Wouldn’t It Be Great if Life Was Easy? Or Would It? Using PERMA to create our best life
Wouldn’t it be great if we could avoid all the struggles in our lives? If there were no challenges and everything always went the way we wanted? If our lives were easy and we had everything we needed all the time?
This sounds pretty nice – at least at first. But I’ve learned from my studies in Positive Psychology that these conditions would NOT create our best life. It does make sense once we think about it. Just like we see in the lives of many of the rich and famous, we would get bored. The novelty would wear off. We actually want challenges and we get great satisfaction and self confidence from overcoming obstacles..
Martin Seligman, considered the father of Positive Psychology, believes there are five elements that can help people reach a life of lasting fulfillment, wellbeing, and meaning. He uses the acronym PERMA.
P = Positive emotions – These are the emotions that feel good, like happiness but also curiosity, serenity, gratitude, pride, and hope. They make us feel good about ourselves and our world.
E = Engagement – When we’re engaged, we’re entirely absorbed in the present moment, creating a ‘flow’ of blissful immersion into the task or activity. This type of ‘flow’ of engagement is important to stretch our intelligence, skills, and emotional capabilities.
R = Relationships – Relationships and social connections are one of the most important aspects of life because we are social animals that thrive for connection, love, intimacy, and a strong emotional and physical interaction with other people.
M = Meaning – Meaning gives us a reason for our life and a sense that there is a greater purpose to life. Everything is not just about us.
A = Accomplishment – Having goals and overcoming challenges in life can help us accomplish things that give us a sense of achievement, pride, and fulfillment.
Reflect on each of these areas and consider if any of them could use some improvement. What actions can you take?
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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association.