A science-based life satisfaction scale can tell you are thriving or if you need some improvement.
If you have ever wondered if you were truly satisfied with your life but couldn’t tell for sure, science has a way to give you the answers. The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), developed by Gallup senior scientist Ed Diener, is structured to assess the broad scope of satisfaction within your life, meaning your life as a whole. The scale consists of five statements, the first three dealing with the present and the last two dealing with the past, for you to strongly agree or strongly disagree with:
- In most ways, my life is close to my ideal.
- The conditions of my life are excellent.
- I am completely satisfied with my life.
- So far, I have gotten the most important things I want in life.
- If I could live my life over, I would change nothing.
Depending how you answer, the results should give you a good sense of how things are going in your life in general. There are many factors that go into how we view satisfaction. People who score high on the scale generally have positive social relationships with family and friends, meaningful accomplishments and strong personal growth. People who score lower on the scale may not be happy with how things are currently going. They may have an unfulfilling career path or haven’t surrounded themselves with enough people who care about them. Temporary dissatisfaction, as Ed points out, is common and in some cases, even motivating. It may be time to reflect and make the necessary changes to improve your life if the dissatisfaction persists.