Begins with a single step.
The first step in anyone's happiness journey is finding out where they are today -- before they begin.
If Albert Einstein was alive in these modern times, he would probably add his own two cents, saying something profound, like, I dunno, how about: "Everything is relative."
I really feel that it couldn't be more true with respect to our happiness. Although we don't like to judge or compare, to recognize improvement we must first have a benchmark with which to measure something against.
Your happiness is no different.
When you first look at your 'happiness score' from the survey, I'm sure you'll probably want to compare it to the average score (below). However, let me remind you the most important comparison to make is with yourself. Relative to your happiness, the only important factor is you -- and that you keep moving in the positive direction.
So, when you receive your email with the results, you'll also notice that I've sent you a recommendation or two, with 'things to work on' for improvement. If you want to be happier (and if you try to deny this, you aren't human), you will want to come back to this survey a month or so from now and see how much you're score has improved. Because it will. All of the exercises I give you are tried and true ways of improving one's quality of life. The only reason why they might not work is if you don't actually do them.
Then, when you surpass my score, you will want to think about teaching a course on happiness, because being happy means you want to help others be happy, too. That's right. You'll be excited to share your secrets. Why do you think I created Happyness Unlimited? Happy isn't really all that happy when you're all by yourself! I'm not trying to say I'm the only happy person, I'm just illustrating a point...
That being said, here are the numbers:
Average score so far: 4.68 (looks like mostly happy people are taking the survey so far!)
Number of submissions: 26
Dr. Guenette's score: 5.62 (not included in the average score)
If you scored close to, or higher than me (Dr. Guenette), please leave a comment below and tell others what your secret to happiness is. We (yes, including me) would LOVE to know.
If you scored less than 3.5, please leave a comment below and tell us what you think your biggest barrier to being more happy is. Everything is relative, remember? We can learn as much from the negatives as we can from the positives.
I will be checking in regularly to comment on your comments, so stay tuned. My sincere desire is that everyone who comes by this site can learn something new, or maybe be reminded of something they've long forgotten that can help them be happier. I hope that means I can add positively to your life, too.
Stick around. Read the comments. Leave some of your own. A healthy community is not really a community unless we all contribute to supporting each other.
Ready to take the next step? Let us know how you feel.
Hills, P., & Argyle, M. (2002). The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: a compact scale for the measurement of psychological well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 1073–1082.
Dr. Christian Guenette is the founder of Happyness Unlimited. If you can catch him away from the computer, or outside his clinic, ask him to tell you 'the one about the guy who ordered from the Zen Buddhist monk hot dog vendor in N.Y.' He likes that one.