The real happiness question

The real happiness question

The other day I asked someone, on a scale from 0 to 10 (where 0 = no happiness and 10 = the most happiness imaginable) how happy they were.

She answered 2 out of 10.

Somewhat surprised, I responded…”really? Taking everything into account, how happy are you with your life overall?”

This time, after some consideration, she answered 8 out of 10.

Now this particularly person wasn’t lying or being flippant when she answered the first question: it’s just that although they sound and appear quite similar they are, in fact, very different questions. And it is the second question which in many ways is far more important.

You see if I ask you how happy you are “now” your response might be one thing but it may well change in 5 minutes or an hour. If, on  the other hand, I ask you to “take everything into account” and to rate the overall quality of your life your answer is much more likely to reflect the extent to which you’re living a good and happy life as opposed to experiencing positive but possibly fleeting and short term emotions.

So, taking everything into account, how satisfied are you with your life overall and if you’re not at 10 (which very few, if any people are) then what can you do to increase your score?