Robert A. Emmons.
o Subjective well-being (SWB) refers to long–term affective states of emotional well–being as well as cognitive states of life satisfaction and meaning in life.
o Definition of goals; “an imagined or envisaged state condition toward which a person aspires and which drives voluntary activity” (Karoly)
o Goal attainment seems to be a major benchmark for the experience of well-being. When asked what makes for a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life, people spontaneously discuss their life goals, wishes, and dreams for the future.
o Without meaning and purpose, there is little reason to do what is necessary to live and to endure the inevitable suffering and trials that come with life.
o Achievement includes being committed to one’s work, believing in its worth, and liking challenge.
o Spiritual strivings refer to …those personal goals that are concerned with ultimate purpose, ethics, commitment to a higher power, and a seeking of the divine in daily experience.
o Strivings are coded as spiritual if they reflect concern for an integration of the person with larger and more complex units: with humanity, nature, with the cosmos…
o Conflict or fragmentation is a source of stress that can undermine meaning-making, and, thus well-being.
o Spiritual goals might not contribute to well-being, and may even be detrimental for well-being. For example, spirituality that results in excessive self-preoccupation can discourage generative actions such as responsible parenting. (Dollahite)
o High-level religious strivings, if not accompanied by concrete plans and strategies for attainment, might be experienced as a source of frustration.
R. D. Krumpos
o The human brain cannot sustain purposeless living. It was not designed for that. Its systems are designed for purposive actions, and when blocked, they deteriorate, and the emotional feedback from idling those systems signals extreme discomfort and motivates the search for renewed purpose and hence meaning. (Klinger)
o Commitment is sustained engagement in one’s social sphere, despite any perceived dissonance between self and world. Control is the personal sense of an ability to accomplish various things in life. Challenge is the ability to see change as interesting and not chaotic.
International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy.
ZVI BELLIN, PH.D.
o The sense of coherence (SOC) is separated into three sub-variables: (1) comprehensibility, (2) manageability, and (3) meaningfulness. Comprehensibility is the sense that the world is ordered and predictable, and that it makes cognitive sense. Manageability speaks to the idea that one has the needed resources to cope with the demands of life. Meaningfulness is the degree “to which the world makes emotional sense and … the demands of life are perceived as being worthy of energy investment and commitment”. The importance of meaningfulness is that it ensures long-lasting coping by motivating the other two factors. (Kortokov)
o Baumeister’s four needs of meaning and human dignity (Stabilizing recipe for the individual); They are purpose, value, efficacy, and self-worth. He defined purpose as the need to interpret present actions as contributing to some future or possible state. It is composed of an extrinsic level of goal-direction and an intrinsic state of fulfilment. Baumeister suggested that fulfilment is a state of being happy about achieving a goal. Value, or justification, asserts that actions are right and good. This need is the basis for morality and social justice. Efficacy is having a sense of control over events, even if this control is illusory. It also is seen in the need to feel capable. Self-worth is a sense that an individual’s life has a positive significance and a claim on self-respect and respect from others. Self-worth is linked to the need for superiority, which must be constantly renegotiated. (Baumeister)
o The following eight categories were identified as central to an individual’s life meaning across age differences: (1) relationships, (2) service, (3) belief, (4) obtaining, (5) growth, (6) health, (7) life work and (8) pleasure. [Meaning in Life Depth (MILD) - Ebersole & Quiring]
o … people tend to place themselves in the center of the story when they are successful and tend to emphasize external elements when the result is failure (Heatherton & Nichols)
o For those who have truly seen, there is no philosophy of action needed. There is no knowledge, attainment, or object of attainment. Life is lived just as the wind blows, clouds drift, and flowers bloom. When you know how to fly you do not need a street map. Your language is the language of clouds, wind, and flowers. If asked a philosophical question, you might answer with a poem … or point to the mountain forest. (Tich Nhat Hanh)
o "My whole life I have been telling you there is no goal! Life is its own goal. There is nothing outside life that you have to achieve. All achievement is the projection of the ego. The very idea of achievement is ambition. What you achieve does not matter -- money, power, knowledge; these are not in any way going to give you life. In fact, in achieving power, in achieving money, in achieving prestige, in achieving any other ambition, you are losing your life, you are sacrificing your life." (Osho)
o "[Life] is not a business, it is a play. In India we have been calling it leela . . . a cosmic play . . . as if God is playing. Energy overflowing, not for some purpose, just enjoying itself, just a small child playing--for what purpose? Running after butterflies, collecting colored stones on the beach, dancing under the sun, running under the trees, collecting flowers--for what purpose? ". . . At the most, if the child could explain he would say, 'Because I feel good. Running, I feel more alive. Collecting flowers, I enjoy, it is ecstatic.' But there is no purpose. The very act in itself is beautiful, ecstatic. To be alive is enough, there is no need for any purpose. ". . . Ecstasy is not something you can achieve by some effort, ecstasy is a way of living. Moment to moment you have to be ecstatic, simple things have to be enjoyed. And life gives millions of opportunities to enjoy. You will miss them if you're purposive. . . . All around the divine is happening, the ultimate is showering. But you will be able to see it only if you're non-purposive and playful." (Osho)
o Any achievement, whether of the individual or of the collective, becomes a means to power. Success in this world, and the power that self-control and self-denial bring, are to be avoided; for both distort understanding. It is the desire for success that prevents humility; and without humility how can there be understanding? The man of success is hardened, self-enclosed; he is burdened with his own importance, with his responsibilities, achievements and memories. There must be freedom from self-assumed responsibilities and from the burden of achievement; for that which is weighed down cannot be swift, and to understand requires a swift and pliable mind. Mercy is denied to the successful, for they are incapable of knowing the very beauty of life which is love. (Commentaries on Living - J.Krishnamurti)
2. Striving for the Sacred: Personal Goals, Life Meaning and Religion - Robert A. Emmons.
3. The greatest achievement in life - Five traditions of mysticism (Mystical approaches to life - R. D. Krumpos)
4. International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy.
6. Meaning-in-Life Measures and Development of a Brief Version of the Personal Meaning Profile - Marvin J. M, Paul T. P. Wong & Daniel T. G
8. Zen Money 83 Steps to Zen Success by Derek Sharpe