What makes you happy?

Dr. Carol Ryff, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has developed a multidimensional model of well-being which views well-being as a life well-lived, not simply a happy one. Consultancy firm Korn Ferry has found that this applies to business as well with CEOs reporting that “operating from purpose made them more resilient”.


According to Carol Ryff the key points that can help someone examine his or her own life in terms of the dimensions of well-being are:self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life as well as personal growth. She explains the terms as:

The ability to understand strengths, weaknesses, and personal vision with a positive mindset.

Positive Relations with Others
The capacity to understand others’ perspectives and cultivate compassionate, trusting, interdependent relationships.

The ability to resist social pressures and act in accordance with our personal values.

Environmental Mastery
How we engage with the world

Purpose in Life
How we direct our vision with intention and pursue meaningful goals that enable us to look forward to our future.

Personal Growth
How we seek continuous development by pursuing new challenges and remaining open to new experiences.

Consultancy firm Korn Ferry found that Ryff’s holistic model of well-being which links purpose with life satisfaction also applies to the business world. When the company interviewed 30 founders, CEOs, and senior executives at consumer companies 100 per cent of these leaders agreed that “operating from purpose made them more resilient” –  with resiliency being a hallmark of well-being. Important factors were also that people needed to be the top priority of the company and that enabling practices existed in all parts of the organisation for example.

Read more on kornferry.com