Can You Measure Happiness? Really.

Are you 90% happy today?
Does it make you feel better than being 60% happy?
In a world where data and analytics are king, we are all confronted with articles, blogs and daily examples of the "quantified self": the knowledge of ourselves through quantified numbers.
How do we quantify happiness? Is there an ultimate "Happiness Score" which can accurately reflect our state of mind about how happy we feel:
- Would this score reflect our "instant happiness" at this precise point of time or over a specified period of time?
- Which dimensions of happiness should it measure? Our happiness to enjoy life and experience positive emotions, our feeling of satisfaction when we create something in a state of flow while applying our best strengths and expertise, our relentless passion to give our time to a truly meaningful cause, ...
Many questions which deserve multiple answers and take us back to our original question: is the attempt of establishing a common measure of happiness truly meaningful? Well, maybe it can be, let's explore the how and what: the true answer is not only in the actual value of the happiness score: 90%, 60% or 10 out of 15, ... Let's see why:
1. Our happiness score becomes an indicator worth watching when we benchmark it against our friends, family, peers or role-models. Behind sheer jealousy, differences in score should be challenging and energizing us to understand what others are doing better, what we could improve. Check you score today, get your free Life Satisfaction report.
2. Like for data, new information are revealed when we analyzing trends and compare data points: how do we score on Friday versus Sunday evening? Does our score change in autumn versus spring? How is it impacted by our activities and relationships?
3. The real value, though, is the details, hidden behind one number: which questions and facettes of our life fills our life with authentic happiness, which ones make us sad, disappointed and fill us with negative emotions? Understanding this is the first step, or descriptive analysis.
The next step is the diagnosis: what are the root-causes for our low and high happiness moments? What are the cause-effect mechanisms? How can we identify daily stressors, which, for instance, do not allow to reach a state of flow and focus on our work?
The third and final step is to prescriptively target the areas of our life where we need to adjust our lifestyle and weekly habits, such as:
- expressing daily gratitude to our co-workers and family
- standing up early on Saturday and enjoy a walk in the nature while the sun is rising
- dedicating part of our time, every week, to a Good Cause like a charity organization
"OK, nice theory, good thoughts and 3 logical steps: where do we start?"
Step 1: Start with a survey such as the Authentic-Happiness score (www.authentic-happiness.com)
Step 2: behind the score, you will also get personalized feedback and recommendations on the specific areas you need to focus on.
Step 3: educate yourself, find out about your weak areas, analyze them, identify best practices, proven tools and processes (www.authentic-happiness.com has over 30 free learining modules).
Step 4: adjust your habits and lifestyle, design your Ideal Week ( see www-authentic-happiness.com free template).
Can You Measure Happiness? Really.
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In the end, implement your newly defined weekly activities and habits, check your weekly progress and re-evaluate your Happiness Score. Did it increase???