it is said that these good life

the good lifeThere has been a great giảm giá khuyến mãi written and said about how to tát live The Good Life.

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Yet with more kêu ca 8 billion people on this planet, there are probably just as many opinions about what the good life entails.

Positive psychology began as an inquiry into the good life to tát establish a science of human flourishing and improve our understanding of what makes life worth living (Lopez & Snyder, 2011).

We will begin this article by exploring definitions of the good life, before presenting a brief history of philosophical theories of the good life. Then we’ll introduce a few psychological theories of the good life and methods for assessing the quality of life, before discussing how you can apply these theories to tát live a more fulfilling life.

Before you continue, we thought you might lượt thích to tát tải về our three Positive Psychology Exercises for không tính tiền. These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to tát enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

This Article Contains:

  • What Is The Good Life?
  • What Is The Good Life in Philosophy?
  • Theories About The Good Life
  • Assessing Your Quality of Life
  • How to tát Live The Good Life
  • Resources
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

What Is The Good Life?

The word ‘good’ has a very different meaning for very many people; however, there are some aspects of ‘the good life’ that most people can probably agree on such as:

  • Material comfort
  • Wellbeing
  • Engagement in meaningful activities/work,
  • Loving relationships (with partners, family, and friends)
  • Belonging to tát a community.

Together, a sense of fulfillment in these and other life domains will lead most people to tát flourish and feel that life is worth living (Vanderweele, 2017).

However, the question ‘what is the good life?’ has been asked in many fields throughout history, beginning with philosophy. Let’s look at where it all began.

What Is The Good Life in Philosophy?

Being grateful for living the good lifeThis tricky question has preoccupied philosophers since the ancient Greeks, given it đơn hàng with the how and why of values and ethics, and how to tát live well.

According to tát Socrates

Interestingly enough, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates never wrote anything down. His student Plato reported his speeches in published dialogues that demonstrate the Socratic method. Key to tát Socrates’ definition of the good life was that “the unexamined life is not worth living” (Ap 38a cited in West, 1979, p. 25).

Socrates argued that a person who lives a routine, mundane life of going to tát work and enjoying their leisure without reflecting on their values or life purpose had a life that wasn’t worth living.

However, he also argued that mere philosophical reflection was not sufficient for a good life. For Socrates, the good life requires self-mastery of our animal passions to tát ensure inner peace and the stability of the wider community. You can see a more detailed explanation of this in the Clip on Plato below.

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According to tát Plato

Plato’s view of the good life was presented in The Republic (Plato, 380-375 BCE/2007) and supported the views of his teacher, Socrates. The Republic examines virtue and the role of philosophy, community, and the state in creating the conditions needed to tát live well.

In this dialogue, Socrates is asked why a person ought to tát be virtuous to tát live a good life, rather kêu ca merely appear to tát be virtuous by cultivating a good reputation. Socrates answers that the good life doesn’t refer to tát a person’s reputation but to tát the state of a person’s soul.

The role of philosophy is essential because philosophers are educated in using reason to tát subdue their animal passions. This creates noble individuals who contribute to tát a well-ordered and humane society. A person who is unable to tát regulate their behavior will be unstable and create suffering for themselves and others, leading to tát a disordered society.

Therefore, educated reason is crucial for cultivating virtuous conduct to tát minimize human suffering, both individually and socially. For Socrates and Plato, rational reflection on the consequences of our actions is key to tát establishing virtuous conduct and living the good life, both inwardly and outwardly.

For a fuller tài khoản kiểm tra out the Wireless Philosophy Clip by Dr. Chris Surprenant below.

According to tát Aristotle

For Plato’s student Aristotle, the acquisition of both intellectual and character virtues created the highest good, which he identified with the Greek word eudaimonia, often translated as happiness (Aristotle, 350 BCE/2004).

Aristotle believed a person achieves eudaimonia when they possess all the virtues; however, acquiring them requires more kêu ca studying or training. External conditions are needed that are beyond the control of individuals, especially a khuông of state governance that permits people to tát live well.

It was Aristotle’s option that state legislators (part of Greek governance) should create laws that aim to tát improve individual character, which develops along a spectrum from vicious to tát virtuous. To cultivate virtue, reason is required to tát discern the difference between good and bad behavior.

For more on Aristotle’s version of the good life, click out the Wireless Philosophy Clip by Dr. Chris Surprenant below.

According to tát Kant

Immanuel Kant was a Prussian-born German philosopher active during the Enlightenment period of the late 18th century (Scruton, 2001). He is best known for his seminal contributions to tát ethics, moral philosophy, and metaphysics.

For Kant, a capacity for virtue is unique to tát human beings, because the ability to tát resist bodily desires requires the exercise of reason. Kant claims that human reason makes us worthy of happiness by helping us become virtuous (Kant, 1785/2012).

Kant’s argument describes the relationship between morality, reason, and freedom. One necessary condition of moral action is không tính tiền choice.

An individual’s action is freely chosen if their reasoning determines the right course of action. Conduct is not freely chosen if it is driven by bodily desires lượt thích hunger, lust, or fear, or behavioral coercion that applies rewards and punishments to tát steer human actions.

