How Happy Are You (Really)? / Question of the Week #12

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"I'm fine." We say it often, but do we really mean it?

It is sometimes code for 'I'm not great but it's easier for all if we just pretend things are okay'. (Or at least that is how it seems to me.)

Last year I listened to a book on cd called "Happy For No Reason" by Marci Shimoff. While I won't say it changed my life, other things did that, I will say I was inspired by the book and learned a lot from it.

This week's question comes from that book.

How Happy Are You?/ Question of the Week #12

Take the Happy for No Reason Questionnaire (taken directly from the book Happy For No Reason).

 Rate each statement on a scale of 1 to 5:

1 = Not at all true

2 = Slightly true

3 = Moderately true

4 = Mostly true

5 = Absolutely true

 

1. I often feel happy and satisfied for no particular reason.

1 2 3 4 5

2. I live in the moment.

1 2 3 4 5

3. I feel alive, vital, and energetic.

1 2 3 4 5

4. I experience a deep sense of inner peace and well-being.

1 2 3 4 5

5. Life is a great adventure for me.

1 2 3 4 5

6. I don’t let bad situations keep me down.

1 2 3 4 5

7. I am enthusiastic about the things I do.

1 2 3 4 5

8. Most days I have an experience of laughter or joy.

1 2 3 4 5

9. I trust that this is a friendly universe.

1 2 3 4 5

10. I look for the gift or the lesson in everything that

happens.

1 2 3 4 5

11. I am able to let go and forgive.

1 2 3 4 5

12. I feel love for myself.

1 2 3 4 5

13. I look for the good in every person.

1 2 3 4 5

14. I change the things I can and accept the things I

can’t change.

1 2 3 4 5

15. I surround myself with people who support me.

1 2 3 4 5

16. I don’t blame others or complain.

1 2 3 4 5

17. My negative thoughts don’t overshadow me.

1 2 3 4 5

18. I feel a general sense of gratitude.

1 2 3 4 5

19. I feel connected to something bigger than myself.

1 2 3 4 5

20. I feel inspired by a sense of purpose in my life.

1 2 3 4 5

Scoring section:

If your score is 80–100: To a great degree, you are Happy for No Reason.

If your score is 60–79: You have a good measure of being Happy for No Reason.

If your score is 40–59: You have glimpses of being Happy for No Reason.

If your score is under 40: You have little experience of being Happy for No Reason.

When I first took this test over a year ago I had just started my "new" job. I had spent 24 years doing the same job and I was ready and excited for a change. I was happy, especially to be doing something new, to be learning new things, and to be feeling like I could make a difference. I was happy for good reason.

When I retested today I found out that even though I have no "for sure" plan and no steady income, I am even happier today. To a great degree, I am happy for no reason.

According to Shimoff's book you can be:

Unhappy (depressed)

Happy for Bad Reason (like high from addictions---external influences)

Happy for Good Reason (satisfaction from healthy experiences)

Happy for No Reason (inner state of peace and well-being --internal influences)

So how did you score? And how happy are you really? Do you find yourself smiling and energized at random times throughout the day? Do you feel peaceful when you wake up and then again when you go to sleep? Or is your happiness dependent on an external factor or a direct result of something you experienced; a great workout, dinner with friends, a date with your loved one?

Take time to examine your level of happiness and make sure you are working your way toward being happy for no reason. If you aren't anywhere close to being happy--then maybe it is time for a change.

Fore more thoughtful ways to improve your own happiness level I highly recommend getting a copy of the book Happy For No Reason.