The SWLS is a short 5-item instrument designed to measure global cognitivejudgments of satisfaction with one’s life. The scale usually requires only about one minute of a respondent’s time.
Understanding Scores on the Satisfaction with Life Scale Ed Diener
30 – 35 Very high score
Highly satisfied Respondents who score in this range love their lives and feel that things are going very well. Their lives are not perfect, but they feel that things are about as good as lives get. Furthermore, just because the person is satisfied does not mean she or he is complacent. In fact, growth and challenge might be part of the reason the respondent is satisfied. For most people in this high-scoring range, life is enjoyable, and the major domains of life are going well – work or school, family, friends, leisure, and personal development.
25- 29 High score
Individuals who score in this range like their lives and feel that things are going well. Of course their lives are not perfect, but they feel that things are mostly good. Furthermore, just because the person is satisfied does not mean she or he is complacent. In fact, growth and challenge might be part of the reason the respondent is satisfied. For most people in this high-scoring range, life is enjoyable, and the major domains of life are going well – work or school, family, friends, leisure, and personal development. The person may draw motivation from the areas of dissatisfaction.
20 – 24 Average score
The average of life satisfaction in economically developed nations is in this range – the majority of people are generally satisfied, but have some areas where they very much would like some improvement. Some individuals score in this range because they are mostly satisfied with most areas of their lives but see the need for some improvement in each area. Other respondents score in this range because they are satisfied with most domains of their lives, but have one or two areas where they would like to see large improvements. A person scoring in this range is normal in that they have areas of their lives that need improvement. However, an individual in this range would usually like to move to a higher level by making some life changes.
15 – 19 Slightly below average in life satisfaction
People who score in this range usually have small but significant problems in several areas of their lives, or have many areas that are doing fine but one area that represents a substantial problem for them. If a person has moved temporarily into this level of life satisfaction from a higher level because of some recent event, things will usually improve over time and satisfaction will generally move back up. On the other hand, if a person is chronically slightly dissatisfied with many areas of life, some changes might be in order. Sometimes the person is simply expecting too much, and sometimes life changes are needed. Thus, although temporary dissatisfaction is common and normal, a chronic level of dissatisfaction across a number of areas of life calls for reflection. Some people can gain motivation from a small level of dissatisfaction, but often dissatisfaction across a number of life domains is a distraction, and unpleasant as well.
10 – 14 Dissatisfied
People who score in this range are substantially dissatisfied with their lives. People in this range may have a number of domains that are not going well, or one or two domains that are going very badly. If life dissatisfaction is a response to a recent event such as bereavement, divorce, or a significant problem at work, the person will probably return over time to his or her former level of higher satisfaction. However, if low levels of life satisfaction have been chronic for the person, some changes are in order – both in attitudes and patterns of thinking, and probably in life activities as well. Low levels of life satisfaction in this range, if they persist, can indicate that things are going badly and life alterations are needed. Furthermore, a person with low life satisfaction in this range is sometimes not functioning well because their unhappiness serves as a distraction. Talking to a friend, member of the clergy, counselor, or other specialist can often help the person get moving in the right direction, although positive change will be up the person.
5 – 9 Extremely Dissatisfied
Individuals who score in this range are usually extremely unhappy with their current life. In some cases this is in reaction to some recent bad event such as widowhood or unemployment. In other cases, it is a response to a chronic problem such as alcoholism or addiction. In yet other cases the extreme dissatisfaction is a reaction due to something bad in life such as recently having lost a loved one. However, dissatisfaction at this level is often due to dissatisfaction in multiple areas of life. Whatever the reason for the low level of life satisfaction, it may be that the help of others are needed – a friend or family member, counseling with a member of the clergy, or help from a psychologist or other counselor. If the dissatisfaction is chronic, the person needs to change, and often others can help.
