20 New Ways to Measure Success

One of the most inspirational woman I have ever known is Mercy May, a 58 year old lady who has been working part time for my family for the past 20 years. Mercy has had a limited education, she lost her parents when she was quite young, she adopted her alcoholic sister’s son and brought him up as her own, she forgave and took back her unemployed and cheating husband who died a few years later, she is often supporting random members of the family who stay with her, she lost a grandchild in a shack fire, and she has just agreed to raise a 3 year old family member whose mother died recently. Through all of this she has managed to smile and keep a positive attitude to life and a trust that God will give her strength to get through what she needs to. She is one of the most trustworthy, strong, kind, and open hearted people I have ever met – she has very little but is so generous with the little she has.

The two of us have laughed together, cried together and celebrated together – I think the best way to describe our relationship is that in our very different ways we are mothers to each other. My children love and respect her and she somehow manages to get them to do things that I am unable to.

If we had to measure Mercy on the 20 new ways to measure success that Joshua Becker recommends, I believe she would be doing a lot better than most of us.

What is Happiness?

Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.”  Unknown

What does happiness mean to you?

Defining happiness can seem as elusive as achieving it. We want to be happy, and we can say whether we are or not, but can it really be defined, studied and measured?

Martin Seligman, one of the leading researchers in positive psychology and author of Flourish – A New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, has developed the PERMA Model. “PERMA” stands for the five essential elements that should be in place for us to experience lasting well-being. These are:

  1. Positive Emotion (P)

For us to experience well-being, we need positive emotion in our lives. Any positive emotion such as peace, gratitude, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration, hope, curiosity, or love falls into this category – and the message is that it’s really important to enjoy yourself in the here and now, just as long as the other elements of PERMA are in place.

  1. Engagement (E)

When we’re truly engaged in a situation, task, or project, we experience a state of flow: time seems to stop, we lose our sense of self, and we concentrate intensely on the present.This feels really good! The more we experience this type of engagement, the more likely we are to experience well-being.

  1. Positive Relationships (R)

As humans, we are “social beings,” and good relationships are core to our well-being. Time and again, we see that people who have meaningful, positive relationships with others are happier than those who do not. Relationships really do matter!

  1. Meaning (M)

Meaning comes from serving a cause bigger than ourselves. Whether this is a specific deity or religion, or a cause that helps humanity in some way, we all need meaning in our lives to have a sense of well-being.

  1. Accomplishment/Achievement (A)

Many of us strive to better ourselves in some way, whether we’re seeking to master a skill, achieve a valuable goal, or win in some competitive event. As such, accomplishment is another important thing that contributes to our ability to flourish.