Personal and Professional Fulfillment through Cake and Ice Cream

A picture of a homemade vanilla layer cake with white buttercream frosting between layers and on top, but not around the sides exposing the layers. The cake is resting on a wooden cutting board sitting on a kitchen counter.

I daughter turned four at the beginning of this year, and I made her a cake and two kinds of ice cream. From scratch.

I’m no kitchen wizard, but I wanted her birthday to have something special considering we couldn’t throw her a big party in the middle of a pandemic. So, I thought it would be special to let her take control and have me deliver as close to it as possible.

And so, it the request was: vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and a vanilla cake with icing.

I worked on this for a couple of days, found the recipes, snagged ingredients and eventually spent time making two different ice creams and then a cake, and finally some buttercream icing.

As you can see from the picture, it turned out alright– I’m happy with the result, considering I’ve never made icing (and clealy didn’t make enough) and it’s only my second ACTUAL cake.

The important part is that my four year old when asked how her day was, it was: “This has been the best birthday I’ve ever had”.

Mission Accomplished.

The Feeling of Fulfillment

I share this story, because I was recently asked about a time this week where I did something that made me feel happy. I was definitely happy that my daughter had a great birthday, which was the whole point and is the most important part.

But looking beyond that, what made me feel happy was the planning, execution, delivery, and validation that came from making the birthday celebration happen.

What’s the Point?

I think knowing that is what made me happy is an important realization, as maybe I can take this and apply it to my own work, or my career path, and increase my overall happiness and satisfaction with my day job by leveraging this realization.

In fact, thinking about it further, I remembered another time where I felt a similar feeling of happiness and overall satisfaction.

Example: Out The Door

Back in 2020, I took part in Ludum Dare 47 and although I started with some prepared tech and tools, I spent the weekend creating an original game experience I called Out the Door.

The goal was to solo develop a “complete” game, which includes original graphics, music, gameplay, story, and a complete game loop that can be “beaten”.

Validation is the Icing, But You Need Both For Fulfillment

Although the planning, execution, and delivery are critical in that feeling of fulfillment, the validation is what puts it over the top for me to make that memorable feeling of fulfillment.

Hearing “ya done good” in any capacity from the target audience for whatever you planned means that you know your feeling of accomplishment was right. In conclusion:

Accomplishment + Validation = Fulfillment

Seems simple, but I wanted to write it down for myself and share it with you. Feeling accomplished isn’t half bad, it’s just not the same as feeling fulfilled.

Thanks for playing.

~ DW

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