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Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  879 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath (more than 2 million copies sold in the U.S.) and bestselling author Jim Harter, Ph.D., a wide-ranging book (based on a 150-country Gallup study) that will help readers improve their careers, relationships, finances, physical health and community wellbeing.

Over the past decade, Gallup has introduced the concepts of str
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Gallup Press
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Jan 04, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Good book. Very appropriate New Year's read....especially as you're sitting on an exercise bike. :) Well-being is Gallup's research and survey of thousands of people around the country and the world about what matters to them in their life and what makes it meaningful. There are five essential elements:
* career well-being (enjoying what you do each day)
* social well-being (having strong relationships)
* financial well-being (having enough for the necessities)
* physical well-being (enjoy
Chinarut Ruangchotvit
Jul 17, 2015 Chinarut Ruangchotvit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kris
Recommended to Chinarut by: Gallup
The real value of this book is in the included license to the Wellbeing Finder platform ( to track your well being for 6 months. You could say what you're investing in (time and/or money) is in the research & design of the technology. The book is a simple read and is in many ways a "manual" to share the WHY behind it all. The 2nd half of the book outlining the research methods used - the references are excellent.

I'm 1 week into the process and they are correct - the process of t
Greg Seguin
Apr 24, 2015 Greg Seguin rated it liked it
What you'd expect from a book about wellbeing.

Cites Thaler's research - seems like every book I read these days is doing that.


Having a best friend at work - 7x more likely to be engaged in job.
6 hours of social interaction/day - optimal
3-4 close friendships
1 person can't be everything
Buying experiences > buying goods
majority of bankruptcies in US linked to medical bills
Nov 01, 2012 Sergei_kalinin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-mngmt
Что из себя представляет книга? Она очень небольшая - 148 страниц, из которых содержательного текста - страниц 90. На этих страницах подробно описываются те самые 5 элементов благополучия, про которые книга:

1. Профессиональное благополучие
2. Социальное благополучие
3. Финансовое благополучие
4. Физическое благополучие
5. В среде проживания

Такой вот практически лайф-коучинг :) Можно даже на основе этих факторов благополучия "колесо баланса" рисовать :))

"Благополучие" в понимание авторов - это именн
Jul 24, 2010 Hafedh rated it really liked it
I generally like books that start with a concept and then go through the logic and supporting arguments to prove it. This book however is mostly based on surveys and statistics that the Gallup organization has been conducting. Nevertheless, given the huge volume and variety of samples taken, the book is an interesting read. I liked how they divided the overall being into the five categories. And, believe or not, once you mold the findings of the surveys and you try to improve in each of the five ...more
Jul 16, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Overall I think this book was helpful, but seemed to be missing some important aspects such as being a caregiver for others which impacts many of the areas of well being including social, physical, and career.
Aug 12, 2011 Jena rated it really liked it
Overall, I really liked the book and would recommend it to a friend. Not only was it a quick and manageable read, but it had a great message: the need for a balanced life for the sake of one's well-being.

The authors asserted that there were 5 essential elements to living a balanced life and these were: career, social, financial, physical, and community well-being. They state that career well-being is the most important of these elements because it touches every part of one's life. Although this
Feb 06, 2012 Lindsay rated it liked it
It is a very quick read, to the point, quick blurbs from their studies. Is a good basic way to examine your life and see if you're making the best of it. As they mention in the end, little changes to your daily life can make a big difference.

Here are my notes from the book:
Career Well Being
• People recover quicker from the loss of a spouse (death or divorce) then the loss of a job
• You don’t need to earn a paycheck to have a thriving Career Well Being – just be engaged in something you enjoy.
Maria Ella
I have to like this book for this have helped me shaped up my thesis proposal. Let's pray that I can survive this stage so that I will (FINALLY) have my degree by May.

