Townsville, Queensland 2012

SUMMARY OF WELL-BEING THEORY: “Here then is well-being theory: well-being is a construct; and well-being, not happiness, is the topic of positive psychology. Well-being has five measurable elements (PERMA) that count toward it: Positive emotion (of which happiness and life satisfaction are all aspects) Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement. No one element defines well-being, but each contributes to it.”  Source: Seligman, Martin (2011-05-02). Flourish (p. 24). Random House Australia. Kindle Edition. asn.

The information above is a cut and paste from Seligman’s latest book. Is it a formula for the good life? It does seem to be a balanced and considered theory. To put it into my own language, I believe I experience well-being when: 1. I experience positive emotion i.e.  feel happy and am reasonably satisfied with my life as it is. 2. I am engaged or connected in some way to the society that I live in. 3. I have at least some positive relationships – I am not alone or lonely. 4. My life seems to have a sense of meaning in the context of the world I live in. 5. I feel that I sometimes achieve positive outcomes in my daily activities.

I cannot be sure that my interpretation of Seligman’s theory is correct but I think I might be on the right track. When I look at the five elements, the one I struggle with most is finding meaning in my life. I am, by nature, a bit of a dreamer and often find myself thinking about the meaning or motivation behind aspects of my life. Some people get by without wondering WHY and I do envy them.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the Theory of Well-Being as described by Seligman. He has done a significant amount of work with the US Military plus the Education sector. He makes the point that our psychological well-being is at least as important as our physical well-being. I certainly agree with that point of view. What do you think?



8 thoughts on “Well-being

    • Thanks for the link to the video. While watching it I found one where he speaks about his current book as well. I will have a listen to it tomorrow. I am interested in how to incorporate his theory of well-being into the workplace. 🙂 Lorraine

      • The typical workplace probably won’t allow PERMA inside it’s walls. Maybe temporarily, but not PERMAnently. PERMA is the privilege of the dudes in the head shed and it’s one of many ways to distinguish between themselves and the dweebs in the cellar.

  1. It is true ones Psychological well-being is very important,I think you are doing a good job.Dreams are just that and they don’t always materialize the way one feels. If one can live with that, it gets easier to deal with it.I am not here to give any kind of advice,so sorry if I sound too preachy.
    Thanks for this post of yours.

  2. Your interpretation of HIS interpretation seems correct . . . but is HIS interpretation correct?

    Like you, I struggle with “meaning” since I can’t think of any way that MAN has advanced the ball for the planet and its other inhabitants. If we’ve made our lives “better,” we’ve done so at the expense of everything else.

    The water, the air, the earth, the trees, the birds, the bees, and all manner of flora and fauna fared better before we arrived.

    To read more: http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/the-why-of-it-all/

    So, much of the meaning that people claim in life is self-constructed. They feel that building cathedrals or painting paintings matters . . . so they feel good about their contribution.

    But from my perspective, those things do NOT matter at all. Most of what we do is POINTLESS.

    We seem to be a species without a purpose ~ unless, of course, our purpose is to destroy the underlying creation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s