Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a 19th century Russian composer, well-known for his theatrical works The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, among others, garnered both loyalty and cutting criticism. According to Wikipedia (and this bit from Wikipedia is from a cited source), some critics found his music “vulgar and lacking in elevated thought or philosophy.” Also according to Wikipedia, “Tchaikovsky was never emotionally secure, and his life was punctuated by personal crises and periods of depression”; his emotional state is attributed largely to sources other than his critics.

What can we learn from Tchaikovsky? That even epic, historical figures sometimes have a tough go of it and their accomplishments are not always easily won or recognized. Yes, I know you already know this. But how often do we take time to remind ourselves in our moments of personal crisis, self-doubt, and uncertainty that most accomplishments are not immediately recognized and emotional turmoil is inescapable regardless of our success. That is not to say reducing our emotional turmoil isn’t a worthy goal – but life’s upsets and setbacks are inevitable.

Fulfillment solely dependent upon the approval of the outside world will never be found. Fulfillment is not instantaneous. It is not a constant. It is not a pedestal to climb that cannot be tipped. It is often more a state of mind than a location to be reached. Fulfillment takes effort – that is the only thing constant about it.