Jim Harter, Chief Scientist at Gallup may not have set the Internet alight in his TED Talk on Well-Being, but 13mins and 29 seconds into his 15 minute talk I had an ‘Aha’ moment.
Jim’s book, ‘Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements‘ recommends we take a ‘Holistic’ approach to our Well-Being by nurturing five dimensions of our life.
- Career – Enjoy what we do.
- Social – Connect with friends & family
- Financial – Earn enough
- Physical – Keep active
- Community – Engage in our community
It was when Jim identified the Well-Being ‘blockers’ that I had my ‘Aha’ moment.
‘Immediate Gratification’…..gets in the way…… Boy, doesn’t it just!!
To the best of my ability I try to plan and watch my days. And almost every day I get tripped up by that old chestnut, ‘Immediate Gratification’. If I am tired, hungry or feeling down it’s pretty much a dead cert I’m going to fall.
We all know what’s good for us, and we all devote our good intentions to gazing at the golden rainbow on the far horizon. Instead we should be looking for the snags & snares that lie hidden in our next step.
Before we start nurturing the Five Essential Elements, we should find a ‘methadone’ replacement for our own personal ‘Immediate Gratification’ hit. After all, the pursuit of pleasure is hard wired into the human condition, its neural pathways are the super highways of our brain.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Jim wasn’t the first person here.
Life in this mundane world with its craving and clinging to impermanent states and things is unsatisfactory and painful.
Buddha, The First Noble Truth – 500 BCE
While Jim calls it a ‘blocker’, I believe it’s ‘Public Enemy Number One’, it’s the barrier we need to climb over to get to the other side.