Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How Are You?

No, really how are ya?

In January on a Canadian news program I saw a segment with two Professors of Happiness. There is academic research for gauging how happy a person is with 7 questions. Today Oprah had one of these researchers on her show.

The 7 questions are to be ranked on a scale between 1 and 7.

Here they are:

1) In most ways my life is close to 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

900 women were asked to keep a journal of their activities and rank them. The 5 most positive activites for these women were:
1) Sex
2) Socializing
3) Relaxing
4 Praying or meditating
5) Eating
Taking care of children ranked lower than cooking and slightly higher than housework.

When the Dalai Lama was recently asked what is the secret to happiness, he said, compassion.


Wylie Kinson said...

You mean 'writing' and 'creating fabulous works of art' didn't rate in the top 5? Silly women...

mister anchovy said...

I'm certain those professors of happiness are pretty happy about the marketing job they did on this 'research' that landed them an audience with her royal highness, Oprah.

I'll bet that 4/5 people who rank their activities lie. I'd be willing to be a cheeseburger, fries and a frosty beer on that.

Here, at the tail end of the American Empire, we're very fortunate to live well enough to think about how close to ideal our lives our (as opposed to, where am I going to scavenge my next meal or how am I going to get away from this political prison)

Candy Minx said...

Yes, Wylie...that is such a great observation!!! I mean these are mostly very comfortable women...and don't they haver any hobbies? Or outside professional goals?

Mister Anchovy, Well, like I said, CTV showed this segment months before Oprah had them on the show.

I agree though that all the self help books we see in all book stores make you wonder about peoples sense of measurement and happiness and context.

I actually found those questions very carefully constructed ina way to encourage thinking about just how bad do you think you have it. The news segment I saw in the winter in Canada was pretty cool because they found there were several specific attitudes that happy people had...and all of them had an idea of the suffering and loss in the world. In fact, the happy people all did volunteer work! So that kind of fits with the Dalai Lama no?

Um, it was very sad to see the women who had only scored 5 on this questionaire.

If you score a 30 the researchers said you were generally a happy person.

I scored 35. Duh.

Gardenia said...

Yah, I'm with the Dalai Lama too. At first I thought these questions were pretty fluffy but maybe at one time in my life I would have thought the same about pleasurable activities like when I was trying to raise kids - didn't know much what I wanted before that. I did, but did myself the disservice of not pursuing it.

Now, if I could rate positive activities - they would be painting, doing any kind of art, spending time with kids and grandkids, working in the soil and watching things grow, making a difference in some way or ways in the world we live in...a good massage would run high on the list too, ha ha.

On the questions, I would only pick #3. I'm always seeking.......whatever is out there to seek or see. So maybe there is more ideal out there on the ideal scale?

Unknown said...

Good post and nice time i just saw pursuyt of happiness and if ask me that question i wud be dumbfounded u havea good blog there