In the pursuit of a fulfilling life, happiness often takes center stage. Martin Seligman, considered the father of positive psychology, believes that true happiness goes beyond momentary pleasure. His philosophy revolves around three paths to happiness: the pleasant life, the good life, and the meaningful life.
Seligman suggests that the pleasant life is all about seeking pleasure and maximizing positive emotions. It encompasses indulging in life's simple joys, like that delightful bowl of ice cream, a rejuvenating day at the spa, a round of golf, or treating oneself to a new outfit. While these experiences are important for our well-being, Seligman emphasizes that the pleasant life alone is fleeting, incapable of providing long-lasting happiness. It serves as the initial step towards a more fulfilling existence.
On the other hand, the good life revolves around a sense of purpose and engagement. It involves immersing ourselves in activities that align with our core values, talents, and passions. Whether it's playing an instrument, participating in sports, reading, solving puzzles, gardening, or engaging in creative pursuits, the good life fosters a deep connection with our endeavors and allows us to experience a state of "flow."
While both the pleasant life and the good life contribute to our happiness, Seligman posits that the highest level of fulfillment is found in the meaningful life. The meaningful life goes beyond personal gratification; it entails connecting with something greater than ourselves and making a positive impact on the world. By contributing to the well-being of others and society as a whole, we find a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Seligman's philosophy encourages individuals to shift their focus from solely pursuing personal happiness to actively contributing to the well-being of others. By engaging in acts of kindness, nurturing meaningful relationships, and participating in community service, we not only find personal fulfillment, but also create a ripple effect of positivity in the world around us.
In our own personal journeys toward fulfillment, we have found immense joy by helping other women find purpose -- whether through rebooting careers after a pause, pivoting in a new direction, or engaging in meaningful volunteer work. Our focus is on empowering women to overcome challenges, reclaim their lives, and reach their full potential. It means getting to your “best yes.” By providing support, resources, and coaching, women can transform their lives and become catalysts for change in their communities.
If you’re yearning for greater purpose, meaning and fulfillment as you contemplate the years ahead, join us for an all-women’s “Living With Purpose and Passion” week at MEA from Oct 1-8. We are returning for our 4th year to empower and connect women who can benefit from a uniquely beautiful setting, supportive network and small group coaching.
- Co-authored by Nicole, Diane, and Alexandria
Diane Flynn and Dr. Alexandria White have embarked on a journey of empowering women and fostering inclusive cultures through their work at ReBoot Accel. Their latest book, "50 Questions Inclusive Leaders Ask," aims to foster meaningful dialogue in today's polarized environment, and equip readers with practical tools to become more inclusive leaders, colleagues, and friends.
Nicole Seawell works with leaders and their teams to understand the impact of their communications and how to pivot or tweak their approach for more effective relationships, optimized outcomes, and curated strategies. Nicole believes “your real
ity is what the other person thinks you said” and therefore we each have the opportunity to understand our impact, improve our communications, and create a meaningful life.