Good Life

The Values of a Good Life

~ By Shawn Dwyer and Michael Hall~
If you have a set of values that define for you what’s important and what’s significant, at the same time you have a definition of the good life. Now how important is that? It’s very, very important. Why? Because most people (yes, I know this is an over-generalization) do not have a clearly articulated description of “the good life.” They certainly want it. They long for it. And they strive for it. But if you asked them to express it or write it down-they would not be able to do that with any level of specificity.

How do we experience the Good Life?

Part of the reason lies in the fact that there are so many voices in today’s world seducing us into their version of “the good life.” Look at any advertisement for just about anything-and the central message is, “Buy this, experience this, achieve this, and you will have ‘the good life.'”It seems that the great life for most is defined almost exclusively in terms of materialism-what you have or what you experience. The good life are the brand named clothes, jewelery, cars, homes, vacations, and on and on.

Now obviously, the good life starts with material things-food, water, shelter, safety, money, etc. You have to have material things to survive, to be safe, to have friends, work, etc. Therefore the truly crucial factors for the good life are intangible. At the lowest levels, it is being loved and respected, engaged in significant job or task, using your best talents and capacities, knowing that you count, etc. Higher than that are the being values-truth, beauty, justice, contribution, order, making a difference, etc. While the good life includes the D-level needs as survival values, it mostly thrives in the B-level needs-the growth values.

Reflections of Being for a Good Life

So as you live your life day by day and as you come to the end of your days, the question becomes, “Has my life been well-lived?” Ask that question, and your check-list changes from all of the things you have done and things you have accumulated to a check-list of the things that you have experienced an contributed.

  • Have I made a difference? Is the world better off because of the way I lived?
  • Have I loved, cared, and spread compassion to the people in my life?
  • Did I experience challenge and used my gifts as fully as I could?
  • Have I learned and shared my learnings and wisdom with others?

With all of the value-confusion in today’s world, it’s important to know what the good life is and how to live it.

  • Have I overcome limitations and risen above my circumstances?
  • Did I suffered loss or hurt and found the resources within to become resilient?
  • Have I assisted others to develop a champion attitude without expecting anything in return or having an ulterior motive?

Abraham Maslow wrote about the good life in his books about Being Psychology and Self-Actualisation. He spoke about it as “the value life” and considered it the spiritual life, that is, a the life that genuinely and healthily activates your inner spirit.

“If you don’t have a value life, you may not be neurotic, but you suffer from a cognitive and spiritual sickness, for to a certain extent your relationship with reality is distorted and disturbed.” (1971, p. 194) “To live the spiritual life, you don’t need to sit on top of a pillar for ten years. Being able to live in the B-values somehow makes the body and all its appetites holy.” (Ibid. p. 195)

So what is a healthy human being?

It is living from the inside-out. That means when you are living the good life, you are self-governing, self-regulating, make your own choices about life, being self-determining. You are living for those highest values-the being values: beautify, goodness, joy, aliveness, uniqueness, respect, contribution, integration, etc.

Learn more to get higher values for a good today today

  • DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE: Being your best self, being real and unleashing your highest potentials

  • Hidden