We have feedback everywhere. Academically. Biologically. Athletically. Financially. Whatever it may be, measuring performance tends to improve performance. But who is measuring your happiness? How much does each action in your life affect your happiness, and where does it currently stand?
In short, are you headed in the right direction?
When you are studying in school, your grades give you the feedback you need to adjust your study habits. When you are running on the track, your times give you the feedback you need to adjust your training practices. When you are crafting a healthy diet, tracking your blood pressure gives you feedback to adjust what you put in your body.
Similarly, when you want feedback on your time and effort in life (or your personal success), check your Happiness Levels. Failing to do this is like studying for the test and then never finding out your grade.
This simple, but important self-check will help improve your life experience. Merely writing your Happiness Levels down, or making mental notes about what increases your happiness can lead to very powerful improvements in this area. Ultimately, you learn to give yourself the feedback you need to make better choices to be happy.
Here’s how it works:
Happiness Levels are exactly what they sound like: the degree of your happiness. For some people, this might be a qualitative value (“extremely happy” or “moderately happy”) and for others qualitative (“about a 9” or “maybe a 5.”) The details matter not.
However you choose to conceptualize this, I like to imagine Happiness Levels are dictated by some discrete value — a Happiness Unit (HU’s), if you will — in the same way that financial wealth is determined by how many dollars are in your bank account. Really, that’s what Happiness Levels are: a measure of your Happiness bank account.
Your Happiness Levels increase when you do things you like. Tracking this helps you explicitly realize what you do and don’t like, and to what degree you do or don’t like something. Call your Happiness Unit whatever you like — Happiness Points, Utils, Life Dollars — but use them as a powerful feedback tool to gauge how much something means to you. This is paramount for making the best possible choices you can make for yourself.
When we do things in life that make us happy, we pick up these Happiness Units.
- Eating a good meal might provides a few
- Climbing a tall mountain might provide many
- Building a successful company often provides an abundance
Unfortunately, you can also lose Happiness Units in life. This happens when you contradict your own desires. Sometimes, you lose HU’s by your own calculated aims at increasing overall happiness — like an “Emotional” Collateral Damage. Sometimes, you lose HU’s by ignoring your own needs and desires. Needless to say, doing this enough will leave you feeling very, well, unhappy.
You wouldn’t go months or years without checking your financial bank account, yet many people never check the balance of their Happiness bank account. Some people might need to do this throughout the day at first. Some people might need a more infrequent reminder.
Either way…Have you checked your Happiness Levels lately?