Find Your Happiness and Wellbeing with MAP

Map is a compass for happiness, with simple and scientifically validated features including:

  1. 5-minute personal happiness assessment: That's all it takes to get you started.
  2. Personal wellbeing measurement, received in real-time when you finish the assessment. It helps you:
    • Assess how happy you are and your current state of wellbeing
    • Improve mental health and discover what more happiness and better wellbeing means for you
    • Track your happiness with tools and analysis to stay positive and resilient
  3. Personal Wellbeing Report to improve mental and social wellbeing
  4. Insights and Tips to improve well-being, tailored to you
  5. Happiness tools to improve mental health and increase personal wellbeing, with step-by-step road-maps that can help you improve coping skills, be happier, and become more enthusiastic, confident, active, elevated and positive about the future
  6. Anywhere, anytime secure access to your dashboard online, including your Wellbeing Report, so you can see how you're going and stay on track
How you think about yourself and the world around you influences the decisions you make and actions you take

How does MAP help?

MAP is based on the following insight:

How you think about yourself and the world around you influences the decisions you make and actions you take.

This cognitive process applies to much of life, including feeling happier and having better wellbeing.

What makes MAP unique is its:

  • New scientifically validated model of happiness and wellbeing, which helps you to find more balance and life satisfaction and to feel positive, satisfied, and resilient
  • Deep Mechanisms that drive happiness
  • Algorithmic analysis of your answers to the MAP happiness questionnaire, which produces your customized Wellbeing Report
When you have a strong and meaningful vision, you feel happier and better about your life.

What is MAP’s Scientifically Validated Approach to Better Wellbeing ?

Spheres

Your Wellbeing - which includes your Happiness - is made up of many individual domains in your life.

MAP divides these domains into key areas called "spheres".

Each of us has 5 main spheres: relationship, family, self, work, community.

MAP Mandala showing five spheres

Balanced and Centered

MAP represents the 5 spheres as overlapping like this:

  • Each sphere has its own state of wellbeing. Many factors contribute to an individual sphere. Each factor may have a different amount of importance that MAP takes into account.
  • Better wellbeing in an individual sphere, makes that sphere more centered and aligned to your ideal, perfect state.
  • Each sphere is also connected to and influences every other sphere. Better wellbeing in an individual sphere, makes wellbeing better in all the other spheres.
  • The balance between all the 5 spheres shows how centered your total wellbeing is.

When you take MAP, you will see a brief animation to understand this visually.

Importance of being centered Centered wellbeing may be thought of like your body temperature.

Factors - such as blood flow to your skin and cells that produce body heat - connect together to maintain your temperature at around 37° C / 98.6° F.

So when it’s cold outside your body will adapt. For example, your skin will adapt by receiving less blood flow, which makes your body heat less able to escape. This action shifts the balance to keep heat inside your body and maintain your temperature.

Zoomed in Mandala showing the Self Sphere

It’s the same with happiness and wellbeing. So when you have a strong and meaningful vision for your life, for example, your self sphere is helping you to be centered and feel happier and better about your life.

Happiness and Wellbeing

When you answer MAP's questions, there's an immediate and profound impact

Mechanisms

Feeling happier about your life and better wellbeing begins with the 1st question that MAP asks you:

1. Do you feel satisfied with who you are?
- Always - Mostly - Regularly - Occasionally - Rarely - Never

Sure, this can seem like any old survey question. But dig deeper, something more fundamental is at work. The scientific research has identified 3 key mechanisms that drive MAP:

1) Mindfulness

This is a state of mind where you notice and discover new things. It makes you feel involved and engaged in your life. And rather than focusing on the past or future, you feel more aware of the present.

2) Positive Goals

MAP helps you to choose and set positive goals - not someone else’s goals, but goals that you deeply care about, and that are consistent with your personal values and authentically yours.

When you have positive goals, you focus your mind on expectations of what you want to happen, not what you're avoiding. This makes you feel empowered and have more control over your life.

3) Positive Emotions

Positive emotions - like gratitude, compassion, pride, joy, satisfaction, enthusiasm, vision, meaning and purpose – expand our life experience and lead to an upward spiral that broadens your thought, decision and action choices.

Negative emotions narrow your life experience to coping with immediate threats or problems. Positive emotions, in contrast, are usually not critical to your safety or survival.

But as they build up, they become more important in your life. For example, idle curiosity can become expert knowledge. Shared amusement with another person can become a lifelong supportive relationship.

