Dr. Brooks argues that what’s crucial to well-being is not how cheerful you feel, not how much money you make, but rather the meaning you find in life and your sense of “earned success” — the belief that you have created value in your life or others’ lives.
It's interesting that Dr. Brooks' understanding of well-being evolves over time just like the rest of us. I don't disagree with his findings but I'd suggest to him that that the five elements are not of equal importance with every individual. This is a great topic for a philosophical discussion over some brandies.
Actually, for me, cycling includes all five. But then, I'm probably addicted to cycling so I'm not your average kind of guy.
A similar kind of theory I heard (or read) long ago: In this one, there are only three crucial elements, Identity, Security and Excitement. These are the things we are working toward, but one may have to be sacrificed to accomplish another.
All kinds of fun to discuss . . . but probably not enough to live by.