Part that is common to each category
To understand life satisfaction scores, it is helpful to understand some of the components that go into most people’s experience of satisfaction. One of the most important influences on happiness is social relationships. People who score high on life satisfaction tend to have close and supportive family and friends, whereas those who do not have close friends and family are more likely to be dissatisfied. Of course the loss of a close friend or family member can cause dissatisfaction with life, and it may take quite a time for the person to bounce back from the loss.
Another factor that influences the life satisfaction of most people is work or school, or performance in an important role such as homemaker or grandparent. When the person enjoys his or her work, whether it is paid or unpaid work, and feels that it is meaningful and important, this contributes to life satisfaction. When work is going poorly because of bad circumstances or a poor fit with the person’s strengths, this can lower life satisfaction. When a person has important goals, and is failing to make adequate progress toward them, this too can lead to life dissatisfaction.
A third factor that influences the life satisfaction of most people is personal – satisfaction with the self, religious or spiritual life, learning and growth, and leisure. For many people these are sources of satisfaction. However, when these sources of personal worth are frustrated, they can be powerful sources of dissatisfaction. Of course there are additional sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction – some that are common to most people such as health, and others that are unique to each individual. Most people know the factors that lead to their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, although a person’s temperament – a general tendency to be happy or unhappy – can color their responses.
There is no one key to life satisfaction, but rather a recipe that includes a number of ingredients. With time and persistent work, people’s life satisfaction usually goes up when they are dissatisfied. People who have had a loss recover over time. People who have a dissatisfying relationship or work often make changes over time that will increase their dissatisfaction. One key ingredient to happiness, as mentioned above, is social relationships, and another key ingredient is to have important goals that derive from one’s values, and to make progress toward those goals. For many people it is important to feel a connection to something larger than oneself. When a person tends to be chronically dissatisfied, they should look within themselves and ask whether they need to develop more positive attitudes to life and the world.
Copyright by Ed Diener, February 13, 2006
Hoy, 5 de enero, se cumplen 123 años del nacimiento de Paramahansa Yogananda, el yogui y gurú hinduista, propagador del yoga en Occidente y autor del famoso libro “Autobiografía de un yogui”. Bajo este título, Yogananda publicó en 1946 la historia de su vida y de su búsqueda, calificada como una de las 100 obras espirituales más importantes del siglo XX y traducida a 25 idiomas.
Además del cautivador retrato de una de las personalidades espirituales más destacadas de nuestro tiempo, la obra nos presenta una exposición profunda de la milenaria ciencia del yoga, donde se explican con claridad las leyes sutiles cuya aplicación permite realizar proezas extraordinarias y, sobre todo, alcanzar el dominio de uno mismo.
El regalo póstumo de Steve Jobs
Hace algo más de 4 años, “Autobiografía de un yogui” se convirtió en la involuntaria protagonista del funeral de Steve Jobs, cofundador de Apple. Y es que, por deseo expreso del propio Jobs, los cientos de asistentes a su último adiós en Stanford recibieron un regalo póstumo preparado por él mismo: una caja marrón que en su interior contenía la obra de Yogananda, la misma obra que acompañó a Jobs durante toda su vida. Lo leyó por primera vez en la adolescencia, lo redescubrió luego en su viaje a la India, a los 19 años, y a partir de entonces lo leyó una vez al año durante el resto de su vida. De hecho, era el único libro que había descargado en su iPad antes de morir.
Entrevista con Marc Benioff, Founder & CEO Salesforce, uno de los asistentes al funeral de Steve Jobs
El legado de Paramahansa Yogananda permanece vivo a través de la sociedad fundada por él mismo, Self-Realization Fellowship, desde donde se continúa diseminando por todo el mundo las antiguas prácticas y filosofía del yoga, especialmente el kriyá yoga. Esta disciplina consiste en una serie de técnicas de pranaiama diseñadas para acelerar rápidamente el desarrollo espiritual y crear un estado profundo de tranquilidad y de unión con Dios.
