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Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Tom Rath , Jim Harter
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 4, 2010
Much of what we think will improve our wellbeing is either misguided or just plain wrong. Contrary to what many people believe, wellbeing isn't just about being happy. Nor is it only about being wealthy or successful. And it's certainly not limited to physical health and wellness. In fact, focusing on any of these elements in isolation may drive us to frustration and even a sense of failure.

When striving to improve our lives, we are quick to buy into programs that promise to help us make money, lose weight, or strengthen our relationships. While it might be easier to treat these critical areas in our lives as if they operate independently, they don't. Gallup's comprehensive study of people in more than 150 countries revealed five universal, interconnected elements that shape our lives:

The Five Essential Elements
  • Career Wellbeing
  • Social Wellbeing
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Physical Wellbeing
  • Community Wellbeing

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements will provide you with a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime. Written in a conversational style by #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and bestselling author Jim Harter, Ph.D., this book is filled with fascinating research and novel ideas for boosting your wellbeing in each of these five areas.

By the time you finish reading this book, you should have a better understanding of what makes life worthwhile. This will enable you to enjoy each day and get more out of your life -- and perhaps most importantly, boost the wellbeing of your friends, family members, colleagues, and others in your community.

(Each copy of this book includes a unique ID code for Gallup's online Wellbeing Finder, a program designed to help you track and improve your wellbeing over time.)

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Why It Pays to Give a Damn: The Business of Wellbeing
    -- From CNBC (read more: cnbc.com/id/37149447)

"The Gallup recommendations take immediate gratification and turn it on its head, making short-term satisfaction an ally rather than an enemy." --The San Francisco Chronicle

"the Wellbeing website...is as addictive as crack" --The Huffington Post

From the Inside Flap

Over the past decade, Gallup has introduced the concepts of strengths-based development and employee engagement to more than 20 million people around the world -- largely through the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath and the New York Times bestseller 12: The Elements of Great Managing, which was coauthored by engagement expert Jim Harter. In Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, these bestselling authors team up to share the results of a landmark study of wellbeing and its implications for organizations and individuals.

Their groundbreaking research reveals how organizations can help employees boost their overall wellbeing -- from their satisfaction with their careers to their financial security and level of community involvement. After conducting this extensive study, Rath and Harter discovered that much of what we think will improve our wellbeing is either misguided or just plain wrong. When striving to improve our lives, we're quick to buy into programs that promise to help us make money, lose weight, or strengthen our relationships. While it might be easier to treat these critical areas in our lives as if they are independent, they're not. Gallup's comprehensive study of people in more than 150 countries revealed five universal, interconnected elements that shape our lives: Career Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing, and Community Wellbeing.

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements provides you with a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime. Written in a conversational style, this book is filled with fascinating research and innovative ideas for boosting your wellbeing in each of these five areas. As a complement to the book, you'll have the opportunity to use Gallup's online Wellbeing Finder to track and improve your wellbeing. By the time you finish reading this book, you'll have a better understanding of what makes life worthwhile. This will enable you to enjoy each day and get more out of your life -- while boosting the wellbeing of your friends, family members, colleagues, and others in your community.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gallup Press; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595620400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595620408
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
114 of 119 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This is Tom Rath's latest book, co-authored with Jim Harter whose previous book, 12: The Elements of Great Managing, Harter co-authored with Rodd Wagner. Rath explains that in addition to their own research for this book, he and Harter consulted an abundance of research conducted by the Gallup Organization with which they are associated. Moreover, "Gallup assembled an assessment composed of the best questions asked over the last 50 years. To create this assessment, the Well-Being Finder, we tested hundreds of questions across countries, languages, and vastly different life situations."

For me, some of the most important revelations include those that help to explain how people (in a 150 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe) experience their days and evaluate their lives overall. More specifically, as Rath and Harter explain, five distinct statistical factors emerged. "These core dimensions are universal elements of well-being, or how we think about and experience our lives - the interconnected elements that differentiate a thriving life from one spent suffering." Although 66% of those surveyed are doing well in one of the five areas, only 7% are thriving in all five. "These five factors are the currency of a life that is worthwhile. They describe demands of life that we can all [begin italics] do something about [end italics] and that are important to people in every life situation we studied.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeffrey Fisher, M.A., Personal and Business Coach May 23, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, is more than just an amazing read it's also an ongoing process. I'll explain. Tom Rath and Jim Harter, both associated with Gallup, were involved in the design of an assessment - the Wellbeing Finder - that tested hundreds of questions across 150 countries and multiple languages, with populations in vastly different life situations. What emerged from the research were five universal elements of well-being that differentiate individuals who are suffering or thriving in their lives. These elements include career wellbeing, social wellbeing, financial wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and community wellbeing.

