The Five Essential Elements

Tom Rath, James K. Harter, Ph.D.

Gallup Press, May 2010

Much of what we think will improve our wellbeing is either misguided or just plain wrong. Contrary to what many people believe, wellbeing isn’t just about being happy. Nor is it only about being wealthy or successful. And it’s certainly not limited to physical health and wellness. In fact, focusing on any of these elements in isolation may drive us to frustration and even a sense of failure.

When striving to improve our lives, we are quick to buy into programs that promise to help us make money, lose weight, or strengthen our relationships. While it might be easier to treat these critical areas in our lives as if they operate independently, they don’t. Gallup’s comprehensive study of people in more than 150 countries revealed five universal, interconnected elements that shape our lives:

The Five Essential Elements

  • Career Wellbeing
  • Social Wellbeing
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Physical Wellbeing
  • Community Wellbeing

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements will provide you with a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime. Written in a conversational style by #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and bestselling author Jim Harter, Ph.D., this book is filled with fascinating research and novel ideas for boosting your wellbeing in each of these five areas.

By the time you finish reading this book, you should have a better understanding of what makes life worthwhile. This will enable you to enjoy each day and get more out of your life — and perhaps most importantly, boost the wellbeing of your friends, family members, colleagues, and others in your community.

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About the Author

Tom Rath has written three international bestsellers including How Full Is Your Bucket?, StrengthsFinder 2.0, and Strengths Based Leadership, which together sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. alone. A 14-year veteran at Gallup, Rath currently leads Gallup’s workplace research and leadership consulting around the world. He lives with his wife and daughter in Washington, D.C.

James Harter, Ph.D., is Chief Scientist for Gallup’s international workplace management and wellbeing practices. He is co-author of the New York Times bestseller 12: The Elements of Great Managing and holds a doctorate in psychological and cultural studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Harter, his wife, and two sons live in Omaha.