Eudaemonia is a Greek word that literally translates as “the state of having a good indwelling spirit.” Contentment, being full of good will and self-acceptance is a better translation than happiness though happiness is a likely outcome. 

Two other key aspects related to eudaemonia are the 1) possession or discovery of life purpose or living a life of purpose and 2) environmental mastery and autonomy. Environmental mastery has nothing to do with global warming or recycling, rather it refers to a sense that we have the ability to impact our lives. This is NOT that we are in full control of our environment or lives, that is the ultimate illusion, but rather that we are capable of meaningfully influencing outcomes, that we are not helpless i.e. “Life turns out best for those who make the best of how things turn out.”

Autonomy relates to the ability to self sooth, to act independently, to possess self-esteem v. other esteem (our value comes from outside ourselves v. being internally generated), to be self-fulfilling if need be i.e. “My sense of self is anchored deep within, from that flows wonderful peace.”

These concepts are also related to having positive relationships, both internally via a strong, confident, constructive self-concept and healthy external relationships including deep personal connections and broader connections via service to one’s community. Strongly correlated with all these qualities is both a strong, lifelong desire for growth, learning, and improvement as well as a longing for connection.

To summarize, a life of eudaemonia is a life of

1. Self-acceptance and Contentment
2. Personal Growth/Life Long Learning/Curiosity
3. Purpose/Meaning
4. Environmental mastery, ProActive Living
5. Autonomy and Independence
6. Positive Relationships, External (Community, Connection, Service) and Internal (Self Esteem, Self-Soothing, Self Confidence)

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier