Quiz: How happy are you?


We all want to be happy, but what that means to us as individuals is hugely subjective, and for that reason happiness can be difficult to measure. Recent research from the psychology world, however, suggests that happiness is actually the culmination of fulfilment in specific areas – the so-called ‘keys to happiness’. Take our quiz to discover how you’re currently measuring up – and where you can ‘unlock’ greater happiness. For some of the questions, you will need a pen and paper so grab one now. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers, and there are plenty of pointers at the end for how you can increase your happiness levels.  


Part One

1. When you think about ‘goals’, what does that mean to you?


2. Thinking about the contribution you make at work — to your team, your customers, your industry or something else — which statement resonates strongest?


3. I prioritise time in my schedule for the things and the people I love the most.


4. Your boss asks you to work late with very little notice on an evening that you’d planned some ‘me time’. Honestly, what’s your response?



Part One - Goals and values

You scored __ out of a possible 16

As you probably guessed, the questions in this first section relate to your goals and your values. Most people think that when they become successful, then they'll be happy. But recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience turn this idea on its head: researchers now believe that happiness fuels success — not the other way around. When we're feeling positive, our brains are more motivated, engaged, creative, energetic, resilient, and productive — and we’re more likely to succeed in whatever it is we’ve set our sights on achieving. The act of actively working towards a meaningful goal — whether it’s learning a new language, reading a book a week, or achieving a personal best in your chosen sport, is as happiness-inducing, if not more, than actually hitting your milestone.

A high score in this area suggests that you’re already working on goals, whether micro or life-affirming, and that you’ve a pretty firm grasp on your values — and the boundaries you need to put in place to live by them. If you’re at the lower end of the scale, start small — spend some time thinking about microgoals that excite you, and work up a plan you can stick to. Your happiness levels will thank you for it!

Part Two

5. A lunch break on a work-from-home day is typically...


6. I wake up most mornings feeling...


7. Whether it’s a cardio blast, a gentle swim or just a long walk, exercise plays a part in my weekly schedule.


8. Grab a pen and paper and spend 30 seconds writing down all the healthy habits — big or small — that make a regular appearance in your daily life. How many items are on your list?



Part Two - Wellbeing

You scored __ out of a possible 16

Wellbeing is one of the most important — but often least respected — keys to happiness. People who practice mindfulness, for example, have been found to be 20 percentage points happier — and have better responses in their immune system than those who don’t. Focusing on your wellbeing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to increase your happiness.

If you’ve scored high in this area, then you already know how to take good care of yourself. But it’s rare that we are all doing as much as we possibly can to maximise our wellbeing. Self-care can all too easily slip to the bottom of your to-do list, to make room for all the ‘shoulds’ in your life. Perhaps guilt rears its head if you think about taking a nap, a stroll in nature, or just sitting around listening to some music instead of finishing an assignment or doing some laundry. If your score is on the low side, the good news is that improving your wellbeing can be done in small microsteps, which can add up to a big difference in your wellbeing — and your happiness.

Part Three

9. When I’m experiencing a personal problem, I...


10. My circle of friends is...


11. I tend to make solid friendships with my work colleagues.


12. Grab a pen and paper and spend 30 seconds giving a name to some of the feelings you’ve experienced over the last week. On reflection, how did you find this task?



Part Three - Openness and connection

You scored __ out of a possible 16

The questions you’ve just answered relate to openness and connection — both key pillars of happiness. In fact, human relationships are one of the most important external factors affecting happiness — with family and close friendships being more important than work satisfaction and economic success, and as important as our own mental health when it comes to how happy we feel.

If your result suggests improvement is needed in this area, then the good news is that fostering better relationships is something you can start doing right now. Seek to enrich your conversations by really listening to what others have to say, and by taking opportunities to share something of yourself that might seem a little uncomfortable at first — vulnerability in friendships is a key ingredient in their quality. Trying new things is also a great way to improve your relationships — the confidence booster you get from inching out of your comfort zone can make you attractive to others and veers your conversations away from small talk and into new and surprising places.

Part Four

13. When I make a mistake at work I tend to...


14. When things aren’t going well at home or at work, I have tried and tested strategies to see me through.


15. My colleagues and friends would say that I’m a person with a lot of ‘grit’.


16. Grab a pen and paper and spend 30 seconds writing down the acts of kindness you’ve performed for others recently. How easy was this task?



Part Four - Resilience

You scored __ out of a possible 16

The correlation between happiness and resilience might not be an immediate one. But science is quite clear that there is a tangible and important link between a person’s ability to ‘bounce back’ from setbacks and their everyday happiness levels — and in fact, both things fuel the other. Research shows that experiencing positive emotions at three times the rate of negative ones leads to a tipping point beyond which we naturally become more resilient to adversity and better able to achieve things. The evidence linking an upbeat outlook on life to increased longevity is actually stronger than the evidence linking obesity and a sedentary lifestyle to reduced longevity.

If you need to improve your score in this area, the good news is that resilience, far from being an innate characteristic, is actually a skill that can be learned, and, much like a muscle, can be worked upon in order to develop and strengthen. At the lower end of the scale, you might find it difficult to mentally ‘switch’ to a place of embracing change, adversity and failure. Our everywomanNetwork workbook Resilience: Bouncing Back is a great place to start making positive change. Giving back to others (perhaps by becoming a mentor to someone more junior) is also a great way to build your own resilience, as well as being a wonderful confidence boost.


Take your happiness up a notch with the following reading list:

Happiness: Is it a skill you can learn? (quick read)

#ChooseYourChallenge Generator (challenge yourself to a new microgoal)

The Happy Success (everywoman expert webinar)