How's Your Eudaimonia?
How’s your Eudaimonia?
The Greek word eudaimonia refers to a contented and happy state of being. It goes beyond “happiness” though, and could be thought of as well-being that flourishes and thrives. There is so much attention given to stress and just handling life’s challenges and pressures that we often don’t even set our compass for the higher states of well-being.
There are many ways to develop well being. The question is that do we give enough time every day to lifting ourselves to the potential of life that is within us. Are we just "getting by” or are we progressing and uncovering all of the aspects of a fulfilled life.
Here is an inventory of six characteristics of well-being developed by psychologist Carol Ryff. Just considering them and some self reflection may help us direct our energy and intention to a better life.
High well-being results in an easy and deep gratitude and enthusiasm for life. 1) Self-Acceptance
High Self Acceptance: You possess a positive attitude toward yourself; acknowledge and accept multiple aspects of yourself including both good and bad qualities; and feel positive about your past life.
Low Self Acceptance: You feel dissatisfied with yourself; are disappointed with what has occurred in your past life; are troubled about certain personal qualities; and wish to be different than what you are.
2) Personal Growth
Strong Personal Growth: You have a feeling of continued development; see yourself as growing and expanding; are open to new experiences; have the sense of realizing your potential; see improvement in yourself and behavior over time; are changing in ways that reflect more self-knowledge and effectiveness.
Weak Personal Growth: You have a sense of personal stagnation; lack the sense of improvement or expansion over time; feel bored and uninterested with life; and feel unable to develop new attitudes or behaviors.
3) Purpose in Life
Strong Purpose in Life: You have goals in life and a sense of directedness; feel there is meaning to your present and past life; hold beliefs that give life purpose; and have aims and objectives for living.
Weak Purpose in Life: You lack a sense of meaning in life; have few goals or aims, lack a sense of direction; do not see purpose of your past life; and have no outlook or beliefs that give life meaning.
4) Positive Relations With Others
Strong Positive Relations: You have warm, satisfying, trusting relationships with others; are concerned about the welfare of others; are capable of strong empathy, affection, and intimacy; and understand the give and take of human relationships.
Weak Relations: You have few close, trusting relationships with others; find it difficult to be warm, open, and concerned about others; are isolated and frustrated in interpersonal relationships; and are not willing to make compromises to sustain important ties with others.
5) Environmental Mastery
High Environmental Mastery: You have a sense of mastery and competence in managing the environment; control complex array of external activities; make effective use of surrounding opportunities; and are able to choose or create contexts suitable to your personal needs and values.
Low Environmental Mastery: You have difficulty managing everyday affairs; feel unable to change or improve surrounding contexts; are unaware of surrounding opportunities; and lack a sense of control over the external world.
High Autonomy: You are self-determining and independent; are able to resist social pressures to think and act in certain ways; regulate behavior from within; and evaluate yourself by personal standards.
Low Autonomy: You are concerned about the expectations and evaluations of others; rely on judgments of others to make important decisions; and conform to social pressures to think and act in certain ways.