So when you answer MAP questions, there’s an immediate and profound impact because:

  • You are guided to think about happiness factors in relation to yourself and your world
  • These thoughts trigger positive emotions about your wellbeing
  • These positive emotions lead to positive decisions and actions related to your happiness and wellbeing
MAP takes into account that happiness and wellbeing are complex - but then makes feeling happier and better wellbeing simple and easy to understand

Insightful Algorithmic Analysis

MAP is smart and operates through sophisticated layers of analysis. It takes into account that happiness and wellbeing are complex - but then makes feeling happier and better wellbeing simple and easy to understand and put in practice. It does the heavy lifting and breaks down your commitments and relationships in a way that can help you to implement actionable improvements. It’s like having a wise confidant in your pocket.

Under the hood of MAP is a scientifically validated algorithmic analysis that produces a Wellbeing Report, which includes:

  • Your current wellbeing - which includes your happiness -

    • 5 Scores of how centered each Sphere is for you (0 - 100 %)
    • A Total Score of how centered you are for all 5 Spheres (0 - 100 %)
    • Personal happiness Insights, and a wellbeing analysis in words
  • Your destination
    Based on your Score, you receive:

    • Personal tips - that stimulate and provide thoughts, decisions and actions on what feeling happier and having better wellbeing looks like for you
    • Exercises - that are helpful, practical strategies on how to find your way to more happiness and better wellbeing, and find deeper performance, purpose and meaning.
  • Stay on track
    Access your personal dashboard anytime, anywhere to:

    • Assess your current happiness to produce a new Wellbeing Report
    • Refresh your thoughts and actions by reading your insights and practical advice.

The scientifically validated MAP algorithmic analysis understands the complexity of happiness and wellbeing, where different factors, like emotions, thoughts, and feelings have impact. MAP’s algorithm works on the sphere level, and the sub-sphere level.

MAP models a human life as an open system comprised of interconnected domains, each of which must be balanced within the individual domain itself and between the other domains of:

  • Self
  • Relationship
  • Family
  • Community
  • Work

Each domain has four sub-domains, making a total of twenty sub-domains. States of well-being cross-feed within and between the entire 5 domains, and 20 sub-domains. Your wellbeing is a rich system incandescent with a dynamic interplay of experiences, emotions, and states of wellbeing. For example, what you feel and experience in the classroom affects how you interact with your family, and vice versa.

Zoomed in Mandala showing the Self Sphere

Figure 2: A schematic of Centeredness Theory's Self domain

The Self is at the center of our wellbeing because it is from the Self that we have a sense of identity and the aspiration to achieve meaningful goals.

The sub-domains for Self are:

  • Inspiration
  • Contentment
  • Adaptability
  • Awareness

These sub-domains define the way our Self expresses our personal individuality in the world through our sense of meaning and purpose.

The four domains that orbit Self also feed into the Self and vice versa, in a two way reciprocal flow. For example, the sub-domain awareness in the Self domain feeds into the sub-domain understanding in the Relationship domain and vice versa.

To be centered, balance is required between the five domains, and that balance must exist within our domains on the sub-domain level, and between our domains. To achieve balance meaningful goals must exist inside each domain followed by a meaningful advancement towards those goals.

What is a Goal?

Higher wellbeing is achieved when we have meaningful goals in all five domains and when balance is achieved within and between our five domains through thought and behavior that is congruent.

Why Goals?

The science of how to create a quality goal is extensive and instructional:

  1. A goal is intrinsic and self-generated when the aspiration is to satisfy a basic psychological need and independent of the reaction of others for example, self-acceptance, growth and autonomy. In contrast, extrinsic goals, associated with reduced wellbeing, are a means to an end, dependent on others, and include pursuits like social recognition and looking attractive. Intrinsic goals apply to all people, regardless of cultural differences.

  2. Higher wellbeing is associated with approach goals. An approach goal targets a positive outcome for example to be open and cheerful when meeting new people, to exercise regularly for improved fitness. On the other hand avoidance goals target moving away from a negative outcome. For example, to stop being a bore at parties, or to stop eating fast food. Plus, an approach goal is more likely to be achieved than an avoidance goal.

  3. Goals are also more likely to be achieved if they are congruent with your personal values. For example, when one has strong social and self-regulatory skills, a strong positive belief in the goal, and the goal is aligned with inherent psychological needs. These psychological needs depend on one’s self-concept and self-related wishes, as well as the demands in the environment. Therefore, if a person’s motives are oriented toward the achievement of independence, self-assertion, and mastery, then goals that are aligned to this will create higher wellbeing, and lower well-being if misaligned.

