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Measuring the Meaning in Your Life

Measuring the Meaning in Your Life

If you want to ensure you’re on the path to a more meaningful life, work on increasing your jen ratio. According to happiness expert, Dacher Keltner, author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, this ratio provides you a lens into the balance of good and bad in your life. His idea is based on the Confucian concept of jen, meaning kindness and respect.

What’s your jen ratio? In a recent Change Nation interview, Keltner told me how it works. “In the numerator, or on top of the ratio, are the actions you’re engaging in that bring out the good in others,” Keltner explains. “In the denominator are the actions you engage in that bring out the bad in others.” Examples of high jen behaviors are a pat on the back or a smile, while low jen behaviors include family violence, teasing or labeling others.

For more advice from happiness expert, Dacher Keltner, click here.

Posted: 4/10/09
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