In this article, we’ll begin by assessing our current levels of subjective well-being before doing anything else and learning a bit about our signature strengths. And, then you will accordingly kick off the rewirements by intentionally applying your signature strengths in your day-to-day life.
Related: Gradually Changing Your Life: 6 Days Challenge
Measure your Happiness
Your first “task” is to measure your current level of happiness using one or two validated psychological surveys. These scores will serve as a “baseline” of your happiness level at the start of this experience.
At the end of the week, we recommend you redo the survey to see if your happiness and overall mood have changed after doing these positive practices for several weeks. This process will help you understand your journey by giving you a point A and a Point B.
In other words, you will be able to understand what your current happiness level is right now, how much room for growth you have, and whether you have changed over time as a result of applying the lessons in this course. You may choose any option or any combination of options outlined below.
How to Measure your Happiness?
The first option is PERMA (an acronym for Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment)—
The basic dimensions of psychological flourishing. The questionnaire is 23 questions, and once you submit your responses, you will receive scores ranging from 0-10 for each pillar along with scores for overall well-being, health, and negative emotions.
The second option is based on The Authentic Happiness Inventory.
It’s a quick set of 24 questions that provides an overall measure of your happiness levels. At the end of the survey, you will receive a score between 1 and 5 based on your responses.
The third option may be best suited for those who do not wish to take the online surveys for various reasons.
In this case, you can ask yourself: On a scale of 1-5, how happy are you with your life right now? Your rating for this question can act as your baseline happiness metric.
Note: The PERMA Profiler and the Authentic Happiness Inventory are embedded within this article.
Regardless of which option you choose, please keep track of your score and write it down somewhere you will remember for later.
When you receive your score, you will likely want to compare to others and will wonder “is my score “good” or “bad?” While these questions are fair, we encourage you to focus on your score and your improvement.
Find Your Signature Strengths
We also encourage you to identify your character strengths. Your character strengths are the positive parts of your personality that impact the way you think, feel and behave.
To identify your strengths, take the free, online, research-based character strengths survey by the VIA Institute on Character. The survey comprises 96 questions and takes about 15 minutes to complete. There are no right/wrong answers, and there are no better/worse answers.
The key is to be authentic so that you can derive the most from the experience. After taking the survey, you will get the ranking of your 24 strengths. Print it out if you can and keep track of your top 5 strengths. Your top 5 strengths are typically your signature strengths, the characteristics that make you feel energized and engaged.
Encourage your co-workers, friends, and family to go to the VIA website to take the questionnaire too, so that you can discuss your strengths and how they contribute to your life and relationships. Research shows knowing and using your character strengths can strengthen relationships, boost happiness and improve well-being. After taking the test, you will get the ranking of your 24 strengths. Make sure to document your top 5 strengths.
ALTERNATIVE: If you do not feel comfortable sharing your information, you can review the descriptions of the 24 Character Strengths and self-identify your top strengths.
You can also take the happiness quiz, here: The Happiness Quiz and 10 Ways to Create a Happier Life
Use Your Signature Strengths
To get you into the practice of doing intentional and effortful activities to boost your happiness, we want you to try to use your top strengths this week. Each day for the following week, try to use your selected strength in a new way. For example, if curiosity is one of your strengths, enroll in online courses on topics you know nothing about; if kindness is your strength, perform an anonymous favor for someone; and so on. Try to use your strengths at least once per day all week long.
Note: To learn more about- How You Can Use Your Strengths to Boost Happiness: You can refer to the VIA Website.
Beyond This Course – Learn Even More About Character Strengths:
- Read more about why Character Strengths are important from the VIA Website
- Read more about each of the 24 character strengths from this book
- Read more about the main research on Character Strengths from this book
- Read more about the research on the power of using your Character Strengths
Also Read: Guided Meditation: A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind
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