Personal Notations:
The idea of a work-life balance started with Segmentation theory during the 1960s, where the life aspect should be separated to the functions of the work. One of the contemporary approaches to has a concept that the work-life balance consists of multiple facets that preced balance and give meaning to it - known a
Lauren Gentry
Aug 01, 2016 Lauren Gentry rated it liked it
What would you expect of a book of this nature- good refresher material but nothing particularly eye opening.
Jul 23, 2015 Rosie rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Through decades of research in countries all over the world, Gallup research has indicated that there are five elements that make up the construct of well-being. These are: career well-being, social well-being, financial well-being, physical well-being and community well-being. They noted that many people would consider spiritual well-being to be an important part of their lives, and the authors indicated that this tends to drive people in all of these areas. I am assuming this is why it was not ...more
Ray Jackson
Feb 02, 2015 Ray Jackson rated it really liked it
Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements
By Tom Rath
A Quick Review
This book distills a lot of what Gallup has learned about individual wellbeing into an easy to read text that shares some simple tips that people can follow to improve their lives across 5 domains:
1. Career Wellbeing—how you occupy your time and liking what you do each day.
2. Social Wellbeing—having strong relationships and love in your life.
3. Financial Wellbeing—effectively managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase
Jun 17, 2016 Charmin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like tracking their progress
Shelves: growth, happiness
112 pages of content, the rest is data-driven resources.

Highlights: Well-being is all the things that are important to how we think about and experience our lives. Measuring your well-being on a regular basis and changing your behaviors based on these patterns should lead to sustained improvements in your overall well-being. Find short-term incentives that are consistent with our long-term objectives. Set up positive defaults that will lead to small changes in our daily routines.

1. Career: dee
Mohamed AlSharqi
Aug 10, 2014 Mohamed AlSharqi rated it liked it
Interesting, easy read!

Good book if you’re looking to take a more proactive stance on your current life/wellbeing standing. The authors argue that wellbeing can be achieved through career wellbeing, social wellbeing, financial wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and community wellbeing. This book does not go into what motivates us in life and it being a source of wellbeing, but instead it discusses the mediums (that are in our control) that we can improve in order to live a more fulfilling life.

Dec 28, 2012 Jill rated it it was ok

While I appreciate the amount of research and thought into well being, I felt that an essential element was missing and it was faith. Almost every other aspect of my wellbeing is impacted by the current strength of my relationship with God. So while I will work hard to keep the five elements discussed in the "thriving" category, I will also put focus on my spiritual life, as that greatly impacts all else.
Jul 26, 2011 Donovan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: businessbooks
Quick read. Devoured it in one setting. HIGHLY recommend to everyone. Now I just need to take the assessment and see how my well being comes out - definitely plenty of room for improvement.
Covenant Presbyterian Springfield Ohio
Call Number: 150 RAT

Jan 10, 2011 Faye rated it liked it
A quick and easy read that might just be a sticky tool for improving your well-being.

I think the online component will help me and other get the most benefit from this book. Having to report in on progress and the graphing/ tracking tools are similar to those, and perhaps more technically exciting than those, I’ve seen expensive life coaches use. So, for the price, this may have the potential to be quite useful. Hey, I went to the gym today and I know I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t dreading having
Greg Stoll
Apr 22, 2012 Greg Stoll rated it liked it
Interesting book, although it was quite short (the last half is appendices with methodologies and such).

The main premise is that there are five main dimensions to well-being: Career, Social, Financial, Physical, and Community. There's a short section on each, and that's basically it. I would have rated the book higher, but I've read similar stuff before.

Career: Use your strengths (big surprise coming from Gallup :-) ), try to grow, and spend social time with your coworkers. Also: being unemploye
Feb 09, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it
This book highlights five "essential elements" of feeling good about life. They are: Career Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing, and Community Wellbeing. I bought this book in June when I was trying to heal from the break-up with Jeff. I thought it would give me insight into how both of us felt last spring, as I believe that these characteristics of 'wellbeing' were suffering for both of us.

Unfortunately, this book was not full of life-altering information. Overa
Leland Beaumont
Dec 16, 2012 Leland Beaumont rated it really liked it
Many definitions of wisdom focus on judgment and actions that increase wellbeing. With wellbeing central to the concept of wisdom, it becomes important to know what it is and how it can be improved.

Authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter marshaled the considerable resources of the Gallup organization to identify the elements of wellbeing. They began by defining wellbeing as all the things that are important to how we think about and experience our lives. They then used carefully constructed survey meth
Sep 01, 2014 Maron rated it it was ok
Although the book describes all of the in-depth research that was conducted to reach the findings, I didn't find the results to be very insightful or new. Maybe I was expecting a lot, but much of it seemed like a common sense summary of ways to live a good life. It did conclude each wellbeing chapter with three action items, I left reading with a kind of "so what" feeling. Overall, helpful as a general summary/guide, but nothing you didn't know before.
Kandice Newren
Dec 28, 2014 Kandice Newren rated it really liked it
I read this book for a book club. It's a pretty short book, but it gives a lot of information. If you buy the book new, you get to find out your happiness level. I can see how they came up with five categories, and each will be a little different for each person. The book covers why each category is important and gives a few suggestions to increase happiness in each category. They leave the true legwork to the reader.
Linda Sands
Jan 17, 2014 Linda Sands rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book which considers wellbeing as composed of 5 essential elements: Career Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing and Community Wellbeing. I particularly found interesting their view that Career Wellbeing is the most essential element, after all, it is our career/work that we spend most of our time doing and gives us an identity. If we are not engaged and thriving in the workplace, this will impact all parts of our life. I'm sure anyone who has sudden ...more
Fahima Ahmed
Last year I read Tom Rath's book Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements. Tom explains that true well-being encompasses your professional life (liking what you do every day), social life (having positive relationships and love), finances, physical fitness and health, and community involvement. by The Franchise Player
of Darren Hardy, so I think it will interesting to go through this book
Brandon Clark
Dec 23, 2015 Brandon Clark rated it it was ok
This book covered well-being in a concise way. While I didn't get much new information than what I had already read in other well-being/happiness books, I did find the online well-being assessment tool helpful. It provides a personalized well-being score that you can compare to other people in similar or dissimilar demographics and suggestions on how to improve your well-being.
Richard Jr.
Apr 27, 2016 Richard Jr. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-psychology
Here's a great bunch of information put together from massive surveys from all around the world with the intent of nailing down what kinds of things are most crucial in a person having the feeling of well being. I certainly could empathize with the author's selection of his five elements and was especially pleased with his statement that this was not a quick fix type of book that claimed to be the one way to fix all your problems with how you feel. Rather, it gives guidelines for the kind of thi ...more
Alex Wong
May 21, 2016 Alex Wong rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
Short book with some interesting and useful findings. Some of these research findings have been scattered across the internet, so its good to find it in one place with Gallup's research to back them up. One of the key value adds is the Wellbeing finder access that comes with the book for measuring and tracking your wellbeing.
Feb 14, 2016 Boiling rated it liked it
A Small simple book with research from Gallup Polls for well being. About half of the book is Appendix and additional data. If you are short of time, just read the 3 actionables for each area of life. General common sense advice like

- Exercise daily
- Eat healthy
-Maintain social connections
- Spend on experiences
- Do what you love daily in terms of career - paid or unpaid etc.
Dec 21, 2012 Alexandrea rated it it was amazing
I love that Gallup provided a summary of the various ways it conducted its research in coming up with the five essential elements of wellbeing. The dailytracker feature that allows you to track day-to-day wellbeing and its factors is a great way to look at what makes you happy, causes you stress, and how your workload or the amount of sleep you got makes a difference. I truly believe that wellbeing is not just about financial or emotional or physical wellbeing, and that the five elements are int ...more
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ARE YOU FULLY CHARGED?, the latest national bestseller by Tom Rath, was released in mid 2015. Tom's six NYT/WSJ bestsellers have sold more than 6 million copies and made over 300 appearances on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list. Connect with Tom at:

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“Wellbeing is about the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health, and the pride we take in what we have contributed to our communities. Most importantly, it’s about how these five elements interact.” 15 likes
“the single biggest threat to our own wellbeing tends to be ourselves” 7 likes
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