• Mastery of key life areas

    by  • July 27, 2011 • Happiness

    Acquiring a higher level of Environmental Mastery can make you happier. Happiness flows naturally from learning to master of the key areas of your life such as relationships, health, money, leisure, education, career, opportunities, change, problems and other challenges in your environment. When you achieve mastery you feel in change of the situation in which you live, successfully cope with the demands of everyday life, fit in with the people and the community around you, and have a home and a lifestyle that is very much to your liking.

    Environmental Mastery

    Ryff & Keyes (1995) define environmental mastery as follows:

    High Scorer : Has a sense of mastery and competence in managing the environment; controls complex array of external activities; makes effective use of surrounding opportunities; able to choose or create contexts suitable to personal needs and values.

    Low scorer : Has difficulty managing everyday affairs; feels unable to change or improve surrounding context; is unaware of surrounding opportunities; lacks sense of control over external world.

    Improving Environmental Mastery

    By completing the Well-being:Environmental Mastery (14) assessment form which you can download from http://ebookbrowse.com/assessment-ryff-14-environmental-mastery-doc-d42939079 you can identify the areas in which you can improve your mastery of your environment. This well designed personal development tool requires you to score your actual environmental mastery and your ideal environmental mastery. By subtracting the actual from the ideal you can identify the areas in which you need to improve.


    On completing the assessment I identified two key areas in which I can improve my environmental mastery. Firstly, by taking effective steps to change aspects of my living situation I am unhappy with. And secondly,  by managing my time more effectively so that I can accomplish all the things I set out to do.

    My initial reaction to these findings was to admit that in order to avoid upsetting people close to me and in some cases because its too much trouble I tend to put up with situations I am unhappy with rather than work to change them. While a certain amount of this kind of flexibility is admirable I feel that I use it to a fault and sorting these situations without unduly upsetting the other parties involved would make me happier.

    To begin this process I decided to list the five top issues I am unhappy about. I found they are all issues I identified earlier in the year but haven’t yet got around to tackling. To my surprise, none of them have anything to do with avoiding upsetting other people so I can discount that as an issue.

    The problem is procrastination. These five issues are a sort of burden that I carry around with me and put out of my mind while I get on with life. While none of them are life threatening they are a drag on my peace of mind and happiness and it is high time I sorted them out.

    So to improve my environmental mastery I’ve set myself the goal of sorting out one of these issues each month. In August, I will update my will. In September, I will sort out the recurring sewer blockage problem. In October, I will reorganise the garden shed. In November, I will reorganise the potting shed. In December, I will update my office filing system. When I come to review the year I expect to have sorted out all these problems and then move on to tackle the next layer of issues that impede my mastery of the environment.


    Ryff CD & Keyes CL (1995) In J Pers Soc psychology “The Structure of Psychological Well-Being Revisited”




















    We can use positive psychology to improve how we live our lives. So I love to share my understanding of it with others. To help them grow and flourish as I have. The posts on this blog set out to do just that. You need a lot of skill to make a relationship a happy one. So I write about relationship skills. Skills you can learn how to use in your own relationship. To keep it in good shape. To solve problems that may arise in it. And to improve the quality of your relationship. To make both of you happy.