Is there more to life than just being “happy?”
Dr. Martin Seligman believes so. Seligman is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the guru of the Positive Psychology movement, which has become prominent in the past 15 years. More than a decade ago his book Authentic Happiness made a substantial mark; but Seligman’s latest thinking and approach eschews “happiness” as an end in itself, and instead points to five key components that help a person to have “well-being.”
These components are delineated in Seligman’s latest book Flourish. I’ve been tearing through Flourish ever since learning about it in a Positive Psychology class I’m taking as part of an executive coaching certification program through the University of Texas. In fact, I’m so inspired that I’ve revised my personal strategic plan to align with the “well-being” P.E.R.M.A. framework Seligman advocates:

Positive emotion (things that drive happiness; only one piece of the puzzle!)
Engagement (getting into the zone or flow)
Relationships (healthy and functional)
Meaning (belonging to and serving something you believe is bigger than the self)
Accomplishment (for the sake of accomplishment)

My career-oriented strategic plan flows out of these efforts to live out “well-being.” Why does one come before the other? I’ve found that my accomplishments mean little to me if these P.E.R.M.A. kinds of elements are not foundationally sound.
Check out Flourish and share with me your observations on how it applies to your own journey!