What’s your key to happiness?

Family smilingWhile most of us equate well-being with being happy, a book from the famed Gallup organization, Well Being, The Five Essential Elements (Gallup Press), sheds incredibly helpful and even surprising insights.

Well-being goes far beyond happiness. Gallup surveyed the people of more than 200 nations and populations representing about 98 percent of the world. Researchers discovered five key areas of “being” that reflect humans’ health and wellness: career, social, physical, financial and community well-being.

But the most striking finding is that wellness in any one category of health is not that important. Instead, what is really important, according to Gallup, is how these five areas of health interact, how they balance with each other.

When we are balanced in the multiple threads of our being, we have a much stronger rope.

Gallup also discovered that for all people, the energy, the driving and motivating force for wellness is — of all things — our spiritual being, our faith! What a blessing that even a secular, worldly surveyor like Gallup finally realizes what St. Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, shared with the Ephesians and Galatians, and today continues to share with us.

By God’s grace, we are saved through faith, not of our own doing. Our well-being is a gift of God, not of ourselves.  Having been justified and sanctified by Christ, our faith flows in us, is matured in us in our Baptismal walk by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Here’s one last interesting tidbit from the Gallup researchers: Well-serving lives are lives well-lived. St. Paul would no doubt say “Amen” to that!