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A meaningful life is beyond the good life

August 20, 2013

Here’s a great idea…
In his book, Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman says,
“Just as the good life is something beyond the pleasant life, the meaningful life is beyond the good life” (p. 14).

In other words…
A “good life” focuses on that which we receive. A “meaningful life” focuses on that which we give. A meaningful life could be found in parents caring for their children, a teacher giving her best to her students, or a salesman going the extra mile for his customers. By filling our lives with meaningful service, we will experience more joy and contentment.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
Set a goal to do at least one act of service each day, then write about it in a journal. Volunteer at your church or in your community.  Strengthen family relationships by involving your family in your service. Your selfless service will lift and inspire others and take you beyond the good life to a meaningful life.

To Find Out More…
about personal well-being, check out Getting Our Hearts Right or The Personal Journey programs at, follow us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also enjoy reading Authentic Happiness.

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