Where I can be myself

Book Review: WELL BEING The Five Essential Elements May 25, 2012

Filed under: Life — themagicofthoughts @ 5:21 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So, this blog post is dedicated to all my lazy(non-reading) friends, who tell me to make life easy for them by summarizing the books I read. Seriously, how can anyone not love books ? ūüė¶

This amazing book by Tom Rath and Jim Harter explores the five basic aspects of well being and how to have a better well being in general.

Instead of writing an elaborate overview, I thought I’d pick up the most interesting points.


Do you like what you do each day?

This question pretty much summarizes the entire thing. Your career is rated the highest because that’s where you’re spending around 70% of your waking day, and automatically, your career wellbeing will reflect in the other aspects of your wellbeing.

  1. Our well being actually recovers more rapidly from the death of a spouse than it does from a sustained period of unemployment !
  2. A higher level of engagement at work translates into a higher career well being.
  3. A high career well being is not dependent on a fat pay check at the end of the month, it is more closely linked to finding something that you love to do, and doing that ever day !


The people around us are directly linked to our social well being, be it friends, family, colleagues,etc. Emotions spread easily from one person to another. Our moods are synchronized with the people around us, so our emotions influence each other without us even knowing it.

  1. Not only our direct network, but our indirect network also influences our social well being.For example, if a friend of your direct associates is happy, the chances of you being happy increase by¬†10%. (the friend’s chances increase by a good¬†15%) !
  2. Our health habits, be it eating healthy/junk food, working out, etc. are also influenced the people around us. Want to become healthier and more fit? Surround yourself with healthy and physically active people, simple !
  3. Each hour of social activity decreases the odds of having a bad day. Also, the rate of decline in memory was seen to be half in people who were more socially active.  


Financial well being is not about the amount of money you make, figures don’t play such an important role here. People with thriving financial well being just know how to use their money better, be it investing or saving it for experiences that gives them a higher well being.

  1. How we spend money is more important in terms of well being than how much we spend. Money spent on others or on experiences always gives a higher level of happiness than spending on oneself.
  2. The perception that you have more than enough money to do what you want to do has THREE times the impact of your income alone on overall well being !
  3. When a wealth accumulation strategy bothers you and gives you stress, it’s not worth it ! Managing your finances means you should be able to do what you want when you want to do it !


  1. Genes that make you prone to certain diseases and ailments can be suppressed to a certain extent.
  2. What we eat right now determines what we eat later. Eating junk food or high level of carbohydrates gives false hunger signals, which ends up eating all the wrong things at the wrong time.
  3. Exercise is much more efficient at eliminating fatigue than prescription drugs used for this purpose.
  4. Sleep is you daily RESET button. But, getting too less(5-6) or too much(9-10) hours of sleep will have higher chances of weight gain, and lower physical well being. (The ideal time to sleep is 7-8 hours)


This is the differentiator between a good life and a great life. Although clean water and good roads may not seem to be such an important factor in well being, the absence of these basics will certainly lower your overall well being.

  1. To live in a good community is not enough, the idea is to go out and interact with people and have a sense of community bonding.
  2. A study proved that blood donors experienced an elevated mood right before and after donating blood. The idea of giving something back to your community will increase your well being, be it financial, time, or whatever you choose.

A definite read, you can order this book online on Amazon as well ! ūüôā