Beyond Happiness: Is This Little-Known Concept What’s Missing From Your Life?

Finally, consider the relationship among all three facets of a good life; they don’t stand alone. When you enhance one, you can strengthen another as a byproduct—a win-win that doesn’t take much effort. This teaches you how to optimally allocate your resources of time, energy, and money too. 

Perhaps you could reflect on how your psychologically rich life to date—which you may not have consciously sought—can make sense and even benefit others. Or how wanting to live purposefully, in line with your values, or seeking personal growth will drive you to expand your world and seek richer experiences.

Otherwise, it could be as simple as how having stability is the foundation for pursuing growth or psychological richness. As in the case of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, when our foundational physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, then only is it easier for us to pursue higher-order needs.  

And if you find yourself judging your priorities for what makes a good life, know that it’s neither unspiritual nor shallow to want any of those three. Especially in the case of happiness, where admitting that one wants to be happy has a bad rep. It is good to want to be happy– joy and stability are inspiring, and that’s the kind of things I’d love to see spreading around. 

In psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s words, “Happy people tend to have a harmonious integration of meaning (‘What I do matters to society’), pleasure (‘I love to do things that excite my senses’), and engagement (‘I am always very absorbed in what I do’) in their lives.”

Here’s to being happy, purposeful, and psychologically rich, in whatever combination you choose for yourself.