Jan 2011 Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (The “I3″)

The purpose of the I3 (The International Inspiration Index) is to get a feel for how people are feeling, what’s bothering them, and their outlook for the future. It started in late April, 2009 and is published every one to two months.

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.AttitudeIndex.com.

Questions #1 #2: How’s your attitude – as well as those around you

The highest month for personal attitude remains July of 2009 with a 4.1o. Currently, we rate our attitude at 3.8 and the attitude of those around us at 3.4 (the weather seemed to play a big deal as you’ll see from the comments). Last January, the same numbers were 3.7 and 3.6 respectively. It’s interesting to note that, with one exception, “My Attitude” has always outscored “Others Attitudes.” In effect, we tend to think our attitude is fine; it’s the attitude of those around us that need work. However, it’s important to remember that they’re doing the same thing with us. And since attitude communicates, we have a pre-disposition to go into a conversation assuming the other person isn’t as positive as we are. That can certainly bias our communication.

As always, my standard disclaimer is that so far the samples are not very large (averaging 36 a month) and the survey is self-selecting so we don’t know how accurate it is.

A few selected comments from survey-takers about their attitudes:

Stressed, but I think my attitude is good, given the amount of stress at work. :)

I just wish winter was over

I am just so optimistic about this year

Could be one notch better, but I’m really working on turning it around. It’s much, MUCH improved from a few weeks ago, so I’ve come a long way!

I’m making a real effort in 2011 to keep a more positive outlook.

Much more skeptable (sic) as I grow older.

Depressed, winter weather is a drag

I may be a so so! My spouse has been out of work for four years and has a very bad attitude. It is a struggle to keep a semblance of a good attitude for my self-preservation.

And one person summed it all up as follows:

I’m like a cork which keeps bobbing back to appreciation & gratitude..

Some noteworthy comments from survey takers about others’ attitudes

The people who matter to me right now have good attitudes. The people with bad attitudes don’t matter to me at the moment!

Mostly work people. The economy and the “work harder with less help and less money” attitude of our employers is pretty discouraging.

Good for the most part. As a civic activist and breast cancer navigator, I deal with a range of people.

Proving that attitude is indeed contagious, here are a few telling comments:

Don’t hang out with ANYONE negative!

My friend and her boss are not getting along – she gets grouchy because of it

But fortunately I don’t have to deal with many people on a regular basis

Question Three: What concerns you?

It’s no surprise that the Economy is the top concern as we enter 2011. What is a bit surprising is that “Personal Health” has risen to the top also. This is the first time that has happened; but it could be due to the weather, the way the survey fell into place (self-sampling) or even survey size. Another surprise was that, for the first time, “Personal Family Issues” entered the top 3.

The top  concerns at the end of January were:

  1. Economy (3.84; virtually flat from last year at this time, when it was a 3.9)
  2. Personal Health (3.79; up from last year at this time, when it was a 3.4)
  3. Education (3.58; up from last year at this time, when it was 3.4)

The lowest rated for last month was “My Personal Job” (which I’ll admit seems odd due to the concern about the Economy). It came it at 2.9, down from 3.2 last year.

Overall, the top five things that concern us overall for the entire run of the I3 (i.e. highest averages) are:

  1. Economy (3.72)
  2. Environment (3.40; 2020 votes)
  3. Environment (3.40; 2004 votes)
  4. Public Health (3.17)
  5. Personal Health (entering at 3.14)

The lowest rated remains Terrorism (2.68)

Comments from survey-takers on Question #3:

My primary concern (ongoing) is that this country is missing a massive opportunity to switch from a growth model to a sustainability model. Doesn’t anyone realize growth is finite? So frustrating!

If we are not concerned about the above, then who will be?

I try not to spend time worrying about things that are beyond my control. I have faith in a greater plan and position myself to benefit from God’s undeserved kindness.

I have one “family issue” hanging over my head that is very concerning to me. My personal health, mentally and physically, is concerning me a great deal these days, so I’m working on it!

My health does not “bother me” per se. It is something that is ever present as I am diabetic and have a schedule, watch what I eat, adjust my insulin, etc.

And the philosophical…

Some things are beyond my control. What I can control, I do; what I can’t, well I do my best.

I know better than to focus on what I don’t want.

Question Four: What do you think about the future?

Finally, the big question, basically, “Where do you think we’re going?”

As always, we’re more optimistic long-term than we are about the short term. That said, we’re less optimistic overall than we were in 2010. There’s a definite downward trend showing.

Here’s the comparison:

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I think we are in trouble in this country. We are focusing on the wrong problems and not fixing things that are going to take us down a path that may lead to our own destruction.

I really have no idea what things will be like more than 6 months out. If we make the shift to sustainability, we could be in a great place in ten years (but sadly I am not holding my breath)

It will take time for each person to do their part so that there is no concern – a lot of mine concerns the future of our children and I am taking steps on that now

How can you know what God’s plan is in terms of human years?

Technology is improving daily. Life evolves and we must adapt.

I’m hoping things will progress for the better. I am planning on making things better for me by working harder for our people

5 – 10 years from now I think will be better for over-all Country. But worse than now (emotionally) in my case because me kids start leaving for college – I know I’ll have empty-nest really bad.

Understanding the Scores:

On questions #1 and #2, “five” is an excellent attitude and “one” is a horrible attitude, “three” would be average.

For question #3, “five” means greatly concerned, “one” means not at all concerned.

For question #4, “five” is extremely optimistic and “one” is extremely pessimistic.

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.AttitudeIndex.com.

If you would like to see all postings regarding the I3, follow this link.

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