So every goal that we set in each of our five domains must be intrinsic and self-generated, approach oriented, and congruent with our personal values.

Pivotal to crafting a meaningful goal is the role of our imagination because it is the source of our ideas, inspirations, and aspirations.

Well-being and Imagination

In the last eight years, insight into meaningful goals has burgeoned thanks to neuroscience and the discovery of the Default Mode Network, and the discovery that the future plays a pivotal role in our wellbeing.

MRI showing brain activity
FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE (FMRI) IMAGE SHOWING ACTIVITY IN THE DEFAULT MODE NETWORK.
John Graner, Neuroimaging Department, National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20889, USA. - link

The Default Mode Network spans areas in your brain that are more active during times of rest compared to times of cognitive activity. It is a dynamic and rich neural network that spans deep, wide and long neural real estate and is activated when you recall a memory or envision a future event. Time, from the perspective of the Default Mode Network, is not linear and because of its discovery the field of psychology is undergoing a second revolution called Prospection or Future-Mindedness.

Default Mode Network Connectivity
Default mode network connectivity. This image shows main regions of the default mode network (yellow) and connectivity between the regions. REF: The structural–functional connectome and the default mode network of the human brain - Andreashorn [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Until recently, psychology posited that only the past and the present were relevant to mental-health, but with this new understanding of the brain and the hitherto unknown role of the future on mental-health, we may have a skeleton key to access deep insight into clinical work like depression and develop a vastly better understanding of how to flourish.

Future-Mindedness also helps to explain aspects of Centeredness Theory, because in CT each life domain is pinioned to our identity and aspirations for the future and informed by rich emotions that buttress wellbeing. Together, meaningful goals can help us to shape our local community and the type of world we’d like to be a part of. When Mahatma Gandhi advised to be the change that we want to see in the world it was a concise and elegant reflection of System’s Theory, Future-Mindedness, and Centeredness Theory in action.

Your Wellbeing is an Ecosystem

If you visualize the CT mandala-like diagram above, and visualize you and your colleague’s mandala interlocking with yours through the work domain, you can see that we are all interconnected and enabled by the connections that we share with others.

Scatter chart showing connections between individual points

Wellbeing and happiness are contagious across three degrees of separation. Your wellbeing and happiness not only affect those around you at work but even your colleague’s husband and his immediate social network. Gandhi was more right than we could have ever predicted.

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References

Allen, Summer. (2019) A white paper prepared for the John Templeton Foundation by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

Bloch-Jorgensen, Z. T., Cilione, P. J., Yeung, W., & Gatt, J. M. (2018). Centeredness Theory: Understanding and Measuring Wellbeing Across Core Life Domains. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 610. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00610

Brunstein, J. C., Schultheiss, O. C., and Grässmann, R. (1998). Personal goals and emotional wellbeing: the moderating role of motive dispositions. J. Person. Soc. Psychol. 75, 494–508. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.75.2.494

Elliot, A. J., Sheldon, K. M., and Church, M. A. (1997). Avoidance personal goals and subjective wellbeing. Person. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 23, 915–927. doi: 10.1177/0146167297239001

Fowler James H, Christakis Nicholas A. Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study BMJ 2008; 337 :a2338

Huppert FA, So TT. Flourishing Across Europe: Application of a New Conceptual Framework for Defining Wellbeing. Soc Indic Res. 2013;110(3):837–861. doi:10.1007/s11205-011-9966-7

Kasser T., Ryan R. M. (1996). Further examining the american dream: differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Person. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 22, 280–287. 10.1177/0146167296223006

Maddux, J. E. (2008). Positive psychology and the illness ideology. Toward a positive clinical psychology. Appl. Psychol. Int. Review 57, 54–70. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2008.00354.x New York Times, Contagious Happiness, December 5, 2008

Roepke, A. M., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2016). Depression and prospection. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55(1), 23–48.s

Seligman M., The President’s Address from The APA 1998 Annual Report, appeared in the August 1999 American Psychologist.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2008). Positive health. Appl. Psychol. 57, 3–18. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2008.00351.x

Sheldon, K. M., and Kasser, T. (1998). Pursuing personal goals: skills enable progress, but not all progress is beneficial. Person. Soc. Psychol. Res. 24, 1319–1331. doi: 10.1177/01461672982412006

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