Unhappiness and fulfillment are not mutually exclusive.
We can’t experience happiness or unhappiness without having first experienced fulfillment. Fulfillment precedes, and therefore contains, both happiness and unhappiness. When this sinks in deeply enough, our entire worldview expands, and excited curiosity replaces misguided fear.
A huge shift occurred for me when I stopped trying to solve my unhappiness and started learning from it instead. I placed my unhappiness at the head of the classroom, and whenever it spoke, I listened and took note: not about what I should change, but about what amazing parts of my life I was blinding myself to.
With enough practice, unhappiness became my lifeline to authentic fulfillment. Rather than needing things to change in my life in order to feel fulfilled, fulfillment preceded the need to make any changes. Now if I do take a step in the direction of change, it is not in search of fulfillment, but an expression of fulfillment.