“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.”Charles H. Perkhurst
Research in Positive Psychology has shown there are three major components to enhancing your happiness and your life: Pleasure, Engagement and Meaning.
The Pleasurable Life
The more you increase and experience pleasure in life, the more happiness you'll feel during and immediately after these experiences. However, such positive feelings are short-lived. Think about relaxing in a warm bath, or enjoying a massage; in the middle of the experience, you are filled with relaxation and positive feelings. A day, week or a month later, the experience is merely a dim memory and doesn’t contribute to lasting feelings of happiness.
The Engaged Life
Engagement is about flow, absorption and gratification. Whenever you engage fully in an experience, with total involvement and concentration, you’ll usually find you are left feeling strong, alert, refreshed and invigorated. Indeed, research in Positive Psychology has shown that engagement and flow measurably increase levels of happiness and life satisfaction. The positive effects of engagement are not short-lived either. Flow builds psychological and emotional capital. It can bring exhilarating feelings of transcendence, and help dissolve emotional problems and challenges.
The Meaningful Life
Of all the components to happiness, meaning provides the longest lasting, strongest and most durable effect. By having a purpose that is bigger than yourself, by living a life of meaning and significance, you can measurably increase your levels of happiness and life satisfaction. Purpose and meaning are the paths to truly enhancing your life.
As you can see from the diagram above, to create an enhanced life of happiness and satisfaction, you need to focus on all three components of happiness. You need to put in place activities and processes that increase the amount of pleasure and engagement you experience. Most importantly though, these need to be underpinned with a foundation of meaning and purpose.
The outcome of this blog is to help you understand what this means and guide you in achieving this in your life, so stay posted and I'll continue sharing with you practical ideas and strategies from NLP and Positive Psychology for how to get more out of life.
great life enhancing wishes,