For Kant, individuals should act only if they can justify their action as universally applicable, which he termed the categorical imperative (Kant, 1785/2012). He argued that all our behavioral choices can be tested against the categorical imperative to tát see if they are consistent with the demands of morality. If they fail, they should be discarded.

A virtuous person must exercise reason to tát identify which principles are consistent with the categorical imperative and act accordingly. However, Kant claimed that reason can only develop through education in a civilized society that has secured the external conditions required for an individual to tát become virtuous.

For example, an individual who lives in fear of punishment or death lacks the freedom required to tát live virtuously, therefore authoritarian societies can never produce virtuous individuals. Poverty also erodes an individual’s freedom as they will be preoccupied with securing the means of survival.

For a deeper examination of these ideas view the Wireless Philosophy Clip by Dr. Chris Surprenant below.

According to tát Dr. Seligman

Dr. Martin Seligman is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of positive psychology. For Seligman, the good life entails using our character strengths to tát engage in activities we find intrinsically fulfilling, during work and play and in our relationships.

For Seligman, ‘the good life’ has three strands,

  • Positive emotions
  • Eudaimonia and flow
  • Meaning.

Dr. Seligman’s work with Christopher Peterson (Peterson & Seligman, 2004) helped to tát develop the VIA system of signature strengths. When we invest our strengths in the activities of daily living, we can develop the virtues required to tát live ‘the good life’; a life characterized by positive emotional states, flow, and meaning.

Here is a Clip to tát learn more from Dr. Seligman about how cultivating your unique strengths is essential for living the good life.

Theories About The Good Life

Theories about what constitutes the good life and how to tát live it abound. This section will look at some of the most recent psychological theories about what contributes to tát the good life.

Set-Point Theory

Set-point theory argues that while people have fluctuating responses to tát significant life events lượt thích getting married, buying a new trang chủ, losing a loved one, or developing a chronic illness, we generally return to tát our inner ‘set point’ of subjective wellbeing (SWB) after a few years (Diener et al., 1999). This is largely inherited and tied in with personality type.

In terms of the Big Five personality traits, those predisposed to tát neuroticism will tend more toward pessimism and negative perceptions of events, while those who are more extroverted and open to tát experience will tend more toward optimism.

According to tát set-point theory, the efforts we make to tát achieve our life goals will have little lasting effect on our overall SWB given we each have our own ‘happiness phối point’ (Lyubomirsky, 2007).

Furthermore, phối point theory suggests that there’s little we can vì thế for people who have been through a difficult time lượt thích losing their spouse or losing their job because they will eventually adapt and return to tát their previous phối point.

This implies that helping professionals who believe they can improve people’s SWB in the longer term may be misguided. Or does it?

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Other research provides evidence that achieving life goals can have a direct effect on a person’s overall contentment (Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2021). Specifically, pursuing non-competitive goals such as making a family, building friendships, helping others in our community, and engaging in social justice activities improve our sense of wellbeing.

On the other hand, pursuing competitive life goals lượt thích building a career and monetary wealth exclusively undermines SWB.

For set-point theory, the good life depends more on innate personality traits kêu ca education. For a surprising tài khoản of this, using a practical example, view the Clip below.

Life-Satisfaction Theory

Typically, life satisfaction refers to tát a global evaluation of what makes life worth living rather kêu ca focusing on success in one area of life lượt thích a career or intimate relationship, or the fleeting sense of pleasure we often Call happiness (Suikkanen, 2011).

However, there tend to tát be two dominant theories of what causes life satisfaction: bottom-up theories and top-down theories.

Bottom-up theories propose that life satisfaction is a consequence of a rounded overall sense of success in highly valued life domains. Valued life domains differ from person to tát person. For a professional athlete, sporting achievement may be highly valued, while for a committed parent having a good partnership and stable family life will be super important (Suikkanen, 2011).

Of course, these are not mutually exclusive. For most people, multiple life domains matter equally. However, if we are satisfied with the areas that we value, a global sense of life satisfaction results (Suikkanen, 2011).

Top-down theories propose that our happiness set-point has a greater influence on life satisfaction kêu ca goal achievement. In other words, personality traits lượt thích optimism have a positive impact on a person’s satisfaction with life regardless of external circumstances, whereas neuroticism undermines contentment.

The debate continues, and life satisfaction is likely influenced by a combination of nature and nurture as with other areas of psychology (Suikkanen, 2011). You can read an extended discussion of the evidence in our related article on life satisfaction.

So, while life satisfaction is associated with living a good life, it’s not necessarily related to tát education, the exercise of reason, or the cultivation of virtues as proposed by the philosophers mentioned above. For example, a successful financial criminal may be highly satisfied with life but would be deemed a corrupt human being by such lofty philosophical standards.

Hedonic treadmill

Meanwhile, the concept of the hedonic treadmill proposes that no matter what happens, good or bad, a person will eventually return to tát their baseline emotional state. For example, if someone gets married, moves to tát a new trang chủ, is promoted, loses a job, or is seriously injured in an accident, eventually, they will mặc định to tát their innate phối point (Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2012).

