has to be internal. No external validation, achievement, or success will do it for you.

Mindset Shift #2: Believing that what I currently have is enough.

As a Professional Organizer, I am constantly preaching about the power of having less physical stuff. I truly believe that decluttering and organizing your home will help you and your family live a happier, more fulfilling life. No amount of stuff can ever truly make you happy and I see this in my clients’ home every single day. As they release the need to have excess in their closet, kitchen, or home office, they slowly start to believe that what they have is enough. This leads to an inner sense of peace and calm in their day-to-day.

The same is true in life. You have to believe that what you currently have is enough. When we live with a scarcity mindset, deep down, we are going to begin to believe that life will never have enough to offer us — and that’s simply not true. When you sit back and allow yourself to be truly happy with what you have, you take yourself out of the never-ending race of needing more. You realize that what you have is enough and that extra achievements or things will never be able to fill or sustain you. 

Mindset Shift #3: Knowing that I have the power over my life.

Repeat after me: “If something in my life is not working, I have the power to change it.” I am being serious here. If you have been waiting for a sign or permission to let go of something in your life that is keeping you from feeling fulfilled — whether it’s a job, a relationship, or other commitment — this is it. You are the only one in your life who has the final and deciding power to purge your life of things that are no longer working. Release yourself of all of the things that you’re  “supposed to” have or do and start making choices in your life that work best for you. 

Truly Living a Happy, Fulfilled Live

For many years I thought that in order to feel fulfilled, I needed to be well-respected and valued. I needed to do something with my life that was looked highly upon by society. After much internal work, I now know this is not true. 

In fact, what I do now feels like the complete opposite of pursuing a masters degree at Harvard. And you know what? That doesn’t matter. What other people think pales in comparison to the fulfilment that comes from living fully in my own lane. 

Now, I’m at the point where I have built a business that is successful and I am well respected in my community… But THAT is not what makes me feel fulfilled. The internal work, boundaries, and mindset shifts I shared above, paired with the satisfying relationships I have, are what bring me true joy.

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