Monday, December 28, 2015

How happy are you? A self-administered test.

 As the year is soon to close, find out how happy you are.  Your answer is your springboard for the coming year. 
Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening, Monday to Friday
Mimicking the windmill, Bangui, Ilocos Norte

We say we are happy, or a little happy. Or unhappy. Or sad. But how can we quantify happiness like in a grading system?

Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) found a good reference. It came from the works of the founding father of happiness research, Dr Happiness himself - Dr Edward Diener of the University of Illinois.* He calls this technique The Satisfaction with Life Scale.

This evening Ka Melly and I used this technique to impart a lesson about Happiness. We find that Dr Diener's test can be used in the classroom, in meetings and conferences, or just for the sake of bonding with friends and associates.

Get a piece of paper and rate yourself in each of the following items. Use a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is not true at all, 4 is moderately true and 7 absolutely true. The scale allows you to approximate closer to your self-judgment.

Here are the criteria:

1. In most ways my life is close to my ideal.
2. The conditions of my life are excellent.
3. I am satisfied with my life.
4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.
5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

Compute for the total score by adding all values from the five questions.

Here is the interpretation of your score.

If you got 31 to 35, you are extremely satisfied with your life. Kudos!

If you got 26 to 30, you are very satisfied with your life. My co-host Melly Tenorio got 28; I got 27. Three program participants got Very Satisfied scores, too.

If you scored 21 to 25, you are slightly satisfied. Two participants got scores on this level.

Those who scored 15 to 19 (slightly dissatisfied) will have to perk up and unload some reasons. Get to the neutral point which is 20, and thence move up the happiness ladder.

It's not hopeless if you got low. The idea of this exercise is to create awareness that there are avenues of happiness, and that there are basic levels of happiness that one can cling to, and say, "Oh well, that's life." And still manage to laugh. And the world laughs with you.

Here is Wilcox's masterpiece which projected her to world fame as author and poetess.

The Way of the World

Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the brave old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing and the hills will answer,
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes rebound to a joyful sound
And shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you,
Grieve, and they turn to go;
They want full measure of your pleasure,
But they do not want your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many,
Be sad, and you lose them all;
There is none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded,
Fast, and the world goes by.
Forget and forgive – it helps you to live,
But no man can help you to die;

There’s room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one, we must all march on
Through the narrow isle of pain.

Reference: 
The New Science of Happiness, Claudia Wallis, Time February 28, 2005

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