The pleasant life, the good life and the meaningful life

On her way out yesterday afternoon, my supervisor stopped by my office and struck up a conversation, as she does many times each workday. I can’t remember completely but I think we were discussing passion for work and how it affects one’s happiness or well-being differently, depending on the person. She told me about a core theory of positive psychology – three areas that lead to happy lives. The first is the pleasant life, or the reality tv show watching, ice cream eating, beer drinking, material goods consumer in us. The good life is about being connected with your activities, tasks and relationships in an engaged way. And the meaningful life is the altruistic volunteer within us, the one who’s inspired by the Mother Theresas, Nelson Mandelas and Ghandis of the world.

It seems like a pretty basic theory but it kind of blew me away. When you think about it, it’s not difficult to categorize most of what we do into one of these three categories. Maybe not everything (taking out the trash, doing your taxes) but still.

When I think back to some of the different things I’ve done over the years, I’ve certainly covered ground in each of my own pleasant, good and meaningful lives to varying degrees. I guess this blog is my attempt to progress along the path toward a better, meaningful life. Intrinsically that pursuit feels like the right move to achieve greater life satisfaction, and there’s even evidence to back it up.

My other reason for starting a blog is because I’ve had way too many random thoughts popping in my head before I fall asleep lately and it felt like the best thing to do was journal that shit out! The only problem was I didn’t own a laptop or tablet… until today when I checked iPad prices and saw that they’d just fallen this morning. Clearly a sign. I even dropped $18 on a domain name to show you how serious I am about sticking to this.

I also wanna connect more and better with others who take the time to document their story. So thanks for hanging out and reading this. Do you have a blog too? What is it and why’d you start one?

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