A Life Well Lived

Eudaimonia. Sounds like a disease but is actually the opposite. 

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

You might not know the word eudaimonia. But you almost certainly are in pursuit of it. At least I am.

It comes from Greek and essentially means living life well. Fulfillment on a deep level, more than happiness or pleasure.

Sidebar – Assuming we all want a life well-lived, why isn’t this word in our everyday vocabulary outside of philosophy (its origins) or positive psychology (where I see it most often used today)?

As I’m making more time for deep reading these days (part of eudaimonia for me), I’ve picked up a thread I always intended to come back to.

Today that has me parsing this research article that proposes and validates an instrument for measuring Eudaimonic Well-Being (EWB).

For context, EWB is one type of measurable/defined well-being in the psychology world. Subjective Well-Being (SWB) focuses on positive and negative emotions over time as well as one’s overall life satisfaction. Psychological Well-Being (PWB) is a more objective approach to understanding well-being and looks at factors like autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships with others, purpose in life, and self-acceptance. EWB has six dimensions: self-discovery, perceived development of one’s best potentials, sense of purpose and meaning in life, investment of significant effort in pursuit of excellence, intense involvement in activities, and enjoyment of activities as personally expressive.

Yes, SWB, PWB, and EWB are all interrelated. 

Anyway, I’m currently intrigued by the 21-question instrument for measuring EWB. Short, simple statements and a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). Scoring is easy (a few reverse codings but otherwise straightforward) and ranges from 0 to 84. You can see the instrument in the original journal article or I whipped up a pdf that guides you through the scoring and some reflection

Taking it just now, I scored 66. But I don’t think that is all that interesting in and of itself.

What interests me personally, are the statements where I emphatically knew it was a 0 or 4 versus the ones that I pondered and graded 1 through 3. That is worth some additional personal reflection.

In that vein, I could see using this with coaching clients in a discovery session.