Take the Test. How Happy Are You?

Let it Roll, Journal Page

I was thinking about my New Year’s Resolutions. I wondered if  the real message behind New Year’s Resolutions is that if I reach them I will be happier with my life.

And, of course when I don’t reach my goals there is no satisfaction in failure.  Having no goals certainly takes care of that.

Now, I don’t believe that happiness should be measured by satisfaction or success or failure.  I don’t believe that happiness as a life-long state of being is attainable. My happiness comes in fits and starts, bits and pieces, tiny moments.

 I, also, don’t believe that a constant state of happiness is actually desirable. Why?  Because happiness breeds status quo.  When human’s are happy there is no impetus for personal growth, change or bettering the world.  Now I certainly am not for despair or misery. But dissatisfaction is not a bad thing.

So! How happy are you? This quick test will help you keep score. 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.

Read the following five statements. Then use a 1-to-7 scale to rate your level of agreement.

1                     2                     3                     4                     5                     6                     7

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

_____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

  • 31 to 35: you are extremely satisfied with your life
  • 26 to 30: very satisfied
  • 21 to 25: slightly satisfied
  • 20 is the neutral point
  • 15 to 19: slightly dissatisfied
  • 10 to 14: dissatisfied
  • 5 to 9: extremely dissatisfied
  • I took a minute to think about my overall score.  
  • Then I identified areas of my life that were at or above the neutral point
  • Then I identified areas of my life that were at or below the neutral point
Here’s what I asked myself:
  • In areas of my life that are above the neutral point, how motivated am I  to risk changing them and grow?
  • In the areas of my life that are below the neutral point, how stuck am I or reluctant to change and grow?

I think my answers – which I ain’t going to tell you – were verrrrrrrrrry interesting.  All I’ll say is I need to be less happy and more dissatisfied in all the areas of my New Year’s Resolutions!


9 comments on “Take the Test. How Happy Are You?

  1. Judy, I took the test and came out very satisfied with life. I just got back from a sleep study where I had extra oxygen all night… am I really that satisfied or was the test skewed?


  2. Glad to hear that you need to be “less happy” — I think that means you are satisfied with your life and your new year’s resolutions? (I’m rather foggy this morning, your post is the first thing I read, so I may have TOTALLY misunderstood your commentary.
    I took the test, but then I already knew what the outcome would be in terms of my score. But, at least I know some of the whys as to my scores, now to work on the hows to get them higher.
    Be interesting to see how others fair/feel about the test and their scores. Just a quick question — again, due to the fog — how do you determine the neutral point for your score? I’m not great at math, but with some instruction, I might be able to figure out my neutral point.
    Thanks for posting this.


    • I re-read my first sentence. Still in a fog, but trying to say I hope that your comments mean that things are going along okay, your resolutions are unfolding as they should, and you are/have satisfication in/with at least some, if not all aspects, of your life. If that wasn’t clear, m apologies! Clarity in writing (something I used to drill into my students — you can have the greatest, most brillant idea in the world, but if I can’t understand what you’re writing/saying, then I won’t know what it is) is one of my goals (not so much a resolution) for 2012. With my foggy brain, this is going to be an interesting exercise to say the leastt!


    • Lorraine,
      I use my intuition solely when taking a test of this sort – so I don’t have an answer to that. If I didn’t know which way those points fell on the scale I would probably pick neutral? Good question!


  3. I wonder Judy.. I remember having written recently.. if there is pain in my heart doesn’t mean I am not happy.. so is it with satisfaction… does dissatisfaction mean unhappiness… I am not sure.. and one more thing.. the moment I sit to do a test to check if I am happy means that I am not…indeed that’s my perception..and I am no authority..to make a statement.. I am just a simple student of moments..and what feelings those moments bring….. well I am at this moment feeling happy to be here…on your page.. RS 🙂


    • Ramesh,
      GOOD question/statement. I think, I may be wrong, that satisfaction is at one end of the “happy continuum” and ecstatic would be at the other end.

      Happiness is in the eye (and experience) of the beholder. I believe that pain and joy can co-exist.

      As far as taking a “test” . . . I think that is neither happy nor dissatisfied just curiosity about life.
      You are an authority on your own life’s moments so you can make ANY statement and it’s valid for you. Only God’s truth is the litmus test.
      Thanks Ramesh for your excellent observations that helped me think this through more.


Click on "LIKE" to let us know you visited. Comments HERE!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.