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So, What is the PERMA model?

PERMA has become the de-facto model of wellbeing. The basic framework is Positive Emotions, Positive Engagement, Positive Relationships, Positive Meaning and Positive Accomplishments. This leaves plenty of scope to incorporate a broad range of further resourceful elements. At a practical level, it leaves plenty of scope for adapting to the individual’s needs.

The table below summarises my personal take on the model. It is, purposefully, descriptive so does not attempt to prescribe what to do to improve wellbeing. That is addressed further below.

 

Positive Emotions – comprising three sets of emotions. Firstly, the pleasures: rapture, ecstasy, warmth, comfort, pleasantness. The pleasures can be externally stimulated, can often be bought, tend to require little effort. They typically experience diminished returns and their pleasures are short lived. Secondly, gratification: that feeling of time stopping, being totally absorbed in an activity as we effortlessly lose our self-consciousness. Finally, purpose: belonging to and serving something we value and perceive to be bigger than ourselves – often involves creating a legacy.

Positive Engagement – flow, being in the zone, being totally absorbed in doing something you value for its own sake.

Positive Relationships – We’re social animals: the quality – not necessarily the quantity – of our relationships is hugely influential on our wellbeing. In particular, the relationship we have with ourselves.

Positive Meaning – belonging to, and / or serving a cause bigger than our-selves which we, personally, value.

Positive Accomplishments – those outcomes we cherish, that we’re proud of having achieved, that are meaningful to us, that we are motivated to achieve.

P

E

R

M

A

          P                                E                                 R                          M                       A

Emotions

Engagement

Relationships

Meaning

Accomplishments

Live your good life authentically by applying your character strengths to your flow
activities, creating meaning for you and value for others

summary

The Good Life

Flow

Authenticity

Pillars

Key Themes

Purpose

 

Gratification

 

Pleasure

 

Learned
Optimism

Character Strengths

 

 

 

Competence

Trust

Self-Worth

Health

Purpose

Family

Identity

Relationships

Values

Home

Beliefs

Development

Competencies

Career

Behaviour

Leisure

Environment

Finance

Pioneers

Seligman

Frederickson

Csikszentmihalyi

Niemiec

Covey

Dilts

Frankl

Rogers

Dweck

Ryan

 

So what?

So, with the model being expressed, the next step is so what?

What should I know and what should I do for this model to have any  practical purpose ?

I’ve articulated this below. It’s important to note that while the individual elements are in their own ‘boxes’, there are large areas of over-lap between the elements. Some elements will be more relevant than others to any individual at any time. Finally, there is no right or wrong starting point or route through the model: there is only where you are right now and what is best for you.

 

P

E

R

M

A

Behaviour

Live the good life Apply your character strengths to meaningful activities Win Win or no deal Review authenticity Progress towards goals

Attitude

Long term perspective Self awareness Build the emotional bank account Focus on priorities Create meaning for me, value for others

Skills

Balance the pleasures, gratifications and purpose Encourage flow Active constructive Self-awareness Prioritisation

Knowledge

The pleasure, gratifications and purpose Flow characteristics Trust Self-worth V’s Self-Esteem Well-formed outcomes

Competence V’s Confidence

Experience

Question your own thinking Flow Reflections – who am I Diary challenge Desired future

Training

Pro-activity

Learned Optimism

VIA character strengths Who am I Beliefs Fixed / growth mindset