Well-being: a good, healthy, or comfortable state.
Read Abraham Maslow, Carl Jung or many other students of the stages of life and you will discover the overall theme of their "outcomes of life" or "purpose of life" conclusion.
It is that well-being, spiritual development, happiness and a feeling of completion, is the pinnacle experience in life.
There are many different words used to describe this life-goal of well-being. People search for enlightenment, happiness, love, wealth, spiritual growth. There are so many ways to describe well-being. But most people agree: it is that state that is a goal, that place where you want to arrive that is better than where you are now.
I have a suggestion for you, if this is how you think of well-being: cultivate that feeling as a current experience, rather than thinking of it as something that will happen in the future.
There are many pathways to well-being. What makes you happy? That is the best way there. As I was searching for information to write this article, I found web pages for retreat centers, books, newsletters, tape and CD programs and more and more information on how to achieve well-being.
In the end, well-being is an inside job.
Ok- if there are all these paths, if there are so many different ways, how do you get "there"?
Firstly, let's define "well-being".
When I consider myself in this state, I have the sensation of peaceful satisfaction, a feeling of wholeness, of happiness, of serenity. I feel that circumstances are going my way. Getting along with other people is easy.
In fact, as I sit here writing my own definition of well-being I have the feeling coming over me pretty strongly.
Not a bad exercise, in fact. Try it for yourself. What does well-being mean to you? Write it down. Really concentrate on your answer. Allow yourself to feel your response, your memories of times you've felt whole before.
That exercise may have allowed you to tap into a feeling that you have access to all the time. It is never gone. Well-being is your natural state. It is who you are.
I suggested you think of memories of the feeling of well-being. What were those memories? What can you do or practice in your life to duplicate that feeling?
Notice how many different ways you can achieve this feeling.
Here are some that I can list from my own experience:
What's on your list?
To bring up Maslow and Jung again: both of these great thinkers knew that ultimately, life peaks at well-being. After your basic needs are met, after your career is underway or even over, after you've achieved a certain amount of comfort socially, there is the desire for spiritual growth, a feeling of wholeness.
Don't wait until late in life to find this experience!
More and more people are finding wholeness as they develop careers, raise children and work toward whatever other goals they want to accomplish in life.
When I bring a feeling of well-being to my life's activities, any activities, I can just about guarantee success.
In the book "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience", written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author talks in great detail about this feeling of well-being. One's experience of time changes. One's experience of life in general changes.
My advice to any student of life: seek out the path that best suits you to achieve well-being. Find what you are comfortable with and deal with what you fear. Then, and only then will you discover the secret to being in a constant state of well being.