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on November 12, 2012
Many definitions of wisdom focus on judgment and actions that increase wellbeing. With wellbeing central to the concept of wisdom, it becomes important to know what it is and how it can be improved.

Authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter marshaled the considerable resources of the Gallup organization to identify the elements of wellbeing. They began by defining wellbeing as all the things that are important to how we think about and experience our lives. They then used carefully constructed survey methods to gather data from more than 350,000 adults in 150 countries, representing 98% of the world's adult population.

Their findings are grouped into these five distinct statistical factors that describe important aspects of our lives that we can do something about:
+ Career or occupational Wellbeing: how people occupy their time during the day and whether it is fulfilling. Do you like what you do each day?
+ Social Wellbeing: the quality of relationships in people's lives
+ Financial Wellbeing: the degree of financial security people have
+ Physical Wellbeing: the extent to which people can do what they want to free of pain
+ Community Wellbeing: the extent to which people feel safe and are involved in giving to their community

For each of these five areas, they describe the detailed research findings followed by three actionable recommendations for improving your wellbeing in that area.

Their research highlights the importance of balance; while a majority of people are doing well in at least one of these five areas, only 7% are thriving in all five. They also stress the importance of finding short-term incentives that are consistent with our long-term objectives.

These results are remarkable because they are so unremarkable. Your grandmother may have given you similar advice, and that is good news! Absent from the list are the extremist ideologies used to justify so many wars. Trendy fashions, religious fundamentalism, and Joe Camel did not make the list.

The main text is quite short; however the book includes several informative and data-rich appendices.

The book purchase includes an access code to unlock an on-line program including the wellbeing finder and daily tracker intended to measure and help manage your wellbeing. These tools can help identify conditions that limit or contribute to your own wellbeing, and suggest changes that can increase your wellbeing.

This book takes one more step towards establishing a broadly accepted standard for assessing and achieving wellbeing. It takes a scientific approach to discovering what humans value most and helps bring us toward a consensus on this essential issue.
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on February 22, 2016
Tom Rath and Jim Harter craft a model that simplifies life domains into five essential elements. Looking at wellbeing and flourishing within five domains of career, social, financial, physical, and community we can ascertain current wellbeing and strategically identify opportunities for improvement. As with many books from Gallup, a code is provided to complete an individual wellbeing index. As we have come to expect from Gallup, the constructs are clearly supported by sound research. When life gets unbalanced, this book provides perspectives and resources to get back in balance to achieve integrated wellbeing.
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on February 7, 2016
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 vendor. His data driven suggestions in the five key areas of well being, including things to actually do to make a difference in each area, should give hipe to many who have sought ways of making more informed decisions about their lives leading to more enjoyment on a day to day basis. I read one copy, and sent the other two copies to my children who I am sure will enjoy and benefit from his great insights. Wish I'd read it fifty years ago!
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on May 23, 2010
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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on April 9, 2014
If you only knew how many times I've referenced this book since reading it! Its a great book. It's an easy read and the way its written is perfect for people who lose interest or get easily distracted when reading a book and never finish. Male, female, atheist, or religious folks should all read this book. The best thing about the book is that it backs up all their points with research. Its really a fantastic book, I highly recommend it.
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on March 21, 2016
Great evidence-based research is an easy read that does a good job of framing the discussion and simplifying how to increase your well being. The information brings making healthful decisions to the forefront of your mind. Each chapter ends with three actions you can take to improve the 5 elements of your well being. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone that understands we are continuously growing and always improving no matter how old we are and wants to be happier and healthier all around.
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on April 22, 2015
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. Unfortunately, after filling out the profile, I got an error message and now cannot access the survey. There is no phone number to contact, only a form to fill out with an inquiry. It has been 5 days and I have not received a response. I'm pretty frustrated with the lack of customer service from the site.
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on April 20, 2014
Wellbeing identifies the 5-key areas needed by any individual, commercial or corporate firm, public or private institutions and the Government to make radical healthy changes and to end any health or financial crisis. It prevents and cures at the same time any personal or corporate poor lifestyle decisions of financial bad decisions.
The is a book that must be read and applied in one's personal life, corporate groups, and especially those who lead in any branch of the Federal or Local governments, from the president to local leaders.
Henry A Villegas,, MD, FAWM,
Founder of GreenLagoon Wellbeing Lifestyle EcoClinics & The Eco Sustainable Wellbeing Community
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
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on May 5, 2014
I found this book very helpful. It's researched-based, but manages to keep the discussion short and fairly simple. It's balanced, rather than oversimplifying by focusing on just one or two areas. It's actionable, with suggestions we can put into practice right away in each area. I would have given it five stars, except that when I passed it along to a friend, she found it too dry and couldn't get into it. I found it short enough that dryness was not an issue, but it's probably not enjoyable to read as it could have been.
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on January 9, 2018
simple and clear, thought feels pieced together. i like the research for its raw use, though it is far from a complete picture of how to implement the research.
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