Three Action Thursday

Life Creep and the Fulfillment Formula

I hope you and your family are doing well during this trying time in our world. It would have been very easy to write something overtly about the virus that shall not be named, but my hope is that this piece will serve as a short reprieve from the non-stop content coverage on the pandemic. So let’s get to it…

My wife and I had a nighttime lying-in-bed discussion recently about which of the daily activities we were doing as a family brought fulfillment to our lives and which ones did not. This was an interesting exercise in itself and it drove a few changes in our family routines. I woke up the next morning and realized that I don’t recall ever writing a Three Action Thursday piece on the concept of “fulfillment”.

Webster’s definition of “fulfillment” does not directly point to what I want to talk about, so I had to seek out other ways to define what I mean. My idea of fulfillment focuses on the synonyms “achievement” or “accomplishment” while being satisfied with the level of effort put forth. In this interview clip with Tom Bilyeu, he describes fulfillment as working hard to get very good at something that you care deeply about, that allows you to serve yourself and others. 

Something that can prove challenging in our lives is unfulfilling “life creep”. Life creep happens when, through (micro and/or macro) decision-making, we have unintentionally taken on too many things that we do not find fulfilling. 

Real-life examples of life creep from my own life:

  • Staying in a job too long before switching to a new career challenge.
  • Allowing one child to play a travel sport that negatively impacted the rest of the family. 
  • Signing up for too many committees and boards. 

Real-life examples of life creep avoidance to maximize fulfillment from my own life:

  • Not mowing my own lawn in nearly a decade.
  • Through time blocking, spending 5:00 to 7:30pm each night with my family.
  • Hiring an assistant to handle repeating back-office business tasks. 
  • Hiring a property manager to manage rental properties.

Today’s actions center around minimizing the effects of life creep and living a more fulfilling life.


  1. Based on the definitions I’ve shared for “fulfillment”, are there aspects of your life (career, relationships, etc.) in which you don’t feel fulfilled? Perhaps talk to your significant other to help identify them in your family.
  2. What life changes do you need to make in order to feel more fulfilled?
  3. What are some examples from your own life where you have experienced life creep and avoided life creep? How can you maximize fulfillment through life creep avoidance? Share an example of life creep on Three Action Thursday’s Facebook page or comment on someone else’s.**

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