The Well-Being Journal

Optimism in America

Jennifer Rudloff

We’re all evaluated at one point or another in our lives. Whether it’s on tests we take or projects and presentations we create, evaluation is a constant part of our lives. Sometimes, though, we fail to stop and evaluate one of the most important things — life.

There are many important questions we must stop and ask ourselves about our own well-being in life, like: How are we doing in our relationships? How is our health? Are we living our lives to their fullest potential? By evaluating these areas and improving just one area of our lives, we can prompt improvements in other areas as well.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® (WBI), when Americans evaluate life, 54% classify themselves as thriving. The Cantril Scale asks those surveyed to imagine a "ladder" with steps numbered 0 (worst possible life) to 10 (best possible life). The "thriving" group (steps 7-10 on Cantril Scale) indicates that they expect to stand on step 8 or higher five years from now. An important takeaway here is that over half of Americans, when reflecting on their present and future lives, see themselves as “thriving.”

So while work environment, basic access and all areas of health remain subpar, life evaluation sits higher and generally steadier per the WBI. Regardless of the economy and other events happening between 2008 and 2011, a majority of Americans still remain optimistic about their future.

Reader Question: What makes you most optimistic about the future?

Topics: Re-election Health Well-Being Index Optimism Total Well-Being wellbeing health wellbeing and health Internal Reflection

Daniel Pink: Employee Engagement and Changing the World of Work

Jennifer Rudloff

Well-Being Summit participants heard best-selling author Daniel Pink speak on employee engagement and changing the world of work on Tuesday. Considering the decline in workplace well-being over the past few years, Pink talked about how workplace well-being can be improved through several key changes - the single greatest being motivation.

People spend half of their waking hours at work - disengaged. Because our well-being is formed while we are awake, our well-being at work is integral to our overall well-being. When people are disengaged, they're not motivated - and this leads to lower levels of workplace well-being.

Increasing, enlivening, and enriching the workplace improve the system of motivation within the workplace. By giving employees context for their work, room to grow within their own interests in the workplace, and allowances to move beyond the day-to-day work they conduct, well-being in the workplace will improve and overall well-being will too.

Topics: Well-Being Workplace Well-Being Employee Well-Being Health Well-Being Index Motivation wellbeing health wellbeing and health Health in the Workplace work motivation Events Employees Motivation No Motivation Lack of Motivation

Deepak Chopra: Healing Transformation & Higher Consciousness

Jennifer Rudloff

Deepak Chopra kicked off Tuesday’s activities at the Well-Being Summit, inspiring the crowd with his speech about healing transformation and higher consciousness. Consciousness, he said, affects our daily life and our well-being influences the people around us.

Chopra quoted, “No man can step into the same river twice; for he is always a different man and it’s always a different river.” One’s body is never the same in any moment of time – the body you are sitting with now is not the same physical body you had ten minutes ago. This, he said, is how we must think of our bodies – not as a structure, but as a process.
Simply, our bodies are not a noun, but a verb. Our bodies are more than just eating, breathing, dissecting, metabolism, eliminating and sensory experiences. Our bodies are also about our thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, drives, imagination and sense of self.

By understanding our bodies as a process, we can better grasp the concepts of awareness and consciousness and how they play vital roles in our well-being. All of life, Chopra said, is awareness and consciousness. Awareness is the best tool for measuring and influencing well-being; consciousness creates reality.

Consciousness allows us to see the field of possibilities in front of us, and awareness of these possibilities influences our well-being. Your happiness, therefore, impacts others’ happiness because you are the reality around them – and furthermore, the happiness of the people you don’t know impacts you. It is not just one or two people that influence your happiness, but instead, there are several people who are engaged in your well-being and influence your happiness. We are then entangled in each other’s lives, without even knowing we are, and this entanglement spreads, influencing everyone around us.

Topics: Healthy Living Mental Health Well-Being Body Consciousness Health Well-Being Index wellbeing health Key to Happiness Events Consciousness Happiness Mental Consciousness Finding Happiness