If you want to know how close you are to happiness, here’s some self-assessment you can do. Be honest with yourself as you answer the following questions — otherwise, the exercise won’t be helpful.
1. Do you feel safe in your everyday life? If you feel unsafe, that’s all you can focus on — you don’t have the time or space to be happy.
2. Do you feel you have enough of what you need to be happy? Having enough of what you need isn’t the same as having everything you want. Sure, you may be dying for a new car, but do you have a car that gets you from point A to point B? If so, you have what you need.
3. Do you have moments when you look at the totality of your life instead of the events of the day? This is called taking stock, and it helps you appreciate the whole of your life rather than just the part you’re living today. You could just be having a bad day in an otherwise good week.
4. Do you often find a quiet place to enjoy a moment of self-reflection? Sanctuary is a good thing. Unfortunately, in today’s hectic, fast-paced world, most people have too little of it. A quiet moment here and there can make all the difference in how you feel throughout the day.
5. Are you satisfied with your finances, relationships, and career? Being satisfied doesn’t necessarily mean that you have all the money in the world, a perfect marriage, or an outstanding career. It just means that things are all right for the moment.
6. Are you optimistic about your life? From where you’re standing, does the future look bright? Do you envision more good times than bad in the months ahead? Are you hopeful about the future? If so, you can move forward with joyful anticipation.
7. Are you grateful for the way your life is unfolding? Being grateful can be as simple as waking up every morning and saying “thank you” for the challenges, promises, and opportunities this day offers you.
8. Do you often experience peace of mind? Can you actually hear yourself think without the noisy outside world intruding? Can you feel the power of silence? A quiet mind and a quiet body go hand in hand.
9. Would you rate your health and well-being as above average? You don’t have to be a perfect 10 — anything from 6 on up means you’re ahead of the game. If you’re comparing yourself to others, make sure it’s a fair comparison. A 60-year-old can’t rate his health as above average if his standard is the way he felt when he was 20.
10. Do you often find yourself feeling content? Being content means you’re comfortable with where you are at this moment in life and you have no burning desire to make a change. Life is good and you want to savor it.
So are you happy? It depends on how many of these questions you answered with “yes.”