Five Paths to Happiness

Five Paths to Happiness

Hey, it’s Jackson here with another video on how you can use well-being to enhance the performance of yourself and your team. In this video, we’re going to actually do sort of a reflection or almost a diagnostic test relating to happiness and well-being, and it comes from this model known as PERMA. That’s P E R M A – PERMA. And that comes from one of the kind of the founding fathers, so to speak, of modern positive psychology – his name is Martin Seligman. PERMA is going to represent his holistic model for happiness and well-being. I’ll break it down for you.

The P stands for positive emotion, so that means I’m frequently experiencing joy, excitement, relaxation – all the good things that we want to experience. E is for engagement, that means a sense of flow or being kind of stimulated by your work and by your hobbies. Then you have R for relationships – quality relationships with family and friends. You have M for meaning, right – a sense of purpose. And finally, A for achievement, which is making progress towards important goals.

Now, I find the way that this model is very practical is that it can help you to take something kind of ambiguous – if you’re thinking about, “Oh, my happiness or my well-being or my quality of life” – and break it down into specific buckets or focus areas that you can actually think about to get a little bit more in depth. And so, what I’m going to guide you through is a reflection you can use to sort of assess where you’re at within this model. And then, I’ll break you into groups so you can actually talk about letting this lead to actions.

We’re gonna go through this one at a time, and I’m going to ask you to take a piece of paper, take out your phone, your notes app, whatever, or you can kind of keep it in your head, but ideally, you’ll write it down because there’s five of these.

Number one, positive emotion. So, if you were to think about how often you’re experiencing positive emotions and how rarely you’re experiencing kind of negative emotions, what would you rate yourself from one to five? One being “I’m totally miserable” to five being “I’m happy and positive all the time.” Okay, one to five.

Next, if you were to think about engagement – how often do you feel kind of absorbed or immersed or kind of in the zone in your day-to-day activity? One to five, give an assessment.

Relationships – when we think about the quality of your relationships, it can be a romantic partner, it can be family, it can be friendships, could be community. Taking those all as a whole, from one to five, what would you rate yourself?

Meaning. So, meaning we often think of as using kind of your strengths or things that you’re good at to serve something greater than you. Whether that is your creator and it’s more spiritual, whether it’s your community, whether it’s just your family, your organization – whatever. It’s using what I’m good at to have an impact, and that creates a sense of purpose. So, one to five, what would you give yourself?

And finally, achievement – again, that kind of progress on meaningful goals and getting things done. What would you give yourself? Okay, so this is not demanding – this exercise isn’t going to be critical or something – but just to give you an idea, what are the dimensions that I’m excelling in, and what are the ones I maybe want to focus on and develop?

And so, the group part of this assignment here is you do not need to give your numbers or your ratings to anyone else, but what I’m going to ask you to do is to get into small groups – you can do partners or up to five people – and talk amongst yourselves. For each of you, it’s going to say first, “What is my lowest of the five? What’s the one that I really want to work on, and how might I take specific actions to work on that, whether it’s in the context of work or life more broadly?”

So, that’s part one. Part two is to say, “Which of these am I best at? I feel like it’s really going well, and why is that? What am I doing right, and how can I even do more of it?” So, there you have it. You have your PERMA assessment to get an idea of what are the factors of happiness and well-being for you, and then you have an assignment. In an area that I want to maybe focus on improving, discussing how I can do that – what actions can I take? And for an area in which you’re excelling, sharing a little bit about what’s going right and how you can do more of it. That’s all for now. I’ll see you in the next one.