The Science and Practice of a Good Life

A Good Life: Happiness, the Pursuit of Meaning, and a Psychologically Rich Life

Woman walking her dog in a summer landscape with flowers and sunlight
Woman walking her dog in the countryside (Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay)

I was thinking and acting along the same lines, but now that I read this post I have a slightly different take on the trio, in the sense that the first two approaches taken together may contribute greatly to the third. But read the post for more clarity and detail. I personally tend to value meaning over pleasure-rich happiness in difficult times but that can actually lead to a a more psychologically poor life, so it’s probably best to work on both happiness and meaning and see if that can lead to a psychologically rich life as well.

The Quest for a Good Life

Two years ago today, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. Now, after two years of living with various restrictions, many of us are entering a new phase, with some long-neglected life options returning. We may be asking ourselves: “how do I want to live now?” As we wrestle with this question – aided by the greater perspective and wisdom that comes from adversity – we may benefit from considering what constitutes, for us, a good life.

Psychological scientists increasingly focus on three different visions of a good life.

First, a life of happiness tends to be characterized by pleasure, stability, and comfort. (On the flip side, a life of happiness seeks to minimize pain, instability, and discomfort.) Of course, we all find happiness in different ways, but research often shows how the experience of close relationships plays a vital role in this vision…

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