Wednesday, May 4, 2005

"...The Satisfaction with Life Scale was devised in 1980 by University of Illinois psychologist Edward Diener, a founding father of happiness research. Since then the scale has been used by researchers around the world..."

TIME, January 17, 2005; p. A4

Take a moment to answer to the five statements below using the following scale:

1 = Not at all true
4 = Moderately True
7 = Absolutely True

Now, read the following five statements. Then use a 1-to-7 scale (above) to rate your level of agreement.

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.

TOTAL SCORE: __________

We'll come back to the total score in just a moment, but before we do, consider these thoughts:

  1. Many of us have an idea of some ideal aspects of our life (ideal relationship, ideal job, ideal adventure, etc.), but have we given any thought to an overall ideal life. What would that look like to you? How would you feel emotionally, physically, and spiritually? And most importantly, what aspects of your life need to change right now in order to get closer to that ideal?
  2. In many of the same ways as #1 above, the important question to ask is this: What are the conditions that need to change in order for your life to move closer to "excellent?"
  3. A good question to ask yourself concerning this statement is this: If I were to die one week from tonight, is there anything that I would like to resolve before I depart? What would move me closer to satisfied?
  4. And as you can imagine, you need to ask yourself, "What are those IMPORTANT things in my life?" Career? Relationships? Love? Achievement?
  5. This statement is a difficult one to answer, knowing we can never go back nor live our life over. And more importantly, even if we could, one change could have a monumental effect on how our life unfolds. We may or may not be in the present employment we're in, we may or may not have married our spouse, etc.

The total score, the ratings to these five statements, are only the beginning, my friend. They are merely a symptom. The first tell-tale signs of who you are and how you think about yourself. Most quizzes and self-assessments are fashioned just in this way. And many of us never peruse beyond the final score...

But it is in the questions posed above, for each statement, that are important. Because life is short and our time is precious, it is important to ask the questions and befriend ourselves just a little bit more. For after the self-assessment is done and put away, we still need to ask ourselves, "What aspects of my life need to change right now in order to get closer to that ideal?" That is where the sense of self-satisfaction rests: in the asking and in the journey that follows the asking.


Post Note: Now, here is the scoring for those of you who are interested:

31 to 35: You are extremely satisfied with your life

26 to 30: Very satisfied

21 to 25: Slightly satisfied

20: Neutral point

15 to 19: Slightly dissatisfied

10 to 14: Dissatisfied

5 to 9: Extremely dissatisfied

Even after reading the scoring and results, you already knew where you would probably fall on the scale, didn't you? And you might have even, unconcsciously, identified those areas of your life with which you are dissatisfied. Continue the asking and continue the journey, my friend.

hoedl's haven
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