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A Life Well-Lived


You might not know the word eudaimonia (you – duh – moan – ee - ah). But you almost certainly are in pursuit of it. At least I am.

It comes from Greek and essentially means living life well. Fulfillment on a deep level, more than happiness or pleasure.

Sidebar – Assuming we all want a life well-lived, why isn’t this word in our everyday vocabulary outside of philosophy (its origins) or positive psychology (where I see it most often used today)?

As I’m making more time for deep reading these days (part of eudaimonia for me), I’ve picked up a thread I always intended to come back to.

Today that has me parsing this research article that proposes and validates an instrument for measuring Eudaimonic Well-Being (EWB).

Defining Well-Being

For context, EWB is one type of measurable/defined well-being in the psychology world. Two other types include Subjective Well-Being and Psychological Well-Being.

Subjective Well-Being (SWB) focuses on positive and negative emotions over time as well as one’s overall life satisfaction. Psychological Well-Being (PWB) is a more objective approach to understanding well-being and looks at factors like autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships with others, purpose in life, and self-acceptance.

EWB has six dimensions:

  • self-discovery
  • perceived development of one’s best potentials
  • sense of purpose and meaning in life
  • investment of significant effort in pursuit of excellence
  • intense involvement in activities
  • enjoyment of activities as personally expressive.

Eudaimonic Well-Being Quiz

Researchers have created a 21-question instrument for measuring EWB. Short, simple statements are rated on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). Scoring is easy (a few reverse codings but otherwise straightforward) and ranges from 0 to 84.

I whipped up a free pdf that guides you through the scoring and some reflection questions.

Taking it just now, I scored 66. But I don’t think that is all that interesting in and of itself unless I were to track it over time.

What interests me personally, are the statements where I emphatically knew it was a 0 or 4 versus the ones that I pondered and graded 1 through 3. That is worth some additional personal reflection on my part.

Download a copy of the quiz here.

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