The PERMA +V Model of Well-being

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In Flourish, Dr. Martin Seligman tells us:

“Here then is well-being theory: well-being is a construct; and well-being, not happiness, is the topic of positive psychology. Well-being has five measurable elements (PERMA) that count toward it: Positive emotion (of which happiness and life satisfaction are all aspects), Engagement (flow), Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement. Vitality (Energy, Eating, Moving, Sleeping, Breathing, Focusing, etc.) was later added by Emiliya Zhivotovskaya and Louis Alloro. No element defines well-being, but each contributes to it. I used to think that the topic of positive psychology was happiness, that the gold standard for measuring happiness was life satisfaction, and that the goal of positive psychology was to increase life satisfaction. I now think that the topic of positive psychology is well-being, that the gold standard for measuring well-being is flourishing, and that the goal of positive psychology is to increase flourishing.”

In well-being theory, the 24 character strengths like zest, hope, gratitude, curiosity, love, etc. underpin all PERMA +V elements. Using your signature strengths leads to more positive emotion, more engagement, better relationships, more meaning, more achievement, and more vitality. If you want to boost your well-being you can pursue any or all six elements.

PERMA +V masterpiece day checklist example:

  • Positive emotion – think about one thing I am grateful for today.
  • Engagement – read a book summary as part of my 20-minute learning time block.
  • Relationships – 10-minute connection time block with my wife, son, and/or daughter.
  • Meaning – 15-minute deep work time block on The Fundamentals Guide.
  • Achievement – focus on process vs outcome – the results are always delayed.
  • Vitality – be in bed for 7.5+ hours.
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