Just the facts, please

What the data tells us

It’s actually important (to me, anyway) that you grasp how I finally connected all these dots. Please do read it before continuing…

There is a substantial amount of research which has gone into understanding the correlation between flourishing and a spectrum of factors – from productivity, to healthcare utilization (and, cost), longevity and overall wellbeing.

One of my favorite research pieces examines a Tuesday in the life of a flourisher. I highly encourage you to read it. It demonstrates how, when living in a flourishing state, positively enjoying common daily things (helping, interacting, learning, etc.) essentially builds the bank of positive emotion and resiliency for when we next need it. Pretty smart stuff. And, straightforward. When we genuinely enjoy our daily activities, it’s like building a savings account of good, positive energy. It’s there when we need it. (read more)

Since you’ve already made the connection between Dr. Corey L.M. Keyes and me (you did read that, right?), I’d like to share with you some highlights from his work through the past few years. Corey’s work is foundational to much of positive psychology research these days – and, for good reason. His model – deceptively simple and piercingly powerful – has been used around the world to measure the level of flourishing, from small groups to entire countries.

Like with Fredrickson’s work, you just can’t reasonably argue that you (or your team or organization) should exist in anything less than a state of flourishing. Yes, you should flourish, on purpose SM .

Here are some highlights. According to extensive research by Dr. Keyes and others who have used his model as a core tool, anything less than flourishing results in:

  1. More productivity losses (Keyes, 2002, 2007; Keyes & Grzywacz, 2005)
  2. More healthcare use [overnight hospitalizations, medical visits] (Keyes & Grzywacz, 2005)
  3. More prescription medications
  4. More disability (Keyes, 2002)
  5. Greater risk of mental illness in the future (Keyes, Dhingra, & Simoes, 2010)
  6. More physical illness with age (Keyes, 2005)
  7. More cardiovascular disease (Keyes, 2004)
  8. More psychosocial deficits (Keyes, 2005)
  9. More premature mortality at all ages for men and women (Keyes & Simoes, in press)

Maybe you’re a numbers person and can’t get your head wrapped fully around the human side of these findings. Even so, you sure can’t argue the costs associated!

Here’s the best part. It takes about 5 minutes or less to take the assessment. No lengthy, drawn out questionnaire. It’s simple, straightforward and has already been translated and validated into French (Canadian), Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish.

And, the list of tools for increasing your level of flourishing, selected based on the results of  your specific assessment, grows daily. Most of them are quite straightforward, very cost efficient and actually fun to do.

If you’re interested in looking at well-being specifically at work, there’s yet another assessment, recently developed and tested, which might be a good tool for your situation. It follows the same core emotional, social and psychological model as Dr. Keyes’ base model. Please let me know if you’re interested in exploring this.

Bottom line, there are simple yet amazingly powerful (proven) assessments which can help individuals, team members and entire organizations measure their current level of flourishing (or, well-being) and to measure their purposeful growth and progress over time.

And, there’s a growing library of straightforward, effective ways to intentionally move into (and stay in!) the flourishing quadrant. Yes, real ways to improve connected to measureable relevant data! The rewards are beyond amazing.

Flourish, on purpose. SM