How Am I Doing? (12 Questions)

By Shlomo Maital

   Dr. Tyler J. VanderWeele is a Harvard epidemiologist and biostatistics professor.  He  has developed a simple questionnaire to help us evaluate a core question, highly relevant as we emerge from over a year of pandemic lockdown and isolation:

      How am I doing?

    We hear about loneliness, isolation, stress, depression, and, a relatively new concept, languishing – people who are not depressed but who are not flourishing. *

      So – how are you doing? Are you flourishing?  Try these questions.  They are scored 1-10,  but,  I prefer just to give the raw questions, as food for thought, without the need to score. You can look up the real thing on the Human Flourishing Program website.

Domain 1: Happiness and Life Satisfaction.

1. Overall, how satisfied are you with life as a whole these days?

2. In general, how happy or unhappy do you usually feel?

Domain 2: Mental and Physical Health.

3. In general, how would you rate your physical health?

4. How would you rate your overall mental health?

Domain 3: Meaning and Purpose.

5. Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?

6. I understand my purpose in life.

     Strongly agree? Strongly disagree?

Domain 4: Character and Virtue.

7. I always act to promote good in all circumstances, even in difficult and challenging situations.

    Always? Often? Rarely?

8. I am always able to give up some happiness now for greater happiness later.

     Always? Often? Rarely?

Domain 5: Close Social Relationships.

9. I am content with my friendships and relationships.

    Very?  Somewhat?  Hardly?

10. My relationships are as satisfying as I would want them to be.

Domain 6: Financial and Material Stability.

11. How often do you worry about being able to meet normal monthly living expenses?

12. How often do you worry about safety, food, or housing?

    A lot?  A little? 

  So in general, how are you doing?  Are you flourishing?   What in your life could you change, relatively quickly, that would give you stronger ‘flourishing’ answers? 

   Worth a shot?

  • Cited in Dani Blum’s NYT article, Friday May 7, p. 12,  “how to thrive on the other side”.