Happierness – 5 pillars of a good life.

Hi Friends,

My eldest son sent me an article in The Atlantic (gift article): Jung’s Five Pillars of a Good Life. I love that my kids are so good at knowing the kinds of things that matter to me. As I read it I thought that it might resonate for many of you, so this newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share it.

A surprisingly practical guide to being happier. A good life can be about achieving a level of happiness, instead of the often elusive happiness – as even Jung wrote, “…there is not a single objective criterion which would prove beyond all doubt that this condition necessarily exists.”

So as Oprah, co-author with Arthur Brooks on the recent book, Build the Life You Want – said, we can find “happierness.”

The first pillar for a good life is a healthy body and mind. “Jung believed that getting happier required soundness of mind and body. His thesis is supported by plenty of research. For example, the longest-running study of happiness—the Harvard Study of Adult Development—has shown that four of the biggest predictors of a senior citizen’s well-being are not smoking excessively, drinking alcohol moderately if at all, maintaining a healthy body weight, and exercising.”

The remaining 4 pillars are: maintaining good personal and intimate relationships; seeing beauty in art and nature; having a reasonable standard of living and satisfactory work; and having a philosophical or religious outlook that fosters resilience.

We can grow older rather than get older. Whether you are 20 or 90, each moment of life presents an opportunity to focus on what matters to you. That doesn’t mean being hyper vigilant, constantly exercising, or micro managing nutrition.

It comes down to finding the things that matter to you, and doing them. Whether it’s maintaining strong relationships, gaining and maintaining physical strength and a healthy body, performance, getting out in nature, experiencing art and music, or doing work that’s fulfilling helps others…I believe the pillars are fluid, one might be higher in importance sometimes, but none being more important in a hierarchy than others, and all might be equally important at the same time.

Youth rowing 4 12 24
The Youth Indoor Rowing Program I started in February. One of the most rewarding things I’ve done is introducing kids to a sport they might never have known about.

We all say we care about longevity and quality of life. I want to add one more way to achieve happierness:

Avoid anyone who touts absolutes and hyperbole.

If you read or hear someone saying a product or program is the BEST, the ONLY, or advises NEVER do, or ALWAYS do, or “this ONE trick”…they’re surely selling snake oil. Run away quickly.

A great coach won’t offer quick fixes or magic potions..

A great coach knows how to read you, and will offer strategies to achieve, or even redefine your goals. A great coach will give you opportunities to learn and and progress over time. A great coach will support and encourage, provide you the tools, and enable you to do the work it takes to build strength and good health.









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