It’s worth taking a second here to contrast fulfilment with happiness. It’s easy to do something short term that will make you feel happy but leave you feeling unfulfilled. Happiness is fleeting. There are some things that I do for fun – and that’s no problem – but there’s got to be a potential for that fulfilment, as well.
I want to be fulfilled in a broad, macro sense. I want to spend time doing things that have the potential to leave me with that feeling and avoid things that don’t. It almost makes me feel anxious to spend time on things that don’t give me that possibility for fulfilment.
For me, that feeling of purpose comes from taking on something and being able to succeed at it. It needs to be something that’s big enough that it’s a challenge, but not so big that it’s impossible.
Finding something that fits into that basket can be difficult. Part of it is working out what you’re good at. Your goals need to be achievable with a little bit of work. If you’re striving for something and you’re not getting anywhere, you’re going to get frustrated – and you won’t find that fulfilling.