I had the opportunity last March to speak to a group of business executives at the Standard Charter Bank in Singapore. I don’t often have the chance to address to such an audience and I really enjoyed it. They were all obviously intelligent, talented people and were very attentive and at the end asked really good questions.
The talk was structured around a teasing out of the several possible meanings of SCB’s motto: “Here for good.” In this segment, I explore one connotation of the phrase. We’re all here to try and live the good life – a life that is fulfilling and satisfying.
The “good life” in this sense includes what I call the Big Five: 1) having enough money and material possessions; 2) having a rewarding job; 3) having good and meaningful personal relationships; 4) having health and vitality; and 5) having entertaining and relaxing experiences that restore us.
These are five aspects of what constitutes the “good life” and it is desirable to have some version of each of them. The problem is thinking that any one or a combination of them will bring us what we’re really looking for in life. They are necessary, but not sufficient.
So what is that we really want when it comes to the “good life” in this sense? Isn’t what we really desire when we desire enough money, a good job, nice relationships, physical health, and recreation a sense of satisfaction and the end of perpetual desire? Isn’t what we really want just contentment, which is the real meaning of “happiness?”
Have a listen and see if you agree.
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