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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Can you measure happiness? Take the Happiness Test1

Positive Psychology is the science of happiness. In order to improve happiness you need to look at hwre you are now. Are you happy? Some answers that you may give are:

■a little
■yes
■no
■a lot
■sometimes
■often
■seldom
and so on. The answers are a bit vague and subjective. Is there an objective way to measuring happiness?


In 2001 Michael Argyle invented the Oxford Happiness Inventory as a way to measure levels of happiness.

Take the test below. For each question make note of your score between 1 and 5. Add your scores up then divide by 144 then round up to the first two decimals to get what percentage of the happiness you are getting from life.





FOR EXAMPLE: If your score is 77

Divide 77 by 144 = .53 > 53%

You are getting 53% happiness from your life. This is not bad and is about average for the population.


1. I am incredibly happy

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

2. I feel like the future is overflowing with hope and promise.

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

3. I am completely satisfied with everything in my life.

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

4. I feel that I am in total control of everything in my life.

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

5. I feel that life is overflowing with rewards

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

6. I am delighted with the way I am

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

7. I always have a good influence on events

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

8. I love life

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

9. I am intensely interested in other people

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

10. I can make all decisions very easily

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

11. I feel able to take anything on

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

12. I always wake up feeling rested

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

13. I have boundless energy

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

14. The whole world looks beautiful to me.

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

15. I feel mentally alert

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

16. I feel on top of the world

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

17. I love everybody

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

18. All past events seem extremely happy

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

19. I am constantly in a state of joy and elation

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

20. I have done everything I ever wanted

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

21. I can fit in everything I want to do

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

22. I always have fun with people

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

23. I always have a cheerful effect on others

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

24. My life is totally meaningful and purposeful

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

25. I am always committed and involved

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

26. I think the world is an excellent place

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

27. I am always laughing

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

28. I think I look extremely attractive

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

29. I am amused by everything

Less True - 1 2 3 4 5 – More True

SOURCE: The Oxford Happiness Inventory developed by Michael Argyle (2001)

Positive Psychology examines the character strengths that can be developed in a human being. The more the strengths are developed, the happier you become. The Happiness Test is a great way to track your progress as you apply the findings of Positive Psychology to your life
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009






The Bhutanese people take the measure of “happiness” around them very seriously. For them, GNH is an enlightened path to progress, a lesson learnt from the mistakes that more advanced countries have made in their path to development. It is drawn from the Buddhist teaching that happiness has no external source, but is drawn from within an individual. As Bhutan shifts from monarchy to democracy, it has made GNH its guiding principle; it is embedded in all governmental policies, plan documents and laws.
If smiling faces and cheerful disposition of the people of a country are any indication of their level of contentment, then Bhutan is a happy country. Distinct as the Bhutanese people are in their language, attire and culture, they are tolerant, affable and polite. In fact, in a survey conducted in 2006 among foreign tourists in Bhutan, more than 75 per cent of them used the word “friendly” when asked to describe Bhutan in two or three words; 73.7 per cent described it as “beautiful”.
The Bhutanese people are very comfortable with their culture and are not easily swayed by the changing fashions of the world around them. It is not that Thimphu is bereft of a nightlife – there are at least 10 discotheques and nightclubs here – nor that the Bhutanese youth are impervious to the latest fashion. But the majority of the Bhutanese men prefer to wear gho, their traditional long robe tied around the waist by a cloth belt called kera, and the women seem most comfortable in their brightly coloured kira.
Agriculture and livestock rearing are the principle occupations of the people, contributing to about 45 per cent of the national income. The farms are, however, small and cut into terraces. Forestry accounts for 15 per cent of the GNP and industry and mining about 10 per cent. The main export earnings of Bhutan, however, are from the sale of hydropower to India and the inflow of foreign tourists.
The architecture of its buildings is one of the most distinctive features of the kingdom. Massive Dzongs with their walls sloping upward, the ancient monasteries, and humble farm houses dominate the country’s landscape. Each valley in Bhutan retains its own architectural character in terms of the type of building material used (ranging from mud to stone), and the special ambience of its most famous monasteries and Dzongs.

Monday, July 13, 2009




A WORD FROM DRUK GYALPO


“…whatever goals we have - and no matter how these may change in this changing world - ultimately without peace, security and happiness we have nothing. That is the essence of the philosophy of Gross National Happiness… - I shall give you everything and keep nothing; I shall live such a life as a good human being that you may find it worthy to serve as an example for your children; – I also pray that while I am but King of a small Himalayan nation, I may in my time be able to do much to promote the greater wellbeing and happiness of all people in this world – of all sentient beings.
– Coronation of HM King Jigme Khesar as the Fifth Druk Gyalpo, November, 2008.
(Druk Gyalpo: Precious ruler of the dragon people in the land of the Thunder Dragon.)



A WORD FROM THE PRIME MINISTER OF BHUTAN


“What will not change though is one challenge
of public policy which is to enhance the well
being of the individual without compromising
the well being of the collective [and] vice versa.”

– H. E. Jigmi Y. Thinley







Hidden Sangri-la














The journey of Himalayan evergreen kingdom with a different living culture offers one of the best tourist destinations in the world. The Himalayas between India and China (Tibet), as big as Switzerland, but sparsely inhabited (Population barely 7, 00,000), Bhutan certainly exudes charm every where. The Mountains are magnificent, the forests are dense surrounded, the people are delightful and charming, the air is pure, the architecture imposing every where in the country, the religion exciting, and the art superb. The Himalayan ranges of varying altitudes, the different flora and fauna, crystal clear streams & rivulets, the mighty all season rivers, unique traditions, dress, cultures, architecture, coupled with environment consciousness population, a highly religious Buddhist population, a unique monarchy in voluntary transition, and an economy based on sustainable development of natural resources has a lot to offer to the rest of the world. Bhutan is truly Shangri-la, a mythical country hidden deep in the mountains. If you visit Bhutan you will experience the charm and magic of country Bhutan.




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