El viaje vital de Yogananda en la gran pantalla
La vida de Yogananda ha despertado en miles de personas el deseo de experimentar una relación más profunda con la divinidad que se encuentra en su interior: un trampolín hacia una búsqueda espiritual más intensa. Para hacer aún más universal su mensaje, el año pasado se estrenaba la película “Awake”, un largometraje sobre el viaje vital de Yogananda que ha recibido numerosos premios en distintos festivales de cine y una excelente acogida de público y de crítica.
Trailer de la película “Awake”, que narra la vida de Paramahansa Yogananda
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The first report was published in 2012, the second in 2013, and the third on April 23, 2015. Leading experts across fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. The reports review the state of happiness in the world today and show how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness. They reflect a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as a criteria for government policy.
The report is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). It is edited by Professor John F. Helliwell, of the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Well-Being Programme at LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance; and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Director of the SDSN, and Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon.
The world has come a long way since the first World Happiness Report launched in 2012. Increasingly happiness is considered a proper measure of social progress and goal of public policy. A rapidly increasing number of national and local governments are using happiness data and research in their search for policies that could enable people to live better lives. Governments are measuring subjective well-being, and using well-being research as a guide to the design of public spaces and the delivery of public services.
The summary of the 2015 edition of the World Happiness Report is also available for download inFrench, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Harnessing Happiness Data and Research to Improve
The year 2015 is a watershed for humanity, with the pending adoption by UN member states of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September to help guide the world community towards a more inclusive and sustainable pattern of global development. The concepts of happiness and well-being are very likely to help guide progress towards sustainable development.
Sustainable development is a normative concept, calling for all societies to balance economic, social, and environmental objectives. When countries pursue GDP in a lopsided manner, overriding social and environmental objectives, the results often negatively impact human well- being. The SDGs are designed to help countries to achieve economic, social, and environmental objectives in harmony, thereby leading to higher levels of well-being for the present and future generations.
The SDGs will include goals, targets and quantitative indicators. The Sustainable Development Solutions Network, in its recommendations on the selection of SDG indicators, has strongly recommended the inclusion of indicators of Subjective Well-being and Positive Mood Affect to help guide and measure the progress towards the SDGs. We find considerable support of many governments and experts regarding the inclusion of such happiness indicators for the SDGs. The World Happiness Report 2015 once again underscores the fruitfulness of using happiness measurements for guiding policy making and for helping to assess the overall well-being in each society.
This paper describes a dynamic system for the interrelationships between happiness and health that considers three main attitudes to life: α, β, and γ for Aristotelian, Epicurean, and Stoic, respectively. All variables that have been shown by empirical and theoretical studies to affect individual health and happiness are included (i.e., employment, occupation, education, ethical freedom, equity in achievements).
Three main approaches are considered: behavioral and statistical ex-ante, and ex-post behavioral. A model is developed to rank the three attitudes in terms of health for a given happiness level, and consequently, provide insights into which attitude should be adopted by each individual, according to their characteristics: individuals in Protestant and non-Protestant Christian societies should adopt β and γ attitudes, respectively; educated individuals should adopt a γ attitude; and poor individuals should adopt an α attitude.
Based on this analysis, this paper provides insights into which attitude actually is adopted by each society by comparing predicted health and achievement levels with the observed life expectancy at birth and per capita gross domestic product levels in 107 countries, thus providing an empirical test of the analytical model.
This analysis revealed a prevalence of β attitudes in Protestant Developed Countries, with larger γ shares in less income-unequal countries; a prevalence of γ attitudes in non-Protestant Christian Developed Countries, with larger β shares in more income-unequal countries; a prevalence of α attitudes in Muslim Less Developed Countries, with larger γ shares in more educated countries; and a prevalence of β attitudes in more educated atheist and Jewish countries.
As a business leader, inspiring people to follow you in pursuit of your company’s mission is your job.
