Spire Deep Dive

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In Happiness Studies, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar tells us:

“Spiritual wellbeing – Most people associate spirituality with religion, specifically with the belief in God. While spirituality can certainly be found in religion, it is possible to travel a spiritual path independent of religion. Spiritual wellbeing refers to the importance of finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life, as well as to elevating ordinary experiences into extraordinary ones through mindful presence.”

Physical wellbeing – The understanding that the mind and body are connected—an understanding that challenges a Western approach plagued by dualism—is critical for physical wellbeing. The psychological and the physical are not two separate and independent entities, but rather connected and interdependent; happiness is not contingent on either the mind or the body, but rather on both. To fulfill our potential for Wholebeing, we need to satisfy our needs for physical exercise, certain nutrients, sleep and touch.”

Intellectual wellbeing – While the connection between how intelligent we are and our happiness is ambiguous, there is a strong and definite connection between how we use our intellect and our happiness. Contrary to what legions of well-intentioned educators and parents seem to suggest, a stellar GPA and getting into a top college do not pave the path to happiness. Rather, curiosity and openness, as well as deep engagement in learning, are the building blocks of intellectual wellbeing, and by extension of Wholebeing.”

Relational wellbeing – The number one predictor of happiness is not money or prestige, not success or accolades, but the quantity and quality of time we spend with people we care about and who care about us. Healthy relationships constitute the core of a full and fulfilling life. But it’s not only our connection to our friends, family or colleagues that matters; cultivating a healthy relationship with our self is essential if we are to enjoy healthy relationships with others.”

Emotional wellbeing – Emotions, of course, play an important role in our overall experience of happiness. They inform our thoughts and deeds—and they are the outcomes of our thoughts and deeds. Our emotional wellbeing depends on our ability to both cultivate pleasurable emotions, such as joy and gratitude, as well as deal with painful ones, like envy and sorrow, in a healthy way. By focusing on the SPIRE elements, each of which indirectly leads to a happier life, we circumvent the trap of the happiness paradox.”

SPIRE Masterpiece Day Checklist example:

  • Spiritual – mindfulness – in all tasks, if my attention wanders, bring it back.
  • Physical – don’t drink sugar and don’t eat flour.
  • Intellectual – 20-minute deep work time block or Pomodoro.
  • Relationship – phone-free connection time and the phone is out of sight and touch.
  • Emotion – celebrate tiny wins throughout the day.
Spire Deep Dive
Episode 18