Test of Life

Once in a while, it is important and necessary to evaluate by testing our life. We get tested formally in our life when we are in school, when we want to enter into college, when we try to take some degree or certification. Test score reflects our preparation, our attitude, aptitude, where we stand, what we are good at, where we need to improve and what we need to do to fill the gaps if we fall short. There is a test for everything, such as to be a doctor and to be able to practice medicine one has to successfully pass the final medical board exam. Similarly a bar exam is to be cleared to become a lawyer and practise law. Then why not to have a test of life? Unfortunately, our life currently does not have any such test where we can access our journey of life, know how are we doing and make changes if needed. Even if every-one's life is different, still we all have commonalities and underneath fundamentals are the same. There were lives before us, there are lives with us and there will be lives after us. So there is a dire need for a common test of life, which applies to everyone so that everyone can evaluate their lives on standard life test.

The main benefit for such an evaluation is much needed clarity in life. The questions are like a flash-light bringing clear visibility for us to see where we stand and where we are going. Many a times we keep on going without checking whether we are in a right direction or not, or on a right path or not. We are too desperate for results, and very impatient to analyse the happenings. The consequence many a times is most likely significant wastage of time and efforts, and the end result is virtually reaching no-where. The rush and sense of urgency are only fruitful if we are heading in the right direction, being on the right path.

Types of Tests

There are four versions of the test of life.

  1. The Five Questions
  2. The Fifteen Questions
  3. The Twenty-Five Questions
  4. The Ultimate Questionnaire

The first round is the “Quick Express Test of Life”, which has five questions. If we have less time or to periodically quickly check our life, we can take “The Five Questions” test. If we have more time, we can take little bit longer “The Fifteen Questions” test, where we can go deeper into the five questions. There are two sub-questions attached to each main question. If you see this exercise working for you, and you want even more self awareness and clarity, then you can take longer “The Twenty-Five Questions” test, where there are two more additional sub-questions associated with each main question, bringing the total count to twenty-five. If you want to go even further deeper, then there is an ultimate questionnaire, which covers pretty much everything which needs to be looked at, contemplated and addressed.

The Five Questions

The Five questions are the main questions. Every question has only two clear choices: “Yes” or “No”. Take one question at a time and stay on it till you get a definite answer, “Yes” or “No”. If you are just unable to decide, then you can tackle other questions and then come back to answer the skipped questions.

Let us cut the chase and attack the five questions right away, and they are:

  1. Are you happy?
  2. Are you satisfied?
  3. Are you successful?
  4. Are you clear?
  5. Are you ready?

The first three questions are quite obvious and do not require any explanations. The last two questions might require some clarity. The fourth question, “Are you clear?” means whether you have “clarity” about your life such as your life’s purpose, goals, your true passions and your work. The fifth question, “Are you ready?” means whether you have lived a life of your choice and in the worst case scenario, if you are to lose your life, are you prepared enough to leave. The end of life situation can be an unfortunate result of natural calamity such as earthquake or a fatal human error or misfortune such as an auto accident. Ignoring this possibility is living in a denial. And living a life, without addressing this scenario is a careless, dangerous, wishful, unprepared and incomplete living.

In case of ambiguity, take your time to think whether finally which clear zone, you end up in, either “Yes” or “No”. If you are still in dilemma then use the five possible options of:

   1. Never
   2. Rarely
   3. Sometimes
   4. Often
   5. Always

The first two points you to clear “No” and the last two directs you to “Yes”. The only zone of ambiguity is of the middle third one of “Sometimes”. The common work people use when they are not sure is “depends”. Though here our goal in the test is to achieve the clarity. We do not have a choice of “may be”, or “depends”. So here use your honesty and best judgement to see where the majority lies, which means more than 50%. It will be almost impossible to have 50% figure. For example, in the first question of, “Are you happy?”, if you are in the zone of “Sometimes”, then you need to decide that out of all your wakeful time, are you happy more or less than half the time. If you are happy more than half the time, then you are in the side of “Yes”, else in the side of “No”.

Ideally it is good to have “yes” for every question. If that is the case then you ace the test having 5 out of 5 right. Though this is a self-test, a test by your own self to your life. So best is to be as honest as possible. If you have replied to “no” of every single question, that can be a great beginning to a life, which will be mindful, thoughtful, meaningful, joyful and ultimately surely successful. You have to begin some day from some place. Why not now? To make you awake is the goal of test. Gradually you can focus on one question at a time and can give your best to make the answer “yes”. You can being in any sequence. If you start with last fifth question, that is not bad also, as that means that you have thought of the whole big complete picture and you are starting with the end in mind. Similarly the fourth question of “clarity” is also life altering. The earlier you figure things out in your life, the advantageous you become and the more successful, meaningful, purposeful and happier life you can live. Meditation tremendously help in bringing the clarity, self-awareness, answers to these questions and in the process cleaning up, focusing, improving and ultimately enlightening your life.

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