Well Being as described in the newest book, "Well Being " by Tom Rath and Jim Harter is "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 in what we have contributed to our communities. What is most important is how these five elements interact."
This book speaks to the heart of everything we believe, have learned, and continue to focus on with our clients, friends, colleagues, and readers.
The interaction of all elements is what is the most difficult and where you are able to truly live a healthy joyful life. Work, for example, might be terrific, but if you drive a long commute and are away from your family more than you like (not allowing you to exercise or be involved in your community) the jagged edges of each piece run up against each other. This is what I believe is what we are talking about when we speak of wanting balance in lives. What it looks like is a puzzle that fits in place and does not rub harshly against another of the key elements in well being.
Of course this means changing some behaviors (see my article at What Does it Really Take to Change? in the May Newsletter)
The main premise and the research behind some fascinating distinctions in creating a life you love is that in order to change to have WELL BEING you have to tie short term incentives to long term goals and they need to be joyful in nature vs fear based. For example, we may choose to eat healthy today so that we don't feel tired and sluggish not because we want to live a long life. We choose to save money instead of buy a new dress spontaneously because the feeling of having no debt is more beneficial than the fleeting feeling of buying something new.
If we can see more of an immediate payoff, we are more likely to change what we do today which adds up to meeting long term goals.
The key in all areas of increasing your Well Being is to make small changes today for the enjoyment that you will get today which will lead to lasting improvements towards living a live of Well Being.
In future Blogs I will talk about the areas of Well Being and what the latest research shows. Meanwhile if you are so inclined, pick up the book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements
it makes for an interesting read.