The Key to Living a Fulfilled Life


“Unless we live four-dimensionally, we miss out on exuberant joy and fulfillment!”

Karla S. Hardin, LPC

 By Karla S. Hardin, LPC

People come to counseling for many different reasons. Usually there is something holding them back from experiencing meaning, fulfillment or joy in their lives.  I want to help people meet these deeper longings and as a result, my family and I have built our counseling practice on what we believe is the foolproof model for addressing these needs as found through the life of Christ. 

 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52 AMP

This verse captures the important variables about our design that serves as the basis for our counseling philosophy.  First of all, this verse shows us that people are multi-dimensional.  We are Emotional, Physical, Social, and Spiritual.

This may appear obvious but too often we live as though we are only one or two-dimensional. For example, many people try to solve their life longings through the Social circle alone.

“If only I could find friends, the right life partner, the right job, the right boss …then I would be fulfilled.”  

We know others who spend their lives trying to protect their physical health, so much so that they are consumed with new diets and exercise regimens at the expense of their relationships.

 You can quickly see if we emphasize only one or two areas of our lives while neglecting others, not only do we get off-balance, but we are headed for burnout, disillusionment and failure in the areas we value the most.

So, the first step to finding fulfillment is to see yourself as four-dimensional and commit to value all four areas equally.

The next thing to notice in this verse is very subtle but absolutely the key to finding fulfillment. Ready?  These two words say it all “…. kept increasing…”

In the Greek language the word kept implies Jesus stayed in the “process” of growing in every area of His life.

It wasn’t occasional growth when He was forced to recalibrate His life, nor was it only in the areas He felt comfortable growing in.

It was consistent growth in all four areas.

The word increasing really gives us the picture of growth. Growth expands us. Growth is ever-changing. We become different as a result of growth. 

If you are growing you are becoming a better person. People who don’t seek growth don’t grow. In other words, growth is not automatic. Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean you are getting wiser, stronger, kinder or more content.

The wonderful thing about growth is that it’s not biologically controlled —it is a choice.  

I want to give you a picture of what a growing in each area might look like. The simple way to start is to go to our website under Resources and print off our goals sheet that helps you categorize your goals into the four areas. Then use the following ideas for your goals that I’ve listed as a launching station for your holistic approach to growth.

How to “Keep Increasing”

Physical Checklist:

  • Enough sleep

  • Regular exercise

  • Reduce sugar

  • Eliminate unnecessary meds

  • Brain healthy diet

Emotional Checklist:

  • Stress reduction

  • Practice forgiveness

  • Daily focus on gratitude

  • Learn therapeutic deep breathing

  • Seek counseling for intrusive thoughts or emotions

Social Checklist:

  • Finding emotionally safe friends

  • Setting priorities for career

  • Strengthening communication skills in family & workplace

  • Developing a plan for responsible financial management

  • Choosing involvement in various sectors of society 

Spiritual Checklist:

  • Clarify your values

  • Discover your purpose

  • Evaluate your connection to a higher power

  • Set specific guidelines to help you grow

  • Define the legacy you would like to leave

[*credit to Amen Clinics]

I almost guarantee you that if you follow the model Jesus set for growing holistically that you can expect a life of fulfillment!

This model confirms for us that we don’t have to have a perfect world or a perfect life to be fulfilled -just a commitment to the process …and that in itself is hopeful.

So, when you see our logo of the four intertwined circles, symbolizing the four dimensions of every person –emotional, physical, social and spiritual; notice that when each circle is equally represented in size and joined together in a unified manner, you see a beautiful cross emerge at the center. May it serve as a reminder that…

God’s design keeps you balanced and centered. His design offers exuberant joy and fulfillment as the by-product of growth.