Southeastern District Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
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Blog: Wellness Wednesday – “That Feeling Of Achievement”

Wellness Wednesday – “That Feeling Of Achievement”

In this Wellness Wednesday, we continue considering the PERMA-V model for experiencing greater well-being and flourishing in life by exploring the next letter of this acronym; in this case, “A,” which doesn’t stand for “Apple,” but instead stands for “Achievement.” As the saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” so may achievement.  Martin Seligman describes the sense of achievement as the result of working towards and reaching goals in life. It is about self-motivation to finish what you set out to do.

Think about how great it feels to accomplish a goal you’ve been working towards at work for some time or that big project you’ve had to get done around the house. You not only feel relief at completing the goal you’ve been working towards but also a sense of contentment and pride at a job well done.  That feeling is amplified when you know that the achievement of that goal has blessed someone else and made their life just that much better.  Let’s admit it – achieving a goal feels good, especially when you are able to help someone else!

These achievements contribute to well-being because you can reflect on your life with a sense of accomplishment. While achievement includes the ideas of perseverance and having a passion for attaining goals in life, a sense of well-being comes when accomplishment is tied to striving towards those things in which there is an internal motivation often tied to our values and passions. It is more about the pursuit of the goal and the sake of improvement than the actual goal itself. Achieving intrinsic goals, such as personal growth and making a contribution to the well-being of others, leads to a greater sense of well-being than external goals, such as financial gain or fame.  

As we will explore further in our next Wellness Wednesday blog, achievement has nothing to do with our vertical calling with God through Christ, for we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in the completed work of Jesus. Rather, achievement is located within our horizontal callings in life as we live out our calling in Christ in love and service to the neighbors God places before us each day in our various areas of responsibility in life – family, church, work, and society. This sense of achievement and accomplishment in our service and work is a good gift from God and should be celebrated when understood within the proper context of Luther’s teaching on vocation. Biblically, in Ecc 3:12-13 we hear about this blessing of achievement in life, “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” 

So, how can you experience greater achievement and build a more significant sense of joy in your accomplishments in life? Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Create SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound), especially around your wellness & well-being goals and those that contribute to the well-being of others.
  • Reflect on past successes, those high-performance patterns of your life.
  • Look for creative ways to celebrate your achievements – something most of us don’t do enough of in life.
  • Break big goals down into small wins – these small wins release dopamine in the reward centers of our brain, creating feelings of motivation, satisfaction, and productivity.  Small wins can help provide the motivation we need to achieve our big goals we are working towards in life.