My colleague and friend Bill Craig in the Happiness Collaborative recently did a wonderful internet search of what it means to be a good person, team, community, region, company, country, and a good world. In exploring what it means to be a good person, he wandered into trying to understand what the “good life” was. As part of that investigation he explored the concept of happiness. One would think that happiness would be a big part of a good life. It didn’t take long before he discovered that happiness was not the most appropriate word. One can be happy doing things that are not necessarily good for oneself or others. A better concept was well-being – so the search for understanding of the concept well-being soon began. As part of any quest for understanding, the Internet became a key source of information (as well as some good books). This time he decided to take a slightly different course of action. He decided to try to understand what well-being meant by limiting his searching to stock photo services. What would the pictures from stock photo services illustrate as the meaning of well-being. It turns out well-being has nothing to do with what he thought! Here was the key findings (as he interpreted them from the images returned by the searches): Apparently well-being is only achievable by women!
The women are beautiful, shapely, fit, never wear a lot, are always exercising outdoors, do lots of yoga, running or ball exercises.
The key concepts seem to be health, balance, and meditation
There is always a scenic view nearby, an ocean, lots of sand dunes, rocky cliffs, and palm trees.
Yoga poses a plenty
Fresh fruit and vegetables, freshly rinsed with water are always nearby.
Flat rocks piled on top of each other (turns out these are balanced massage stones – who knew!) with blades of long thin green grasses or flowers floating in water in thin glass dishes. These all seems to be prerequisites to well-being.
Apparently women are in a state of well-being when the see nearly naked muscular men (the search results do not lie). Oddly enough, a lot of these men are wearing Santa hats – I’m not sure whats going on there.
Multiple generations of family members.
My favorite – well-being is reflected by a picture of tooth paste and a tooth brush.
Some of the more odd images of well-being included:
- Beautiful woman flossing
- Little girl with flu blowing nose in the rain (Just don’t get this one)
- Computer with an apple on it – representing a healthy workspace (or does well-being require a Mac!)
The one picture that got the most items in the picture was a picture of a girl exercising on the beach with a quiet flat ocean at sunset with palm trees blowing in a slight wind and in the distance to the left is the merging of sand dunes with a small rock face. If only the photgrapher had also captured a spa table nearby with a small table of fruit, creams/oils, massage stones piled high, flowers, pieces of bamboo and long blades of grass, candles and a muscular man with of course a Santa hat!