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The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing
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The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing


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  • 1. The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing Much of what we think will improve our wellbeing is either misguided or just plain wrong. Gallup scientists have been exploring the demands of a life well-lived since the mid-20th century. More recently, in partnership with leading economists, psychologists, and other acclaimed scientists, we began to explore the common elements of wellbeing in more than 150 countries. This gave us a lens into the wellbeing of more than 98% of the world’s population. During our research, five distinct dimensions or statistical factors of what constitutes wellbeing emerged.The following summary is a brief excerpt on the five essential elements of wellbeing from TomRath and Jim Harter’s, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements.Contrary to what many people believe, wellbeing isn’t just about being happy. Nor is it only about being wealthy orsuccessful. And it’s certainly not limited to physical health and wellness. In fact, focusing on any one of these elements inisolation may drive us to feelings of frustration and even failure.Just think of how many people dedicate an excessive amount of time and energy to their job at the expense of their personalrelationships. It might seem easier to treat critical areas in our lives as if they are independent and unrelated, but they’re not.They are interdependent.Wellbeing is about the combination of our love for what wedo each day, the quality of our relationships, the security The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeingof our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health, and • The first element is about how you occupy yourthe pride we take in what we have contributed to our time or simply liking what you do every day:communities. Most importantly, it’s about how those five your Career Wellbeing.elements interact. • The second element is about having strongWhile 66% of people are doing well in at least one of these relationships and love in your life: your Socialareas, just 7% are thriving in all five. If we’re struggling in Wellbeing.any one of these domains, as most of us are, it damages our • The third element is about effectivelywellbeing and wears on our daily life. When we strengthen managing your economic life: your Financialour wellbeing in any of these areas, we will have better Wellbeing.days, months, and decades. But we’re not getting the mostout of our lives unless we’re living effectively in all five. • The fourth element is about having good health and enough energy to get things doneThese elements are the currency of a life that matters. They on a daily basis: your Physical not include every nuance of what’s important in life, but • The fifth element is about the sense ofthey do represent five broad categories that are essential to engagement you have with the area where youmost people. live: your Community Wellbeing.Tom Rath leads Gallup’s workplace research and leadership consulting worldwide. He is a #1 New York Times and WallStreet Journal bestselling author and most recently coauthored, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements.Jim Harter, Ph.D. is Chief Scientist for Gallup’s international workplace management and wellbeing practices. He iscoauthor of the New York Times bestseller 12: The Elements of great Managing and most recently coauthored, Wellbeing: TheFive Essential Elements. Copyright © 2010 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. MS_Five-Wellbeing_Ws_en-US_03-17-10_sa