After all, your personal success is directly linked to the success of the company. If the top and bottom lines don’t improve, you don’t have a winning team. And if your culture and organization aren’t wired for sustainable growth, you won’t succeed.
That being said, you have to offer your employees — your company’s life source — something more than self-gain. You have to give them an encouraging vision and an identity. Once you do that, you become something bigger than yourself. You become a transformational leader, and your business becomes resilient.
Once you offer your employees an encouraging vision and an identity you become a transformative leaders, and your business becomes resilient.
THE NEW LEADER
The theory of transformational leadership actually began in politics. James MacGregor Burns, a political science professor and presidential biographer, introduced the concept.
He described it as a mutual, ongoing process in which leaders and followers (i.e., employees) raise each other up to achieve bigger and better goals. Transformational leaders drive their followers past the short-term goals to focus on higher-order needs.
If this sounds like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s because Burns actually drew influence from the famous psychologist. A transformational leader recognizes that his employees have needs that directly impact how they perform. Leaders who meet these needs will provide value, purpose, and meaning.
This idea turns leadership on its head. We’re unlocking a way of thinking that goes far deeper than numerical rankings on an annual performance appraisal. And those who have studied this concept have done so because it produces results. Ronald E. Riggio, a professor of organizational psychology, found that groups led by transformational leaders actually performed better and were more satisfied. This is because transformational leaders believe that their followers can perform, which empowers and inspires the group.
Sometimes it’s easier to see these qualities outside of the business world: Picture the football coach in the big game, the SEAL team leader on a dangerous mission, or the politician asking his constituents for sacrifice.
Transformational leaders believe that their followers can perform, which empowers and inspires the group.
But these lessons can easily be applied to your business. In my experience, transformational leadership inspires people to follow you in turbulent times, helps employees embrace the company’s values, and strengthens your working relationships. All of these things benefit the bottom line.
TAKE THE STEPS TOWARD TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Luckily, employing a transformational leadership style isn’t difficult. You can start by focusing on transformation over transactions, the whole human being, long-term relationships, and leading with a shared purpose.
However, if you’re ready to dive deep into transformational leadership, here are five things you can do:
- Communicate constantly. Transformational leaders are always there to offer support and encouragement to their followers. Keep your company’s lines of communication open so your employees can share their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. And make sure you actually listen to them.
- Fulfill your employees’ needs. This relates to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Your employees are all human beings who need safety, security, respect, and recognition. When you fulfill those needs, your employees will perform better and be more loyal to your company.
- Push your employees. Support your employees in everything they do, but also challenge the status quo and encourage them to explore new territory. Treat every day as a chance to learn something new.
- Give employees context for their work. Transformational leaders have a clear vision for their companies and, more importantly, share that vision with their followers. Instill passion and motivation in your employees by giving them context for their work.
- Be a “rouser.” A rouser is adaptable, innovative, goal-oriented, and committed to common objectives. He seeks outside opinions and has the inner strength to bring out the power in others. He is the kind of leader you should strive to be.
It’s easy to spend our days on activities, but if you and your employees don’t understand the purpose behind those activities, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll miss the mark. You need to step back from all the day-to-day distractions and think. Spend time deciding what your company stands for, and then view all business activities through that lens.
It’s important to be mindful about yourself, understand what’s relevant in your life and why, and enjoy life and work.
Being self-aware and understanding the best way to interact with others supports everything you do as a leader
If we don’t understand people — including ourselves — we can’t hope to run a successful business. Being self-aware and understanding the best way to interact with others supports everything you do as a leader. To put it more bluntly, all your efforts can be completely undermined if you can’t relate to others. Transformation isn’t just nice to have — it’s absolutely crucial.
In an uncertain time defined by rapid change, the word “resilience” has taken on new meaning. Resilience is no longer about simply fending off the occasional mishap; the ability to quickly adapt, recover and return reinvigorated is a constant requirement in the business world.
