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Quantify Your Happiness – #one2ten

February 11, 2012

How often are you involved with an interaction that goes a little like this:

Person A: Hey! How’s it going?

Person B: Fine. You?

Person A: Good.

Good & Fine, two words that don’t have much of a meaning any more. Like the boy who cried wolf, ‘good’ or ‘fine’ might as well be silence. Is it time to start finding alternative responses? Recently my Mom called and asked ‘How are you today, Tom?” For almost 3 decades I have been answering “Good” and it would leave the conversation with nowhere to go. The routine changed on this phone call and I told her “7.5”.

Have you quantified your happiness recently? On a scale of 1-10 (one2ten), how are you today?

How are you today?

Managing happiness is easier when you quantify it. Have you visited a doctor and they asked you to quantify your pain with a scale of cartoon faces (like above)? Psychologists, sociologists, and consumerologists all use similar scales to make  informed decisions about patients, society, and customers, respectively. You’ve probably answered similar questions on a survey:

  • Please indicate how much you agree or disagree: I do not find it easy to make decisions.
  • How would you rate your shopping experience with Company A?
  • Overall, how satisfied were you with your visit to Chicago?

If businesses and doctors utilize a one2ten scale to make more informed decisions, shouldn’t we all be using a one2ten scale to make informed decisions about our life? And when opening a conversation, would you find it beneficial to know the other person’s state of mind, “6.0” or “8” instead of “Good” or “Fine”? And when your friend is a 6.0, and you’re an 8, you can donate some happiness. 🙂

So, next time someone asks, “How’s it going?” What is your answer going to be? You can follow my happiness on Twitter: #one2ten.

Related Links:

The Happy Planet Index – The HPI reveals the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered

Nik Marks TED Speech – The HPI broken down by statistician Nik Marks

The Happiness Project – The account of New York Times Bestselling Author Gretchen Rubin as she spent a year test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier.

Tweets Show Global Happiness is Down – a study by mathematicians from the University of Delaware.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2012 1:45 AM

    Upon seeing this scale, the worst day I could imagine is a 9.0. I would see the scale being a 100-point scale between 9.0 and 10.0 Relativity!!!!!

    • February 12, 2012 2:25 AM

      Interesting way to look at it. I’ll compare it to school, where a ‘D’ is passing. 6.0 and higher is acceptable. If your long term average is below that, it’s time to make some changes in your life.

  2. June 7, 2012 9:17 AM

    I’m a 10 today. How about you?

    • June 7, 2012 11:29 PM

      7.2. What happened recently that you’re a 10? I’m happy for you.

      • June 8, 2012 10:25 PM

        Just got back from New Mexico–after spending time first with my son then later with a good friend, and will be heading to Italy in two weeks for a bike trip in Tuscany. I’m feeling great and grateful. Why 7.2? You need more points on the scale than 10?

        • June 13, 2012 9:48 PM

          It allows me to be more creative with quantifying my feelings.

  3. October 9, 2012 12:17 PM

    Hi, found your post via your Twitterstream at Ideas Week. Have you heard of the app Optimism? Been using it to create pretty charts of my happiness that always seem to line up with the sunshine!

    Great links in this article! One of my great passions is to be a part of a project that helps more people in the West be happy. Somehow I think that happier people in the West will mean less income equality and greater global justice. One has to have a dream…

    Can wait to dig into your links from TED, etc.


    • Tom permalink*
      October 9, 2012 1:10 PM

      Thank you, I’ll check out the Optimism app. Have you started your happiness project yet? Wanna start one together?

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