Recently at LSRG someone told us about the web app called Illuum (www.illuum.com), and we decided to check it out. Turns out, the app is pretty simple. As the homepage states, “Illuum is a new web app to track, study and improve your happiness…It gets you out of your head and shows you things you never knew about yourself. All for the low low price of whatever you feel like paying!” To get started, you can either click on “Yes, I like being happy! Sign me up.” Or, you can choose the way of all sorrow by clicking on “No thanks, I like being sad.”
Spoiler alert: If you clink on “No thanks,” you will receive the following message: “That’s cool too! Appreciating sadness is a healthy approach. You can still use Illuum to find out when and why you’re not doing great, but we don’t want to be pushy. Instead, may we suggest a thick blanket and a nice warm mug of hot chocolate?” It’s reminds me of the scene in The Matrix, where Neo has to choose between the red pill or the blue pill. Knowledge or ignorance? Ignorance is bliss, right; or at least a thick blanket…
Anyway, you may be wondering how exactly this app would be useful, since you’re probably already pretty capable of figuring out if you’re happy or not. Well, the thing is, maybe you’re not as aware as you think you are. What Illuum gives you is the ability to stand outside yourself (statistically speaking) and objectively appraise how your happiness is trending. Maybe it sounds strange or clinical to assign a numerical value to your relative bliss, but then again, maybe you’ve not been assigning it any value lately.
If you extrapolate that kind of happiness-neglect out over 15 years; that, my friends, is how we suddenly wake up one morning unhappy, disillusioned, unloved, and friendless-doing a job we hate for people we despise, wearing clothes we don’t even like, married to someone we can’t even remember liking in the first place. As Socrates wisely said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Thanks to Illuum, even though we don’t have the time to lounge around in togas contemplating the meaning and worth of our lives like Socrates, we can still get on the fast track to happiness-with the help of a few charts and graphs.
How does it work? Well, have you ever been on the fence about making a major decision? Illuum can help you with that. Let’s say you’re contemplating breaking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, but you’re just not sure if you’re being too hasty. Begin by setting a goal of 30 days to decide. Now, how do you want to phrase your decision making question in a way that can be measured daily? How about, “Was I happy with Lex/Ivy today?” For the next 30 days, you check in with Illuum each day and quickly rate your happiness with so-and-so on a scale of 1 to 10. This may sound mind numbingly simple, but it’s genius. At the end of 30 days, you will have a crystal clear picture of how happy you are with your significant other.
At a glance you will be able to see if you’ve had a lot of ups and downs, smooth sailing or somewhere in the middle. You might just realize for the first time that you have far more rainy days than sunny-something you may have never realized on your own. After all, how many times have you called up your friend Alfred to complain about Lex/Ivy, only to have him say, “I can’t believe you’re still putting up with _______, after he/she did _______!” And you’re totally shocked, because you had no clue that you’d complained to Alfred a million times before about Lex/Ivy. When you’re just making it through the day, it’s sometimes hard to notice that you’re not thriving. This simple fact finding survey can be used to help you measure just about anything…if you’re happy with your career, or you need to move to Tahoe, or you should spend more/less time with your friends. It’s the perfect neutral third party.
Of course, some of us do like to talk to a real person, when faced with serious dilemmas. That’s where we come in-the professional counselors and life coaches at Life Skills Resource Group in Orlando. Give us a call at 407-355-7378. We can help you examine your life and get your happiness up to optimum levels.