There is a man named Martin Seligman, Seligman is the founder of positive psychology, this is the study of what enables humans and communities to thrive, it’s also what coaching is very much based upon. Seligman discovered an interesting concept he termed PERMA. He realised that a basic fulfilling life requires 5 things; Positive emotions, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. These are the 5 main contributing factors to your life satisfaction. So, I want you to ask yourself, how have these 5 things been apparent in your last week?
Positive emotions: What have you achieved? What are you doing well? These things do not have to be huge, do not feel like you need to be completely conquering life. What are the little things you are doing well? You are accomplishing? It’s all the little things that add up to bigger things.
Engagement: What did you do this week you really enjoyed? There is this thing called, flow state, this is when you get so consumed by something, you lose track of time, you forget to eat, ever had one of those hobbies? They are challenging enough to keep your mind engaged but not so challenging you want to through in the towel. Engagement is about finding something that lights you up, makes you smile and fills your heart, while also giving you a challenge to work towards.
Positive Relationships: I’m sure we have all realised the impact the relationships around us have. So, did you connect with anybody this week? Is there somebody you could connect with? Humans are designed for connection, we naturally gravitate to it. We all want to feel related to, if you are lacking connection in your life, then what can you do to bring more of it in. Remember you get what you put out.
Meaning: What motivated you this week? When you find meaning in the smallest of tasks it gives you a sense of joy and accomplishment to do them. This is like connecting to your why. What do you want and why do you want it? We all do things for a reason, we are hoping it will bring us something, so this week, what meaning was behind your motivation? How can you do more things to elicit that meaning for yourself?
Accomplishment: Ever had a goal, strived so hard to attain it, then when you do, it is short lived and your ready for the next thing without even stopping to celebrate? Celebrate your wins, the true fulfillment of goals is in the journey of accomplishing them. Ever had a goal that you never attained but had a great time striving towards it anyway and it lead to something better? When you accomplish something, it is so important to stop and acknowledge that, to look back and reflect about all the work you did to get there, all the fun you had on the way. To stop and realise, you actually made it to where you were deeply wanting to be a month ago, a year ago, 5 years ago. That can be a truly beautiful feeling. If you’re not enjoying the journey to these goals, then are they truly worth it? Is there something else you could be working towards?
Currently a lot of our lives have slowed down, things have dropped off and we might be feeling we a living a completely different life to what we were six months ago. If this is making you feel like you are not accomplishing as much as you were, or because your life is not so full that it is harder to feel like it is as fulfilling. Remember, it is the small things that make a difference and when you stop to reflect on them, when you slowdown and look at it differently. You might just find that these five things are still quite present and focusing on these and how to bring more of them into your daily life can be really helpful.