Friday, May 20, 2011

Measuring Happiness part 3 of 3

Just to review, CHARM+ is the acronym for the components of happiness. It stands for Challenge, Health, Accomplishment, Relationships, Meaning and (+) Positive Emotions. Click here for the initial post. Click here for a practical application.

I've been using the Happy Charm+ for my daily tasks and longer-term goals for a couple of weeks now and I  realize that tasks will affect one component more than the others. Let's say I'm washing the dishes. I see it as a  task that gives me a sense of Accomplishment more than it provides Challenge or Positive Emotions. It certainly will give me better Health, Relationships with my family and a sense of Meaning doing my part as a member of a family. So, can I represent those levels using the CHARM+? Most definitely.

It's not just a matter of "Does this task or goal give me a happy component?" Instead I can ask, "What level of influence will this task or goal affect a particular happy component?" Let's take a look at the 3 levels.

Level 0: Lowest Acceptable Minimum
The center point of the Hex is the zero point. This means that what you are doing has no effect on your happiness whatsoever. I had to put this here to make it clear to you and to myself that this should be the lowest level that any task should occupy. There is no negative level. A task or quest that diminishes any component of your happiness is not worth doing. Period. If you are playing the game, if you are aware of living your own life openly, actively and gainfully, you will not create your own unhappiness.

Level 1: Splash
At this level, the task or quest has an indirect effect on this component. You are not sure how, or why, or you don't really need or want to explain yourself to your self. So just put it at the first level, the first line from the zero point.

Level 2: Cascade
The task or quest strongly supports the component. The effect could be a trickle or a waterfall, but putting it at this level means that it will take a few steps to get there. In our example of washing the dishes, having a good relationship with your family members is a Cascade effect of performing the chore.

Level 3: Fully Drenched
This brings us to the main purpose of performing the task. This means that you are doing what you are doing because of this primary component of happiness. It may not be the most important component, but you feel or you are consciously aware of the instantaneous effect for your effort. Washing the dishes gives you a direct result of maintaining a healthy environment and preventing disease.

Here's an example.

Task/Quest: Getting some sun. All humans need sun exposure regularly. The darker your skin, the more sun you need. I plot Level 3 for Health, Level 2 for Challenge (because it's kinda hard to find time to sun bathe) and for (+) because I enjoy the sun's warmth, Level 1 for Accomplishment, but Level 0 for Relationship (unless you go on a beach vacation with family or friends) and Meaning.

Here's a TED talk explaining the wonder of sun exposure.

No comments:

Post a Comment