4th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (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. Due to a great deal of traveling during September and October, I was not able to update it for almost two months so we now have completed one year.

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.Motivation2010.com.

August and September combined

The last month analyzed was July. So, the graph below will show what has happened over the last two months.

The Complete Overview (4/09-9/09)

The Complete Overview (click to enlarge)

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.

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

The highest month for personal attitude so far was July of 2009 with a 4.1o. The highest month for your perception of others’ attitudes was August with a 3.60. That said, the overall trend for both still seems to be upwards, as illustrated by the trend lines on the graph below. As always, my standard disclaimer is that so far the samples are not very large (averaging 38 a month — and growing) and the survey is self-selecting so we don’t know how accurate it is.

Factors influencing the I3 during the last few months

Staring in August, I have been making a note of major international and international events that could be influencing the collective attitude. Following are stories I considered to be significant:

August 2009:

  • Health care debate moves forefront with congress people heading to their districts
  • Town hall meetings about health care
  • Edward Kennedy dies
  • Afghanistan starts getting much worse
  • Lower than expected unemployment
  • Stock market climbing

September 2009:

  • Resurgence of swine flu into the news
  • School restarting
  • Anniversary of September 11
  • President Obama speaks to congress on health issues
  • Congressman Joe Wilson screams “You Lie!” at the president — and the whole ensuing debate over that
A few selected comments from survey-takers about their attitudes, ranging from insightful…

As a Christian, I do a daily attitude check and try to maintain an overall good outlook. Right now it would be “fantastic” from my own perspective, but we have family situations that kind of put a damper on things to a certain extent.

My attitude was great when I came back to work, but too many negatives coming at me. I work hard everyday to say, “This isn’t my problem.” But I am a problem solver.

I recently went back to school and changed careers. I LOVE my job. I’m also learning to work to live and not live to work. That decision makes my attitude better!

My attitude rarely changes, except when really negative people decide to drain off some of my positive vibes. But I’ve got some to share.

The economy..the people who think that health care is only for the rich…Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck all these idiots make my attitude suck!!

Many long-term goals were to have come to fruition these past few weeks. All of them have been either set back, cancelled or have mysteriously disappeared. This is a time of choosing depression or renewed direction/action and though the choice is obvious, it is difficult.

Some minor difficulties give me pause, but overall I am happy with the way my life is going. I’m grateful for my spirituality, relationship and freedom to write.

…to the simple…

Crazy landlady giving me problems

I’m ready for a nap, will probably be fantastic when I wake up.

Some noteworthy comments from survey takers about others’ attitudes

As always, one of the prevailing themes from many of the people who had comments is that they choose not to hang out with negative people However, some other comments about others’ attitudes are listed below:

Most people balance an appropriate amount of bitterness and hopefulness.

Too many of my friends seem to let the cares of the world get them down and don’t seem to have a lighthearted outlook.

Everyone you meet is going through their own trials right now. It’s a scary economic time we live in.

They’re caught up in the media and stuff.

People seem “stuck” in today’s world. Not good or bad… sadly so so.

Everyone I come in contact with (and that’s a lot of people) seem to be worried, angry, upset and fearful about their future

It is important to me that I surround myself with success and goal – minded people in my life, so I am profoundly gracious for the love and support of healthy thinking and healthy being.

There are too many rumors, most people are in too big of a hurry to let things play out.

I hear lots of optimism in my networking groups.

Start with a smile and most people will be positive.

They need more coffee

Here’s the chart showing the overview

One note of interest is that since the beginning of the I3, this is the first period (last two months) where “my attitude” has gone in a different direction than “Others” attitude. Usually, although “my attitude” is always better than “their” attitude, the trends go in the same direction.

Attitude Trends (April-September)
Six Months of Attitude Tracking — click to enlarge (bold lines are trends)

Question Three: What concerns you?

The top three concerns for the as we ended the third quarter are showing some change.  For the first time since the I3 began, “The Economy” is NOT the biggest concern, actually falling into fourth place, behind the Environment, Education, and — for the first time in the top three — Public Health. (It is important to note that “The Economy” still does have the highest average.)

  1. Environment (reaching 4.0, moving up form 3.5 during mid summer)
  2. Education (3.9 from 3.8 during mid summer)
  3. Public Health (3.8 from 3.1 during mid summer).

It seems logical that Environment continues to stay as a major concern, and when one thinks about it, Public Health is much more in the spotlight now with the H1N1 virus coming back into the news. Education still surprises me, but with the increasing costs of tuition and states cutting budgets right and left, it probably shouldn’t.  (The chart is after the jump.)

Here’s the chart showing the trends over the last six months for the top four.

