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Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 4, 2010
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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
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
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.
Top customer reviews
I'm not saying the components mentioned aren't important- all of those things contribute to the authors definition of wellbeing: "the things that are important to how we think about and experience our lives." But I found that the authors' "advice" even on these other topics was pretty flimsy. In the career wellbeing section we are advised to "avoid sustained periods of unemployment (over a year) when you are actively seeking a job but unable to find one." Since most unemployed people are not unemployd by choice, and the author is actually acknowledging that they are unable to find a job...I fail to see how that is at all helpful (and it's actually a bit insulting... to the unemployed person and my intelligence).
Basically, the views here are quite simplistic. We found out that people with "high wellbeing" are passionate about their work...so everyone should have a job they are passionate about. What a lovely idea! How exactly, does that work? Since it's probably more realistic in many cases to say that a person would be unable to leave a job they are unhappy with due to financial obligations and a poor job market, focus might be better placed on improving an employees' outlook (psychological/emotional) or improving the workplace environment. I think most of the book, and the financial chapter in particular, is speaking to a smaller percentage of Americans who do have more economic choices and freedom... in the midst of our present economy, and when the reality is that a third of the country has a household income of less than $25k, advising people to spend money on vacations for "the experience" comes across as a bit out of touch.
Reporting data is one thing. Interpreting what that data really means is much more complicated. This book does a great disservice to the data by leaving big chunks of who we are out of the picture.
The key to implementing strategies to improve your well-being is small steps. Take on one element at a time. But when you move on to the next element, you need to continue what you've been doing to improve the other. Gradually adding small things for each area to make an until you are thriving in all five. It's not impossible, but it take patience, persistence, and positivity.
This book comes with an access code to take WellbeingFinder which will allow you to track your overall and elemental well-being daily and monthly through a series of questions. It really works!
I recommend this book to anyone looking to discover why they don't feel satisfied when it feels like they may have everything they need.
Revision: after 1 year of using this book & online resource to track my well-being, I can honestly say this had a tremendous impact on me. I will recommend it to friends and colleagues alike. I wish there were translations in other languages - I would like to share with my international colleagues as well.