Resilient people tend to have what psychologists call an “internal locus of control”. They believe the actions they take will affect the outcome of an event. Another characteristic of resilience is the understanding that life is full of challenges. While business leaders cannot avoid many of these problems, they can remain open, flexible and willing to adapt to change.
Resilient people are also aware of the situation, their own emotional reactions and the behaviour of those around them. To manage feelings, it is essential to understand what is causing them and why.
Resilience can’t simply live in the boardroom, though. It needs to be instilled throughout every organization, from its culture and capabilities to its operational decisions and development. These skills can enable employers to take control of the present – and direct their futures.
Defining ‘whatever it takes’.
Many businesses extend themselves into areas that don’t complement the company mission. Then, they ignore signs that indicate that things aren’t going well — or even deny that a problem exists at all. When the problems can no longer be avoided, it’s often so late that they fail to recover. And this is my point: resilience is about adapting before a potential problem becomes a real problem. At its best, it’s proactive — it is about being a step ahead.
To avoid complacency, emotional decisions and ill-planned ventures, it’s important to always remember why the company is in business and what makes it different, and what are the main sources of revenue and sustainable growth. If leaders are prepared to do anything to get their businesses through a tough spot — including completely restructuring or realigning — they can turn a company around in almost any situation.
Building a more resilient business.
Strong corporate values matter. They provide a sense of shared purpose and keep people working together for the same goals. These values are especially important in uncertain times.
That is why it is essential as leaders to surround yourself with people who live by the same tenets you do — and the same strength, creativity and drive to succeed.
The following are some guidelines that resilient organizations use to grow a stronger, bolder group of employees for a stronger, bolder business.
Look after your people.
Minimizing stress is a key issue in the frantic, changing 21st century world. People under stress are not alert to what is happening around them, and they are prone to oversights and mistakes. Establish a network of mutual support in your company, so people do not feel isolated and know how to get help when they need it.
People need the strength to remain calm, focused and confident when handling crises. To do this effectively, they’ll need energy, drive, determination and conviction. Being positive, having clear goals and being open to new ideas and possibilities are essential to innovation – and making the right move for your company’s future.
Provide support and challenges.
Spend some time reassessing the way things are done in your business. Is there a better way of approaching an issue or completing a certain task? Ensure that your people will be able to respond to changes, including sudden crises, quickly, efficiently and successfully.
Find strong, resilient leaders.
People in senior roles need the experience, skills and behaviours to steer the company through difficult times, while also commitment and enthusiasm. Leaders need to be challenging, forward-thinking, open to new ideas and innovative – and they should encourage these attributes in others.
Value learning and experience.
Expose people to experiences that will equip them for dealing with unexpected, difficult situations. Experience is a great teacher; if individuals are used to dealing with difficult situations, they will be more comfortable with, and confident in, their ability to think logically and creatively when they encounter them in the workplace.
Put the right people in the right roles.
Resilience needs to be part of all succession decisions – and there is no substitute for a person’s actual record of achievement: the challenges they’ve faced and what they’ve learned. Remember, you’re not just hiring for today. You’re hiring to prepare your company for tomorrow.
Challenges require teamwork, all the way to the top. Trust, dependability and openness are essential, as are strong leadership and a realistic attitude. By working closely together, supporting each other, sharing ideas and spreading the workload, an overwhelming challenge will be less daunting, much easier to tackle and more successfully resolved.
People make the difference.
Turbulent markets bring opportunity and risk; companies need to call on all their resources to navigate such uncharted waters successfully. What matters, however, is that each individual believes that these issues — values, purpose, boldness, imagination and others — are important and interprets them in his or her own personal way. In fact, the most significant lesson for any business leader is to know that while structures, procedures, processes, and systems can all be improved, the true source of resilience is people. They are the reason companies succeed. Get that right, and you’ll weather any storm that comes your way.
Previously published in dialoguereview.com