Happiness is fleeting and a really poor way to evaluate your life. Many people think that happiness, wealth or success is what matters. According to the research if you pursue them you will not create a worthwhile life.
Wellbeing has emerged as a way of measuring what really matters. Rather than ask “how happy, wealthy or successful am I?” you should be asking, “what is my current state of wellbeing?”
Tom Rath says, “Wellbeing is about the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health, and the pride we take in what we’ve contributed. Most importantly it’s about how those five elements interact.”
According to Gallup research there are five components to well-being:
- Career Wellbeing – What you do every day matters. A study by The Economic Journal found that unemployment is the only major life event from which people do not fully recover within five years. Do you love what you do?
- Social Wellbeing – Relationships shape your expectations, desires and goals. You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Each hour of social time decreases the odds of having a bad day. How are your relationships?
- Financial Wellbeing – a fascinating finding is that how you spend your money matters. You get greater satisfaction spending money on others. Buying experiences (a vacation) rather than stuff (a new car) also increases wellbeing. Financial security is 3:1 more important than your income in overall wellbeing. Manage your finances to maximize experiences and reduce worry.
- Physical Wellbeing – food choices, sleep and exercise make the difference here. Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. If you are getting less than seven hours a night, you are considered deprived! Are you paying attention to your physical wellbeing or just trying to lose a few pounds or get in shape?
- Community Wellbeing – connect your passions and interests with relevant groups and causes to find a way to make a difference. When your community wellbeing is high you take pride in your community and desire to give back or make a lasting contribution. How are you blessing others?
Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements provides a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime and what makes life worthwhile. If you get a copy of the book, you’ll receive a unique ID code for Gallup’s online Wellbeing Finder.
Go beyond happiness and create a worthwhile life that maximizes your wellbeing.