Get in touch with yourself
The Four Elements of Well-Being look different for everyone.
This exercise will help you discover what forms your ‘happiness’ takes, in each of these 4 unique lenses.
You can do the quick, 1-page version of this exercise now.
Download the printout here:
1. Print out the worksheet, fill in each quadrant with as many bits as you can think of in your life: hobbies, moments, relationships, and memories.
2. As you populate the quadrants, think of what each Element feels like. Again, check out the 4 Elements of Well-Being here to understand the strengths and dangers of each one. It’s ok if there is an interplay. Some activities can vary in what type of happiness they’re providing.
3. Hang it on your fridge, or somewhere you will see it frequently. This is a map of what brings you joy and satisfaction. It’s like your own ‘happiness’ profile.
Take It a Step Further
You can use this lens into your own well-being—using the 4 Elements—to reflect on your changing self. And to design your future.
Using the PDF below, you can do the diary exercise for the past, present, and future, assessing the trajectory of your life according to your own well-being and the forms it takes.
The printout contains examples to help you brainstorm.
Take a close look at Element #4: Meaning in life.
Every element is important in its own way. However, meaning takes on more importance in general. There are many reasons for this, and it’s much of what this site is about.
Whatever you put in your Element #4 quadrant is what brings you Joy. The experience of fulfillment from meaning in life, Joy is different from “Happiness”.
An underrated and increasingly overlooked quality of living well, meaning and purpose make our lives make sense to us. As opposed to entertainment and pleasure, which provide momentary satisfaction, Meaning gives us a deeper, more sustainable well-being. It allows us to look at our life, through good times and bad, and say “Yes, this is the life that I WANT to live. I’m grateful for it.”
Check out the pages below for more on the ever-crucial difference that Element #4 offers.
Additional Consideration: Happiness as a Hindrance
As you consider your well-being in terms of the 4 elements, it’s worth taking a look at the ways happiness (especially from the first two elements) can actually hold us bag from a life of deeper joy.
Check out the section on this topic to learn more: