Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements

Much of what we think will improve our wellbeing is either misguided or just plain wrong.

Contrary to what many people believe, wellbeing isn’t just about being happy. Nor is it only about being wealthy or successful. And it’s certainly not limited to physical health and wellness. In fact, focusing on any of these elements in isolation may drive us to frustration and even a sense of failure.

When striving to improve our lives, we are quick to buy into programs that promise to help us make money, lose weight, or strengthen our relationships. While it might be easier to treat these critical areas in our lives as if they operate independently, they don’t. Gallup’s comprehensive study of people in more than 150 countries (from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe) revealed five universal, interconnected elements that shape our lives. These core dimensions are universal elements of well-being, or how we think about and experience our lives – the interconnected elements that differentiate a thriving life from one spent suffering. Although 66% of those surveyed are doing well in one of the five areas, only 7% are thriving in all five. If we’re struggling in any one of these domains, as most of us are, it damages our wellbeing and wears on our daily life. When we strengthen our wellbeing in any of these areas, we will have better days, months, and decades. But we’re not getting the most out of our lives unless we’re living effectively in all five. These five factors are the currency of a life that is worthwhile. They describe demands of life that we can all do something about and that are important to people in every life situation they studied.

The Five Essential Elements:

  1. Career Well-Being: To be eager to begin work each day, feel appreciated as a person as well as an employee, respect supervisor, enjoys associates, speak with pride and appreciation about company to others
  2. Social Well-Being: To have several strong relationships, be able to activate a support system when encountering problems, feel loved
  3. Financial Well-Being: To manage finances prudently, be aware of costs and in control of expenditures, frugal but not cheap
  4. Physical Well-Being: To get sufficient rest as well as rigorous regular exercise, have plenty of energy in reserve, eat sensibly)
  5. Community Well-Being: To be actively and productively engaged in the neighborhood and in the community as well as in various groups within the area such as a church, P.T.A., Crime Watch, Meals on Wheels, homeowners’ association, etc.

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements will provide you with a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime. Written in a conversational style by #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and bestselling author Jim Harter, Ph.D., this book is filled with fascinating research and novel ideas for boosting your wellbeing in each of these five areas.

By the time you finish reading this book, you should have a better understanding of what makes life worthwhile. This will enable you to enjoy each day and get more out of your life — and perhaps most importantly, boost the wellbeing of your friends, family members, colleagues, and others in your community.