The World of Work Project

The GREAT DREAM Personal Happiness Model

The GREAT DREAM model says there are 10 key things that contribute to happiness that everyone can work on. They are: Giving, Relating, Exercising, Appreciating, Trying out, Direction, Resilience, Emotions, Acceptance and Meaning.

Summary by The World of Work Project


The things that make us happy aren’t always the things that we expect. In fact, as the saying goes, it’s often the simplest things that make us happy.

While everyone is different, research has shown that there are 10 things that do consistently contribute towards personal happiness. These factors can be remembers with the mnemonic GREAT DREAM: Giving, Relating, Exercising, Appreciating, Trying out, Direction, Resilience, Emotions, Acceptance and Meaning.

You don’t need sunflowers and bubbles to be happy.


Doing things for others, caring, contributing and helping people makes us happier and helps us build strong relationships.


Having good relationships and support networks is a powerful contributor to happiness, longevity, health and overall well-being.

We’re big believers in the power of exercise, whatever form it takes…


Exercise improves the body and the mind. It makes us happier, healthier and more balanced. Even simple things like walking more made a difference.


Mindfulness, gratitude and awareness of the world around us makes people happier and increases well being. Just stopping and appreciating is all it takes.

Trying Out

Learning, mastering and developing new skills helps us feel engaged, motivated and rewarded, all of which help make us happier.


Working towards stretching but achievable goals is rewarding, motivating, keeps us active, gives us a sense of progress and makes us happy. You can learn more about the power of goals through our posts on goal-setting.

Springs are resilient. Are you?


Improving our ability to bounce back up when the world knocks us down makes us happier. Our mind-sets and beliefs can help with this. You can read more in our posts on resilience.


Focusing on helpful emotions like gratitude, joy and contentment and the positive things that happen in life helps people be happier. You can learn more about emotions from our posts on emotions and emotional intelligence.


Being yourself and accepting yourself for who you are is a liberating and positive thing to do. It reduces stress and increases well-being.


Finding purpose or meaning helps people find direction and belonging and gives people something to work towards which increases happiness. Finding meaning in life isn’t always easy, but it’s possible. Learning to understand your personal values might be a good first step.

Maybe a dream catcher would help you catch your GREAT DREAMS? Probably not.

The World of Work Project View

This is a great list of things that everyone can reflect on and which can help people improve their happiness and well-being. There is nothing revolutionary in here, but there is nothing revolutionary about happiness and wellbeing either.

We believe that many people would benefit from talking some time to think about the ten points in the GREAT DREAM model, ask themselves some questions and make a few simple decisions about what they could do differently that could help increase their well-being and happiness.

One other thing we’d add, though, is that we think that “happiness” is an elusive goal. In our view, it’s better to aim for contentment and a balanced positive state of being over the course of your lifetime. Happiness as a strong positive state, in our opinion, cannot be sustained. In fact, we think you need the downs in life to provide the springboards for the ups.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

To learn more about the GREAT DREAM model, and happiness in general, please read up on the work of Action for Happiness, a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society


If you see any errors on this page or have any feedback, please contact us.

Most popular

Most discussed

click to book a call

Booking a call button
Our newsletter, the WoW Mail, covers all things related to the World of Work and the World of Work Podcast. You can sign up HERE.