Cambridge Testing of the Formula

There were 17 testers at Algiers Café on Wednesday at 7PM. The weather was nice, and the café was full of people, including some book club crowd downstairs.

Testers completed the forms to calculate the happiness ratio and also participated in the mentoring session (everyone anonymously wrote a question and others answered that question anonymously). I introduced something new this time – a feedback form, which asked how correct the ratio received on the form vs the subjective one in people’s minds on a scale of 1-10? Out of 17 testers, 2 said they have no clue, but others put down numbers. The mean (average), mode and median are 8. The answers varied from 3 to 10/Very scary accurate. Note: It is not impossible that there were some errors, as I manually entered 680 numbers, so please forgive me if an error took place, I did my best to verify all input.

The main idea of the formula is that it is always changing, including your satisfaction and importance of categories. It works better when you take the test several times and see your graphs for overall happiness and for each category separately as well as trend over time.

Another important part is that you can customize your formula (none out of 17 people marked any of the categories as not important=0, but if you did, that would allow you to customize your formula). Example, instead of 20 you would have only 5 categories important to your happiness. In the future you will be able to add your additional category and track it over time.

I also want to include some comments here from the feedback forms. The question was whether all sources of happiness are covered or if some are missing. In the future each category will have subcategories. See testers’ answers and my comments in parenthesis:

– Weather (is in environment, but I’ll have a separate tracking of weather in the tool on the day of your measurement)

– Diet and activity level (are in health category)

– Food (is in basic needs)

– Faith, spirituality (are in values and spiritual beliefs)

– Sense of progress is important (in self-esteem)

– Ask if they have a passion (is in passion)

– Free time (is in basic needs)

– I don’t see inner peace (this is the outcome)

– I think some deeper, more complex elements are missing sort of like unexplainable malaise (is in health and acceptance)

I also want to mention that people who are currently depressed and/or don’t want to take the test are free to skip it and go straight to the mentoring part of the tool. The test is just an assessment that helps you detect areas for change, no matter how hard they are, but everything is possible, read this article.

First comment after the event was over: “It feels so good to give answers to people’s questions… Especially when you read problems you experience yourself.”

Comments from the feedback form: “Really liked the exercise with problems and solutions.”
“ The ability to empathize with people /discuss things has been great.”

“How do I get a higher score?” (it is part of the online tool – collection of all kinds of solutions )

“It is not comprehensive enough”. (It is if you customize it to exatly match your real priorities, btw there is another formula that was created by scientists several years ago, check it out to see if you like that formulabetter)

“Accept facts + stress should not be in the same question” (I’ll look into this one)

“It would be neat if you published the Q&A anonymously on the web or provided the option for people to make theirs anonymous.” (That is the plan so far).

Other comments: “Wait, Isn’t the ultimate answer 42?”

After event was over, I found one form left behind and since it is anonymous, I want to quote from it just to give an idea /examples of what kinds of questions/answers were created:

Q1: How to have better relationship with brother despite large geo separation?

A1: If you have access to Internet, there email and Facebook, twitter. If not, you write letters and mail them to each other. I lie 500 miles from family and we find ways to communicate.

A2: So I have a brother in LA. I said a month ago I’m gonna to visit. Booked tickets after calling him. He was super pleased. So my advice: call him, plan something that both agree on+get time off+go. This should work, unless he is in jail.

A3: My brother lives 3,500 miles away. I send him silly (as in funny) cards, postcards. Email +text, chat to him on PS3 network.

Q2:How to find a satisfying and meaningful occupation?

A1: I’m in the same boat as you. For now be brave and confident.

A2: Try and try again. Always keep looking even through bad things.

A3: Find what you are passionate about, and what you enjoy spending your time doing and pursue it. You should feel like your worktasts are opportunities not obligations.

A4: I used “what color is my parachute?”+ read up on many different occupations. Even pursued different vocations, but finally settled. I’m in my 40s +finally satisfied. It takes research +$$ unfortunately. But good luck.

A5: Take some online tests or get friends to quiz you about your perfect job – what do you want to do??

Thank You to all who participated, your feedback is invaluable. And thank you to my friend Susanna for helping run the event. I will be making final adjustments to the formula and working on making it available online with all the graphs and cool features that we didn’t have time to go through. There will be a lot choose from: you can do just mentoring or do the test and analyze it in time, do diary, wish maps, gratitude journals, the test on what your meaning of life is and other things.

Stay tuned and be happy! 🙂

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