Wellbeing: the five essential elements

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Much of what we think will improve our wellbeing is either misguided or just plain wrong. Contrary to what many people believe, wellbeing isn't just about being happy. Nor is it only about being wealthy or successful. And it's certainly not limited to physical health and wellness. In fact, focusing on any of these elements in isolation may drive us to frustration and even a sense of failure.

When striving to improve our lives, we are quick to buy into programs that promise to help us make money, lose weight, or strengthen our relationships. While it might be easier to treat these critical areas in our lives as if they operate independently, they don't. Gallup's comprehensive study of people in more than 150 countries revealed five universal, interconnected elements that shape our lives:

The Five Essential Elements

  • Career Wellbeing

  • Social Wellbeing

  • Financial Wellbeing

  • Physical Wellbeing

  • Community Wellbeing

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements will provide you with a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime. Written in a conversational style by #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and bestselling author Jim Harter, Ph.D., this book is filled with fascinating research and novel ideas for boosting your wellbeing in each of these five areas.

(Each copy of this book includes a unique ID code for Gallup's online Wellbeing Finder, a program designed to help you track and improve your wellbeing over time.)


By the time you finish reading this book, you should have a better understanding of what makes life worthwhile. This will enable you to enjoy each day and get more out of your life -- and perhaps most importantly, boost the wellbeing of your friends, family members, colleagues, and others in your community.

Over the last decade, Gallup has introduced the concepts of Strengths-Based Leadership and Employee Engagement to thousands of workplaces around the world. In Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, Gallup researchers Tom Rath (author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller How Full Is Your Bucket?) and Jim Harter share the results of a landmark study of wellbeing and discuss the implications for both organizations and individuals. Their research reveals how organizations can help employees to boost their well-being from their careers to their finances and community involvement. When organizations are able to change their culture to one that helps employees manage and improve their wellbeing over time, this also results in substantial financial returns for the organization. This quick, conversational read will show managers and leaders how to create positive cultural change in their workplace, one person at a time.

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