Welcome back to the 2015 Happiness Project. How was your Deviate for a Day? Let me know in the comments. Today is Step 2, and hopefully it’ll be fun and very enlightening. All you need to do for this step is take an online survey that’s going to change your life.
In my last post, I mentioned The Time Paradox. The thrust of the book is that there are 5* major dimensions of looking at time. 3 are healthy and 2 are unhealthy:
- Past Negative: dwelling on how things in the past went wrong, and how you could have done things differently.
- Past Positive: fondly recalling wonderful memories of the past, and keeping family traditions alive.
- Present Fatalism: the feeling that nothing you do matters because your life is determined by fate, not by your personal choices.
- Present Hedonism: stopping to smell the roses, getting together with friends, being impulsive. Despite the name, this one’s actually healthy to have in the right dosage.
- Future: planning, goal-setting, delaying gratification, health/fitness. Typical Type-A stuff.
The following survey (created by the authors) will help you figure out how dominant each time perspective is for you personally. Here’s the survey: http://www.thetimeparadox.com/zimbardo-time-perspective-inventory/
Here are my results:
- Past Negative: 2.9 (slightly high)
- Past Positive: 4.1 (ideal)
- Present Fatalism: 1.7 (ideal)
- Present Hedonism: 3.1 (too low)
- Future: 3.8 (ideal)
- Transcendental Future: 2.2 (too low)
Here are the ideal results (according to the authors), along with percentile distributions:
As you can see, I have to work on living in the present, and also on reinterpreting past life events in a more positive way.
Next post we’ll look at some concrete steps you can take to improve your happiness, no matter what your scores are.
* There’s also a 6th, but it’s uncommon among Westerners: Transcendental Future, or a future beyond the lifespan of our current physical body. You can take a separate quiz to determine your score on this dimension.