Find your purpose

Success doesn’t equal happiness: How to sort out your priorities


Humans are naturally striving for success. But what if we try so hard to be successful, that it negatively affects our happiness?

Many of us try so hard to be the person people want them to be, without listening to their inner voice. So we seem to forget who we truly are, in order to perform in this patriarchal society of ours.

I recently read a book and stumbled upon an amazing exercise, which managed to open my eyes. It initiated some really profound realizations, which encouraged me to reconsider my priorities.

Therefore I absolutely wanted to address this topic in a blog post.

“The Soul sucks versus the Soul fuels Exercise”

This exercise is from an amazing book called “Soulbbatical: A Corporate Rebel’s Guide to Finding Your Best Life

Former Harley-Davidson executive Shelley Paxton, the author of this book, did just that. She walked away at the peak of her twenty-six-year marketing career and embarked on a profoundly personal journey to reconnect with her true purpose and deepest desires.

Shelley called it her “Soulbbatical,” and it not only changed her life, it became her calling.

Her words strongly resonated with me because she tells her story in such a tender, honest and funny way.

This is truly a GAME-CHANGER in self-help literature!

Sort out your priorities and become a happier person!

The teachings and wisdom shared on her journey are captivating and actionable for all of us.

Hence, for anyone searching to come home to your soul, I highly recommend this book. I’m sure, it will beautifully change your life. 🙂

(Click on the image of the book to see/buy it online)

Instructions for the exercise


The only thing you have to do is:

  • Grab a sheet of paper.
  • Write “my life” as a title.
  • Draw a line down the middle of the page.
  • Use the two columns as follows:

Soul sucks

Soul fuels

  • What drains your energy?
  • What exhausts you?
  • What bores you?
  • What are the things you could do all day long and feel like no time has passed?
  • What brings you incredible joy?
  • What literally fuels your soul?

Spend 5 minutes on each column with the aid of the questions above, while writing down everything that comes to mind.

Don’t overthink, don’t judge yourself!

Then, take a step back and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which column is longer?
  • What surprises you?
  • Is there anything that scares you?
  • What do you want more of/less of?
What fuels your soul?


Certainly, this exercise was incredibly powerful for me.

I comprehended that working for somebody does not serve me.

Also, I realized that I want the possibility to rest for a moment whenever I need it because the lack of it has been a tremendous strain for me the past few years.

What fuels my soul remarkably are time spent on my own, creative activities like writing or designing, communicate with people on a deeper level and being in nature.

Furthermore, the small things like a cup of tea, the blooming flowers in spring, a magnificent book, a warm blanket or my cat showing me its affection, have a vast impact on me.

What are your soul fuels? Let me know in the comments below! 😉

How To Find Out What Fuels Your Soul
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  • Väli ;)

    Some of my soul fuels:
    – Podcasts (e. g. about true crime, philosophy or psychology)
    – Reading books
    – Interesting lectures at school
    – Sleeping 😉
    – Helping others
    – Deep talks with friends

    • Donetta

      I’m going to try this exercise as soon as I am alone with my thoughts. Thank you for the great tips. Some of my Soul Fuels:.

      Laughing with my 2 daughters.
      Coloring in my adult coloring books.
      Coloring on the Recolor App.
      Reading interesting books.
      Warm bath with Vaseline Bath Beads.
      Walking my dog.
      Listening to music.
      Writing poetry.
      Taking photos of everything/everybody.

      • shedigsdeeper

        Hey, Donetta 😀 Thank you for trying it out! Your Soul Fuels are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing them with us! <3

  • Kendall

    That you for sharing this exercise! I never thought about it this way. But I think I always subconsciously knew what drained my soul and field it, you just put it in perspective of rme.


    My soul fuels is working on my blog, skirting cartoons and talking to my twin girls .I also write on happiness and I likes this exercise .. appreciate every people who write on this topic as everyone is so devaste to make more money.

  • Taylor oldman

    It is very important that what we do contributes to our own self development and to others. A two way traffic. Working all day without fulfillment is soul sucking. Indeed we need to take time out and reflect on what fuels our soul . Amen.


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