Positive Psychology - a Well Lived Life

2553 WordsMar 22, 201311 Pages
What constitutes a well-lived life? Defining the meaning of life and the conditions, traits and features of a well-lived life is a question that throughout history engrossed theologians, philosophers, artists and, more recently, positive psychologists. This essay outlines findings from a selection of the literature and research to answer this question with the aim of identifying whether happiness is the true sign and the ultimate goal and marker of a well-lived life. This review of the literature has yielded findings that possessing a disposition towards gratitude is not only indicated to be present in a well-lived life, but can enhance and improve mental, physical and spiritual life outcomes. The different research models used to…show more content…
A limitation of this research however, as noted by the authors, is that the study only included a small number of countries with participants who could speak and respond in English (Linley et al., 2006). It may well be that the participants who responded to the survey were Westernised. Linley et al. (2006) indicate that the study should be repeated using a multi-lingual questionnaire so that participants are drawn from a wider sample. The Social Component of a Well Lived Life Examining the literature outlining models related to a well-lived life yields important clues towards determining the ultimate signs of a well lived life. The three pathways model of a full life which includes the pleasant life of hedonistic pursuits, the good life full of desire gratification and the meaningful life (Seligman & Royzman, 2003), has been criticized because the model could be applied to the non ethical, such as drug dealers, as well as those engaged in more ethical activities alike (Kristjánsson, 2010). Seligman (2000) noted this as a possibility but argues this is not problematic because science is not concerned with morality. Morality aside, anti-social activities do not necessarily promote relationships and research indicates that a well lived life does indeed involve actions that promote positive social relationships (Bauer et al., 2005; McCullough, Kimeldorf & Cohen,
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