Top Concerns (April-September)

Top 4 Concerns as of end of September, 2009 -- Click to Enlarge

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

  1. Economy (3.83)
  2. Environment (3.50)
    Education (3.50) — tied
  3. Public Health (3.27)
  4. Personal Job (3.15)

The lowest rated remains Terrorism (2.50)

There are some brilliant comments in this section, the number one comment (not necessarily all listed) ties to Health Care. (Keep in mind, the “Town Hall” meetings and “Tea Bag” protests were in full swing during this period.)

I live in an isolated area where I am not really affected directly by a lot of what is going on in the world. We have been affected by the economy to the point that we lost our home and business, but have relocated to a much smaller place that we can afford and are content and reasonably healthy–for old people. 🙂

While I can’t control what goes on in the world it is still extremely bothersome. Where are we headed? I don’t sit and fret about everything but you have to be concerned.

I don’t want to have our very good retirement health plan scrapped for a public policy, yet I want health care available for everyone.

We are becoming more and more of a police state with government taking responsibilities in family matters with our personal lives and accommodating special interest groups.

It seems to me that the public issues / concerns are caused mainly due to greed, selfishness and ignorance. That distancing ourselves from our neighbors, environment and selves, creates unnecessary fear and over reactions. Statesmen who serve the people are few and far between as special interests and Corporate powers sway the votes and decisions more than the constituents they once served.

I am concerned about the economy as it relates to my children and younger families. Health care for others is a big concern.

I think that if we concentrate on the environment other jobs will evolve. I think that the government is trying too hard and that the public in general is too impatient. The hole is getting deeper and we may never see the edge of it in our lifetime. How do you say “Good morning” in Chinese?

I am grateful to have the basics going well. I am most concerned about a strong trend toward self interest and disregard for the welfare of others. (Note: For my column on “Outrage” that I published during this period, you can follow this link.)

One person devised a philosophy:

I came up with an acronym for CONCERN: Channel Of New Creative Energy Right Now…so things don’t bother me.

Question Four: What do you think about the future?

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

After a mid-summer dip into the doldrums, optimism, as judged by where we think we’re going, started to rise again. However, for the last two months, it’s sliding again. One trend that continues is we are more optimistic about long term than short term.

Where are we going?

Where are we Going? (click to enlarge)


I don’t really know how to comment, other than that it is going to have to get better because it can’t get much worse.

We’re finally headed in the right direction after eight years of going in reverse.

I believe that world is in tough times. I am hopeful that our leaders will at least get the United States turned around. It won’t happen over night.

In ten years worse than now, because, these things always cycle, and the cycles are 7 to 9 years.

If you believe in a good God, then it naturally follows that you believe that every day, in every way, things are getting better and better.

I’m very optimistic about the future. I think Barack Obama is going to be a great leader for our country!

I don’t really foresee much progress in the coming year for most of these issues except perhaps the personal ones that I have at least limited control over change.

Boy would I love to have a crystal ball to see what we will be in 10 years, can’t for the life of me answer it however. Would like it to be GREAT – so I’ll send my energy there.

Hey, I’m 60, my job is going away, I am filing bankruptcy, we are broke, no savings. Not much of a future. Perhaps I was the wrong person to take this survey

I am hopeful that the current trend of selfish greed and power will be toppled with awareness of how much we all need each other and that a public uprising will reaffirm the unique and powerful will of the people over that of corporations.

I don’t see the end of it- and the middle class worker that has been doing all the right things and are still in their homes, not overspending, are going to continue to pay for this.–It Sucks.

Checking the accuracy of the predictions

To me, one of the main reasons I started the I3 was to see how well we could predict our future attitude(s). As we approach six months of surveys, here’s how we stand.

I3 Accuracy Rating

I3 One-Month Predictions (click to enlarge)

Understanding the numbers

The first column is what the people taking the I3 predicted the mood of the country would be like in one month. For example, in April, respondents predicted that in May, the attitude of the country would be a 3.0. However, in May, when people took the survey in May, they rated their general attitude to be a 3.8. Therefore, the I3 had what I am calling an “Accuracy Rating” of 78.95% (3.00 divided by 3.80).

Overall, as we can see from the above, that the I3 is under-rating attitude by a little less than 20% because it’s 82.63% accurate (see the average).

Looking toward the Future

In September, respondents said that they predict the mood in October will be a 3.1. (see chart at the very top of this post) If we divide 3.1 by 82.63%, we arrive at a 3.75 rating, meaning that the general mood of the country will be on an upswing. Next month, the I3 will be six months old, so we will be able to predict a six-month trend; hopefully with some accuracy.

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.Motivation2010.com.
If you would like to download the overview of August’s report as a pdf, follow this link.

If you would like to download the overview of September’s report as a pdf, follow this link.

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


~ by scottqmarcus on November 6, 2009.

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