This post unveils a little bit more of my weirdness :-p Every Sunday for the last two and a half years I have set aside five minutes to grade myself on a scale from 1 to 10 on eight different aspects of my overall happiness. I then take this feedback and use it to prioritize the tasks for my week to come. For example, if I am feeling unhappy about the physical shape I am in, I add more gym appointments to my calendar. I call this exercise my emotional self portrait.
As you can see from the radar graph above, I grade my happiness in the following areas:
When I first started this project, I built a spreadsheet to automatically draw up some cool graphs (can graphs really ever be cool?) for me. Spreadsheet available here.
I included some of my favorites below:
Above is the average of all eight areas of happiness graphed over time. This roughly shows how happy I was overall for the last two and a half years. One note of interest is that I was quantifiably more happy when I was living in Argentina than when I was living in Los Angeles. :-) It also shows the happiest week I have ever had. (This is illustrated in the spike 3/4ths of the way through the graph.) At the time I was living in Argentina and living with both my girlfriend and one of my best friends. Good times :-D
Note: I changed the dates in the graphs above so that the people who know me well won’t be able to figure out how my involvement with people and companies impacted how I was feeling at the time. It would be really weird if the Internet knew exactly how my sex life differed in relation to the girls I dated at the time ;-p That is too much sharing.
I have been working on a hobby project for about five years trying to figure out the best way to quantify happiness :-) In a roundabout way, this was one interest of mine that eventually led to the creation of my life list. I imagine this whole area will be the topic of my next book.
If you find this process or topic interesting, let me know in the comments below and I will write more about it. If people are interested, I’d be happy to open source the spreadsheet and go into more details about how this has impacted my daily mindset.