Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Simple Guide to Living Life Well



How do you perceive your life to be going according to your perspective? The view that you have regarding your well-being is subjective to your moods. At any moment, your moods affect the level of satisfaction you feel towards life. Wouldn't you rather have your well-being attached to an idea, thought, or concept that provides you with an approach to living well that is not so wishy-washy as your moods can be under various circumstances? 

Martin  Seligman, recognized as the father of positive psychology, developed a theory on well-being which he abbreviates as "PERMA".  He outlines his theory in the book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. "PERMA" stands for:

P = Positive Emotions - experiencing joy and pleasure
E = Engagement (or flow) - being consciously involved in our activities.
R = Relationships - having enjoyable and supportive interactions with others.
M = Meaning - creating a purposeful narrative about our lives.
A = Accomplishments - completing our goals and following our core values.

The concepts in this theory can serve as a road map to help you navigate a greater sense of well-being in your life.


Below is a series of statements to help you identify your well-being based on the PERMA theory. Read each statement and asses how you feel on a consistent basis. Write your answers on a blank sheet of paper.  

Use the following rating guide:

4 = Very much 
3 = Usually 
2 = Somewhat 
1 = Not at all

  1. I am optimistic about my future.
  2. I feel positive about myself.
  3. I feel free to live my life the way I see fit.
  4. I feel mentally alert and  emotionally and spiritually strong.
  5. I am positively challenged by my everyday activities.
  6. I am able to focus on what is important to me on a daily basis.
  7. The work that I do demonstrates the strength of my capabilities.
  8. I feel loved and supported by others.
  9. I feel understood and accepted by others.
  10. I make time to nurture my relationships.
  11. I feel that I have many good qualities.
  12. I am able to bounce back from life challenges.
  13. My past experiences have provided life lessons that has made me stronger, better and wiser.
  14. I have a strong sense of purpose in my life.
  15. I feel calm and peaceful.
  16. I am competent and capable of taking actions that will help me achieve my goals.
  17. I plan and prepare myself for the future that I envision.
  18. I am pleased with the accomplishments that I have had in my life.
  19. I am able to manage my time and energy to ensure that I complete daily tasks associated with my present and future goals.
  20. I believe that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

Based on your answers, write a few sentences that summarizes your sense of well-being, as it relates to the following categories:
  • I am very much satisfied in my life : (statements rated 4's)
  • I am usually satisfied in my life. (statements rated 3's)
  • I am somewhat satisfied in my life. (statements rated 2's)
  • I am not at all satisfied in my life.(statements rated 1's)

How has the thoughts, feelings and actions that you rated very much and usually increased your sense of well-being?

How has the thoughts, feelings and actions that you rated somewhat and not at all diminished your sense of well-being?

What insights have you gained about your sense of well-being as a result of what you think, feel and do? What actions can you begin to take to improve your sense of well-being?

As you consider the insights that you've gained as a result of the previous well-being assessment, use the following questions to jump start your efforts toward increasing your sense of well-being: 

  • "What simple steps can I begin to do that will increase the positive emotions that I feel about myself and my life?"
  •  "How can I eliminate thoughts and distractions about my past and the future so that I can engage the present wholeheartedly?"
  • "What steps do I need to take to improve my capacity to develop and nurture healthy and supportive relationships
  • "How can I contribute in a more meaningful way in various aspects of my life so that I feel a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life?"
  • "What skills, knowledge and support do I need to move forward and accomplish the goals that I want to achieve?"
Seligman's theory for well-being: PERMA provides each of us with a simple road map to follow as we navigate our actions to improve our quality of life. By no means does it encompass all aspects of well-being, however it certainly points us in the right direction. 


I would like to know your thoughts, share them below.

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Thank you so much for reading, connecting and sharing. I appreciate YOU!

B Fearless

Jackie B