The book covers all of these areas, as well as much of the research, and provides a rather straightforward guide to help individuals get more out of life and boost their own wellbeing. More than that, within the book you will be able to find a key that allows you to do an online assessment of all these five areas and compare yourself to a large database of individuals demographically. In addition it is possible to record well-being on a daily basis, on all of these five factors, and get some sense of how sometimes subtle changes in your routine or experience can have a significant affect on your wellbeing.

What I love about this book, and the online assessment tool, is that reading it and actively participating in the process really provides you with some concrete areas to improve. The authors make it clear that many of us are unwilling to make long-term changes in our habits even if we know that maintaining our presence lifestyles will lead to significant long-term consequences. Their understanding that regular evidenced-based feedback and concrete goals and action plans can make a huge difference in whether we just survive or thrive.

This is going to be a very popular book!
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise Authoritative Book, but One Element is Missing August 20, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I read the Rath and Hartner wellbeing book and I loved it. I teach Positive Psychology at the University level and found it really attractive to have something so authoritative and concise and so user friendly. The relevance of the info and how only useful info was included was also attractive. I read in on the bus and only took less then 1.5 hrs. The ease of reading was a big plus. The 112 pages of core text is impressive because it is so very jam packed with vital/key info, but not in a cluttered way or a way that made the info inaccessible. I know the research and so know what was being said had plenty of empirical support. Yet, the science foundation was strategically downplayed in favor of increased user-friendlyness and accessibility. Lack of references was a plus in regards student buy-in/uptake/readability. So, to summarize, the main thing I liked most was the concise efficiency and effectiveness/persuasiveness of info delivery.

Plus, each sentence was masterfully crafted for maximum communication value in a way that packed a desirable intellectual punch. Bravo to the authors for making an art out of communicating science. Its a really truly a work of art. Rarely is science make to be so very appealing to the popular culture. And not just appealing but useful info too. I liked how it was both an authoritative read but also a friendly read.

In terms of weaknesses, being a psychologist, i felt the major limitation was they left out what I consider to be the 6th Element. It really did come as a surprise that Rath and Hartner overlooked Psychological Wellbeing. I see they compensated for the excessive autistic nature of many Psychological models of Wellbeing. It was a real strength to include coverage of career, social, physical wellbeing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars No Snake Oil Here! - Data Driven Information.
For those of us who have heard all the 'Quack' talk about our well being and finding happiness in life, Rath has hit the nail on the head by not being just one more snake oil... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Richard H. McBee Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content but a boring read.
I really wanted to like this book more because the framework they create to demonstrate statistically how people actually become happy well adjusted adults is amazing, but the... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Barbara Longue
4.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought
Great research and suggestions for how to measure progress towards wellbeing, which shifts it from being "fuzzy" to being attainable
Published 1 month ago
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book...
Simple synthesis of complicated statistics. Actionable advice. It could also incorporate psychological and evironmental health.
Published 3 months ago by Annah K. Amani
3.0 out of 5 stars A Pretty Good Book
Well Being is a pretty good book for those interested in learning about well-being. The five areas they have identified are certainly important ones and people who with minimal... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Leif I. Solberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book
Enjoyed this book. The stats were quite intriguing and made a lot of sense in the end. If you are stuck in a rut at work or not sure what is wrong with your general happiness, this... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paul Hughes
3.0 out of 5 stars I am not sure...
I was disappointed with this book. The research behind it was interesting but I felt like the major elements that were missing were in regards to the relationship with the self. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Book arrived in a timely manner. Unfortunately the cover ...
Book arrived in a timely manner. Unfortunately the cover of the book was covered in smudges and dirt and an assortment of other marks.
Published 5 months ago by Thomas
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
First part good, but then became redundant
Published 9 months ago by Topper
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, Poor customer service at site
I purchased the Kindle version. It was a super-easy read and helpful as a guide, but I looked forward to using the Code to do the assessment. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dawna M Perez
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