What Is the “Good Life?” How Positive Psychology Can Create Meaning

the good life
A lot has been said and written about the “ dependable life, ” and with some 7.3 billion people on this planet, there are quite possibly just as many opinions on what it constitutes .
If I have learned one thing in 36 years, it is the fact that “ estimable ” is a very immanent parole .
incontrovertible psychology uses skill to understand why some humans thrive, while others do not. We hope this article establishes a reference item to establish a few basic practices of meaning-making.

Let ’ s begin with exploring the function of personal preference and opinion since few people have the like doctrine on what constitutes a good animation .
Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our 3 Meaning and Valued Living Exercises for free. These creative, science-based exercises will help you learn more about your values, motivations, and goals and will give you the tools to inspire a feel of meaning in the lives of your clients, students, or employees .

Your Values Create Your Own Personal Lens

Values are subjective
In the context of life, everyone has a different definition of the word “ good. ” “ Good ” depends on many factors like where we live, how we live, what our childhood experiences are, and what fictional character strengths we value in ourselves and others .
Maslow ’ s hierarchy of needs suggests one such definition. The scheme models different homo needs as a pyramid in which each level builds on the last, from physiological needs such as food and body of water at the bottom to “ self-actualization ” at the top .
Applying Maslow ’ sulfur estimate, it can be assumed that as we move through and up the pyramid of needs to reach self-actualization, our idea of the “ good life ” changes .
For example, people whose needs for security aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate meet may visualize the “ good life ” to be a guarantee environment with meaningful social bonds. however, there are many other factors which play a function, such as values .

It can be argued that your values are one of the drivers of what you perceive to be the good animation. Values such as ability, security, tradition, or benevolence are a solicitation of principles that guide our survival or evaluation of actions, events, and people and what we “ deem to be adjust and desirable in life ”

( Schwartz, 1992 ) .
If security is one of your core values, rather than the freedom to travel to exotic countries, a secure problem may be your mind of “ the good life. ” Or if one of your core values is accomplishment, you may find yourself working fabulously hard, and finding meaning through your make .
In a study across different countries, Inglehart & Klingemann ( 2000 ) found that the kind of values people hold is unrelated to their reported happiness, but the value deviation is reflected in what they say is most important in determining their happiness .
To a sealed extent, values co-determine what we consider the good life .
But once we have the secure job that we believe is desirable, do we actually consider ourselves to be leading the “ good life ? ” Why are so many humans disillusioned after they get everything they want ?
This begs promote interrogation .

What Is “Better” Doesn’t Always Equal “What Is Good”

ever stuck between two decisions because one seems more rational number, financially-sound, or safe ? While everyone needs basic needs like safety and fiscal security, sometimes, what seems “ better ” does not serve our quest for “ the commodity life. ”
sometimes, according to adaption-level hypothesis, what we aim to achieve is no longer good enough once we have it ( Helson, 1964 ). In Helson ’ randomness study, they found that as people acquire that fiscal boost, better speculate, bigger house, etc., it did not always constitute lasting mean .
picture Tom and Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, or Madame Bovary in Madame Bovary. The more they got “ what they wanted, ” the less they got what they needed. It is a plot rooted in many of our classics and westerly psyche. In our own quests for a meaningful life, it is identify to reflect on likely “ happiness traps. ”
Social comparison besides plays an important function : we rate what we have relative to what others have .
Having a guarantee problem is then good, and possibly boosts all kinds of irregular feelings of elation. That is, until one of your friends gets a more attractive, better paid dependable speculate, of course .
In other words, “ what is better ” is sometimes the enemy of “ what is good. ” More international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate always better and sometimes, when we acquire what we thought we needed, we are still ambling for intend .

We Live in a Society in Which Less Is More

gratitude and positive psychologyIn a study with a choice of either 6 or 30 different kinds of chocolates to choose from, Iyengar and Lepper (2000) found that consumers with a limited choice of 6 chocolates were actually happier with their choice than the ones who got to choose from 30 different kinds.
In a study with a choice of either 6 or 30 different kinds of chocolates to choose from, Iyengar and Lepper ( 2000 ) found that consumers with a limited choice of 6 chocolates were actually happier with their choice than the ones who got to choose from 30 different kinds. This is because of opportunity costs : making a choice besides means deciding against alternatives .
The more choices we have and the more attractive they are, the more alternatives we have to deselect and potentially regret. paradoxically, we feel more and more inadequate the more choices we have to drop ( Binswanger, 2006 ) .
We besides expect more from the option we have made because we had to let go of so many attractive alternatives for the one we made ( Kast, 2012 ). This is how, in fact, life becomes more unmanageable with wealth and abundance .
Less is more, and possessions are losing their attraction. This is reflected in many trends such as renting rather than buying and spending money on experiences rather than possessions. We ’ ve learned that we fail to find happiness in things.

