To be in comfort is far from being well

 

Back in my university days I recall sitting on my comfortable couch and watching back to back movies on Sundays. Two, three  movies in a row. Amazing how fast time used to fly. The day was over so quickly. It was relaxing and it felt nice. Still, I was always left with a bitter taste at the end of the day. A guilty feeling of not making good use of my time. Nonsense! Time for a beer and last movie before bed...

 

Spending time in comfort, always feels nice. After all, most of us have a comfortable couch or armchair, in front of a large TV, no? And we love to sit there, with a glass of wine or a tasteful snack and watch the news or a nice movie at the end of the day. Isn't this relaxing? Don't we deserve it?

But is it purposeful? Does it add value? Is it the optimal use of our time? For after all, time is all we have! It may just take some time (or bad luck) to understand it...

 

Yes, we need to relax, to gather our strength, to rejuvenate. The cycle of switching from a focused state to relaxation is proven to yield optimal results in a wide variety of practices from weight training to doctorate research. But being well is far from being in comfort!

 

Well-being is much more. Over 25 centuries ago, Aristotle's approach to well-being was by leading a virtuous life and doing what is worth doing. Today, Positive Psychology also acknowledges that well-being is far from pleasure (hedonism) and involves living and acting with purpose. An elementary approach to purpose (was designed at Stanford for schoolchildren) is presented as the intersection of three interrelated factors:  1) your skills andstrengths, 2) what the world needs and 3) what you love to do.

 

Provided we all want to be well (or be happy), we need to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. What prevents us form taking the time to become aware of our strengths? or work on new ones?

  2. What keeps us from helping the world or from being kind to others?

  3. Why don't we spend most of our time doing what we love to do?

 

In the HR world, it is said as an anecdote that the perfect candidate for a job is the one with a PHD. Where PHD stands for Poor, Hungry and Determined. When it comes to well-being and happiness we may often be Poor (not yet as happy as we would like to be) and Hungry (by definition we all want to be happy, no?). But are we Determined?

 

Sometimes all it takes is reflecting on the fundamental questions. If it is too much, just hide the remote control of your TV and move the armchair!