First Analysis of the International Inspiration Index

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 so we now have two months to analyze. This is the first post and I’m very excited. I plan to make this an ongoing report.

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to

First question: How’s your personal attitude

Although our sample size is small (averaging 24 per month for the first two months), the average person rated his or her attitude on a one to five scale as 3.8 in May. Although April was not a full month, it rated a 3.4, so technically we could say that we’re feeling better in May than we were in April.

Some of the specific concerns and comments from people regarding their attitude include family members being deployed to Iraq all the way to lamenting one’s biorhythms, the phase of the moon. As one survey taker responded in April,

Considering being unemployed & working contract work, it’s pretty good. I try to stay busy and focused on positive things. I find myself lost at times dealing w/ my husband’s insecurities as he is the main bread winner for the first time since we’ll been a couple. We are doing okay financially, but he finds it hard for me to be away at events for networking opportunities and he has to watch the kids (ages 2/6). Maybe too much information =0)”

One other person had an interesting take on how to improve your attitude:

“I am making little money right now but taking up sea kayaking. I capsized in 50 degree water on Saturday. That will wake you up!”

Second Question: How is the attitude among your co-workers?

I have asked this question in repeated surveys to audiences around the country. Consistently, we think our attitude is better than those with whom we work. Of course, it’s interesting to ponder if they think the same as we do. That said, it climbed from 3.0 in April to 3.3 in May, 2009.

Although many people commented on their fear for the economy (see question #3), there were a few salient comments worth noting:

As I share my story with people, I notice that few really “get it.” Even close friends and family have a hard time understanding everything I’m feeling. I work closely with people in the broadcasting field that thrive on negativity. Well, maybe “thrive” isn’t the right word. They celebrate negativity because it makes them feel better somehow? That doesn’t make sense really. Then there are some people around me that are truly inspirational. They’re completely in charge of their happiness!”

The perfect summation might be from one respondent,

“It’s kinda like a roller coaster really.”

Dark line is "Your" attitude, Light line is "others" attitude -- click on image to enlarge

Dark line is "Your" attitude, Light line is "others" attitude -- click on image to enlarge

Question Three: What concerns you?

(What concerns you and what you predict for the future is after the jump)

In this question, respondents were asked to rate on a one to five scale, the top three things concerning them. In April, the top three were Economy (4.3) and My Personal Job as well as The Environment tied for #2 with a 3.6.

In May, we find that The Economy is still number one, but the number has dropped from 4.3 to 4.0. There is a multi-response tie for number two (probably due to small sample size). The Environment, Public Health, Education, My personal Job, and My Personal Health all came in at 3.3. However, if we compare April to May, Environment and My Personal Job did both slide from a 3.6 to a 3.3.

The responses that went up (meaning a higher degree of concern) were Terrorism (2.5 to 2.7) Public Health (3.0 to 3.3), International Relations (2.9 to 3.2), Education (2.9 to 3.3) and My Personal Health (3.0 to 3.3). Again, realize that this was a small sample size, so as the survey continues, these numbers will mean more over time.

Comments from this period included several about job loss or job concern and, since the swine flu was a big story, some about that (which might also explain why Public and Personal Health rose in the ratings).

What Concerns You (Apr 09 - May09)

Purple is April, Maroon is May - click on image to enlarge

A few comments worth nothing include:

“I am really concerned about the economy for my daughters who are in there 20’s with children. What are we doing to their future? How will they survive these times? I am also really concerned about the international relations, with our economy so bad should we be spending all this time and money sending our troops over there when they should be here with their families?”

And one person who summed up the swine flu as:

“Please stop this madness about swine flu. It’s just flu, for gawd’s sake! I’m sick of hearing about it. There must not be anything else going on in the world, i.e., a slow news week.”

Question Four: What do you think about the future?

Well, there’s the million dollar question, huh?

This question uses a slightly different rating scale. In this question, One means “horrible,” two signifies “worse than now,” three means “same as now,” four means “Better than now,” and five is “great!”

With those as our guidelines, April said May would be 3.0, meaning just the same. May predicts June will be a 3.2. To be honest, I’m not sure how to correlate these into reality yet (still working on this project) but it definitely implies that people are thinking thinks will be better next month they were this month, and that feeling is growing.

If we look six months down the road, not only are people more optimistic, but the growth is even more significant. April said 3.1 (referring to October), May (referring to November) gave it 3.6.

The further into the future we go, the better the attitude, however, people are not as optimistic about long term attitude changes as they are about the shorter ones, as the five and ten year trends are down. (Again, I have to caution about small sample size for everything)

Here’s how it all stacked up:

One year from now: April – 3.8 May 4.0. Five years: April – 4.5 May 4.2. Ten Years: April 4.6 May 4.5

April is Pink, May is Purple

April is Pink, May is Purple - click on image to enlarge


“I know that eventually we will recover from this. It will take time. This economic did not occur overnight and to expect an overnight fix is ridiculous. People need to be more responsible for their own spending and gain control of their extended credit. I have a hard time for those who failed to pay their bills be the first to get a bailout; however the banks began failing because of poor decisions…Wait! Someone else makes a poor decision which leads to additional poor decisions.”

“I try to think positive and hope for change in my personal life and the lives of those closest to me. As in life, some days are better than others. I have hope for the future, as I see no other choice but to hope. Will hope change things FOR me? Of course not. But it will help me understand that there are other bigger, better things waiting to be discovered.”

Of course, it can all be summed up with this simple, painfully obvious comment:

“I wish I knew.”

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to
If you’d like to download a detailed report of the first two months of the I3 as a pdf,  click on this link.

If you would like to download the overview of May’s report as a pdf, follow this link.
If you would like to see April’s report as a pdf, follow this link.
If you would like to see all posting regarding the I3, follow this link.


~ by scottqmarcus on June 17, 2009.

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