Read more: ED

Choice means letting go of alternatives, and happiness means being grateful for being able to choose. So the “ estimable life ” may have to do with appreciating what we have .

“ The seed of good is found in the dirt of taste. ”

The Dalai Lama
Gratitude is a positive emotion and can be defined as “ the timbre of being thankful. ” It is focusing on what we have rather than what we don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have, evaluation neutral events as positive and not taking anything for granted .
Studies have shown that being grateful makes us happier ( Emmons & McCullough, 2003 ). Rather than aspiring for bigger and better things, being grateful for what we have may be part of the “ good life. ”
It ’ sulfur angstrom simple as using a gratitude diary and writing down 3 good things every day. And while you ’ re at it, why not be the source of something full for person else ?

“ Find meaning ! When you go from ‘ me ’ to ‘ we, ’ the heed calms down. ”

Nipun Mehta
many people who “ had it all ” actually let go of the wealth, comfort, and life style in orderliness to find mean. Think of Walt Disney ’ s descendant, Abigail Disney, who gives millions each year to jacob’s ladder organizations, and started a film company dedicated to documentaries aimed at creating social change .
Or take Geneva-born Liselotte ( Lotti ) Latrous who enjoyed a comfortable life with her conserve, Nestle director Aziz Latrous. Through his make, the couple and their 3 children got to travel the populace .
The family ended up in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast ( West Africa ), where Lotti, the charwoman who had a drive around, a chef, and a pool, started working in a hospital. Devastated by the adversity and poverty she found in Abidjan, she built an ambulatory with the fiscal back of her husband .
finally, when the family moved back to Switzerland, Lotti stayed in Abidjan where she inactive today spends most of her time. She has found something that life style and comfort had not been able to provide : true mean ( Latrous, 2015 ) .
Volunteering and devoting time to a induce has often been described as a source of meaning, and living a meaningful life sentence may besides be region of what we call the “ estimable life. ” Meaning can not only be found in the big, but besides in the most superficial of things .
If you can, remember the smallest and most important of all fourth dimension periods : the current consequence, the now .

“ Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet. ”

Thich Nhat Hanh
Every consequence has meaning if we are mindful, because being portray in the moment is the kernel of being. Paying attention is a brawny instrument .
therefore following time you take a shower, try to stay focus. consciously explore the have. Enjoy the warmly water as it touches your shoulders and runs down your consistency. Smell the soap, examine the color and form of the foam running through your fingers, and explore what it feels like your hide .
Listen to the sound of the water and the make noise it makes hitting the ground. Try to feel a single drop falling on your skin. Take a deep breath and appreciate the handiness of this precious resource .
You can cut back on energy and conserve water by switching it off while washing your hair, and consciously enjoy the fantastic feel of the warm water on your body as you turn the water on again .
even the most mundane undertaking can be experienced intensely through mindfulness .
With a sense of curio, we can see our universe through different eyes. With so much good in a small, casual event such as a shower, you will soon realize how much beauty there is in life .

“ At every moment you have a choice that either leads you closer to your liveliness or foster away from it. ”

Thich Nhat Hanh

A Take-Home Message

The “ dependable biography, ” so it seems, has many unlike aspects to it. personally, I love being in nature .
The smell of awe watching the sunrise in the good morning makes me feel alive, the time I spend with kin and friends is identical valued, and writing about positivist psychology while the sun is shining through the windowpane is the “ estimable life ” taking set justly this very consequence .
To me, this is what counts .
What is your estimate of the “ dear life ? ” Leave a remark below and plowshare your thoughts .
We hope you enjoy reading this article. Don ’ t forget to download our 3 Meaning and Valued Living Exercises for free .

  • Binswanger, H. C. (2006). Die Wachstumsspirale: Geld, Energie und Imagination in der Dynamik des Marktprozesses. Marburg: Metropolis.
  • Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377.
  • Helson, H. (1964). Current trends and issues in adaptation-level theory. Jan 1964, 26-38. American Psychologist, 19(1), 26-38.
  • Inglehart, R., & Klingemann, H.-D. (2000). Genes, culture, democracy and happiness. Culture and Subjective Well-being. MIT Press, Cambridge.
  • Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. R. (2000). When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much
    of a Good Thing?. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(6), 995-1006.
  • Kast, B. (2012). Ich weiss nicht was ich wollen soll (Vol. 2). Nördlingen, Germany: S. Fischer Verlag GmbH.
  • Latrous, S. L. (2015). Lotti Latrous. Retrieved from http://www.lottilatrous.ch/index.php/de/menschen/lotti-latrous
  • Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the Context and Structure Of Values: Theoretical Advances and Empirical Tests in 20 Countries (Vol. 25): Academic Press. Inc.
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