I have a new question for self-reflection and for the people I interact with on a regular basis:
"Are you well?"
I think this is a better question than, "Are you happy?"
Yes, there is a difference between wellness and happiness. Dr. Jim Harter notes the difference: "Happiness is an ephemeral experiential quality, while well-being refers both to how you think about your life and how you experience your days."
The research team at the Gallup Organization has recognized 5 common elements of well-being that transcend cultural differences. These elements are:
Do you like what you do each day to earn a living?
Do you have strong relational bonds with others?
Do you have enough money to support your family and be generous to others?
Do you maintain a healthy lifestyle that allows you to perform at a high level?
Do you contribute to make your area a better place to live?
What is well-being?
"Wellbeing is about the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health, and the pride we take in what we have contributed to our communities. Most importantly, it's about how these five elements interact" (Tom Rath and James K. Harter, Ph.D., Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, 4).
So how about you...Are you well?