This has also been termed hedonic adaptation theory (Diener et al., 2006). It means that no matter how hard we chase happiness or try to tát avoid suffering, ultimately, our innate tendencies toward pessimism or optimism return us to tát our baseline level, either dysphoria or contentment (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005).

If you tend to tát see the glass as half empty rather kêu ca half full, don’t be discouraged, because recent research by Sheldon and Lyubomirsky (2021) acknowledges that while we each have a happiness phối point, we can also cultivate greater happiness. We’ve offered some tips in the ‘how to’ section below.

Assessing Your Quality of Life

What is quality of lifeDefining a high quality of life will differ from individual to tát individual given the variety of personal values.

Nevertheless, assessing the quality of life has led to tát an abundance of international research using quality of life indicators (QoLs) in a variety of scales and questionnaires (Zheng et al., 2021).

Gill and Feinstein identified at least 150 QoL assessment instruments back in the mid-1990s (Gill & Feinstein, 1994). Since then, scales have been refined to tát measure the quality of life in relation to tát specific health conditions, life events, and demographic factors lượt thích age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (Zheng et al., 2021).

Our article Quality of Life Questionnaires and Assessments explains this in more detail and guides you on how to tát choose the best instrument for your clients.

Meanwhile, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has developed the Better Life Index to tát measure how people from different demographics define a high quality of life. You can find out more in the brief Clip below.

How to tát Live The Good Life

How can each of us live the good life today given our array of differences? Below are five steps you can take to tát clarify what the good life means to tát you, and how you can apply your strengths to tát phối goals that will lead to tát greater fulfillment.

1. Clarify your values

Clarifying what is important to tát you helps invest your life with meaning. Download our values clarification worksheet to tát get started.

2. Identify valued life domains

Investing in activities in valued life domains is intrinsically rewarding. Download our valued life domains worksheet to tát find out more.

3. Invest in your strengths

You can find out your character strengths by taking the không tính tiền survey here. Playing to tát your strengths helps you overcome challenges and achieve your goals leading to tát greater life satisfaction. Read our article about how to tát apply strengths-based approaches to tát living well.

4. Set valued goals

Finally, we all benefit when we phối goals and make practical plans to tát achieve them. Try our setting valued goals worksheet for guidance.

5. Ensure high-quality relationships

Healthy relationships with partners, family, friends, and colleagues are essential for living the good life and achieving your goals. To assess the quality of your relationships, take a look at our article on healthy relationships with không tính tiền worksheets.

You can also look at our healthy boundaries article with more không tính tiền resources. Healthy boundaries tư vấn you in living the good life in all life domains, while poor boundaries will leave you feeling unfulfilled.

In short, values-driven engaged activities and healthy, boundaried relationships provide the foundation for human flourishing and what is called the good life. Resources

We have an excellent selection of resources you might find useful for living the good life.

First, take a look at our Meaning & Valued Living Masterclass for positive psychology practitioners. This online masterclass follows a practical process of identifying values, investing in strengths and then applying them to tát living a more fulfilled life.

In addition, we have two related articles for you to tát enjoy while exploring the role of meaning in the good life:

  • Realizing Your Meaning: 5 Ways to tát Live a Meaningful Life
  • 15 Ways to tát Find Your Purpose of Life & Realize Your Meaning

Next, we have an article explaining the role of human flourishing in living the good life.

  • What Is Flourishing in Positive Psychology? (+8 Tips & PDF)

Finally, we have an article on how to tát apply values-driven goal-setting to tát living the good life.

  • How to tát Set and Achieve Life Goals The Right Way

We also have worksheets you may find useful sida to tát living the good life:

Our How Joined Up is Your Life? worksheet can help your client identify their interests and passions, assess how authentically they are living their life, and identify any values that remain unfulfilled.

This Writing Your Own Mission Statement worksheet can help clients capture what they stand for, their aims, and objectives. Having a personal mission statement can be useful to tát return to tát periodically to tát assess our alignment with our values and goals.

Finally, this How to tát Get What You Deserve in Life worksheet can help clients identify what they want as well as justify why they deserve a good life.

A Take-Home Message

We all want to tát live the good life, whatever that means to tát us individually. The concept has preoccupied human beings for millennia.

If you currently struggle, which we all vì thế at different times, we hope you’ll consider trying some of the science-based strategies suggested above to tát steer your way through.

All the evidence we have shared above shows that you can improve your life satisfaction and subjective wellbeing by living in line with your values. But you have to tát be clear about what’s important to tát you.

Values-based living invests your life with more meaning and purpose and is key to tát living the good life.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to tát tải về our three Positive Psychology Exercises for không tính tiền.


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  • Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2021). Revisiting the sustainable happiness model and pie chart: Can happiness be successfully pursued? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 16(2), 145–154.
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  • Vanderweele, T. J. (2017). On the promotion of human flourishing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(31), 8148–8156.
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  • Zheng, S., He, A., Yu, Y., Jiang, L., Liang, J. & Wang, Phường. (2021). Research trends and hotspots of health-related quality of life: a bibliometric analysis from 2000 to tát 2019. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 19, 130.

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