5th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)

•December 13, 2009 • 2 Comments

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. This month, we have our first longer-term predictions as to where we’re going!

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

October and November combined

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

All Stats for Last Six Months (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.

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. The highest month for your perception of others’ attitudes remains August with a 3.60. One interesting trend is that the overall average for “My Attitude” is 3.70 with the first four months averaging 3.73 and the last four months averaging 3.68; basically staying flat during the entire eight-month period. However, the overall average for “Others Attitudes,” lower than “My Attitude” is 3.36 but the first four months it was 3.25 and the latter four months, it’s a 3.48; possibly showing that our perception of others is improving, but who knows?

Looking at the chart showing the trend lines of these two statistics, we can see a generally upward path and a convergence between “My Attitude” and “Others Attitude.”

Trends: MINE vs. OTHERS full survey period (click to enlarge)

Also one other thing to note is that, for the first time in all the time I’ve been asking these questions (and I’ve done this survey informally before I started the I3), “My Attitude” was lower in October than “Others Attitude.” Every other time I’ve asked this question, “My Attitude” has always outscored “Others Attitudes.” (October was also a horribly small sample size so it could be an aberration.)

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.

Factors influencing the I3 during the last few months

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

October 2009:

  • Debate coming to an end on health care bill
  • McChrystal asking for 40K more troops in Afghanistan
  • Chicago losing Olympic bid to Rio
  • Obama winning peace prize
  • Daylight savings time ends
  • High death toll for US Military in Afghanistan
  • Huge terrorist bombing in Iraq

November 2009:

  • One year anniversary of Obama’s election
  • Swine flu vaccine goes widespread
  • Huge tuition increases at UC campuses
  • Unemployment hits 10.2%
  • Holidays in full swing
  • Fort Hood shooting
  • Thanksgiving
  • Senate & House pass bills for health care
  • Obama debates what to do in Afghanistan
  • Sarah Palin’s book is released
A few selected comments from survey-takers about their attitudes:

God has blessed me with a generally good disposition

I usually have an upbeat attitude. It’s the end of the year and I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. I also realized I need validation from others – and that’s not happening now.

I love the holidays — but sometimes I just allow myself to get too busy and lose focus on what I want to be important!

I need to take responsibility for my choices, right now I only do it sometimes.

Everything pisses me off, I seem to have lost all patience, where I used to be known for my patience.

Some ups, some downs. But overall my attitude is as good as I make up my mind for it to be.

I deal with some real “jackasses” so sometimes, it affects my mental well being. Plus I’ve had some very severe back problems and am in horrific chronic pain, so it too has affected my attitude.

And one person summed it all up as follows:

Too much bad ‘stuff’ is happening at once…

Some noteworthy comments from survey takers about others’ attitudes

I think people are starting to realize that in order to succeed, they need to rely on themselves, and in doing that, they have become more self sufficient and happier because of it.

Most people I am friends with have been struggling with financial woes. The friends with financial troubles have been very down. The friends without money troubles have been exactly the same. (A little predictable, I know)

And two opposing views:

Most people I know are in good spirits and I try not to talk to strangers

Holidays make people cranky!

Question Three: What concerns you?

Continuing the pattern that started late summer, Education continues to be the primary concern of the people who have taken the I3 for the last few months. What is also interesting is that “Public Health” has been rising lately, possibly due to all the news about Swine Flu and is actually tied with Education now.

The top three concerns at the end of November were:

  1. Education (3.7 end of November from 3.5 in October, down from from 3.9 in September – which was the start of the school year)
  2. Public Health (3.7 end of November from 3.1 in October and 3.8 in September)
  3. Economy (3.6 end of November from 3.4 in October and 3.7 in September)

The chart with the top four and their six-month trends is after the jump.

Continue reading ‘5th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)’

4th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)

•November 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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.)

Continue reading ‘4th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)’

Old Spice: Still the Classic – Great Promotion

•September 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I bought a bottle of body wash last week. (My wife teases me that I spend more on that kind of stuff than she does.) I like Old Spice, not the newer scents, just the original. When I got it home, I noticed the back of the bottle. Very, very clever.

Check the description. Is that clever or what?

Check the description. Is that clever or what?

3rd Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)

•September 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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 four months to analyze.

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.Motivation2009.com.

Better Late Than Never

I’ve been swamped. I know, I know, data waits for no man. However, it had to wait for me this month. I try and get my postings done by the 3rd week of the month, but was involved in a whole lot of other projects so it got pushed to the way side. That said, here’s a look at how July shaped up.

The Complete Overview (click to enlarge)

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

Despite the dip in attitude last month (going from a 3.8 to 3.6), we’ve seen an upsurge this month in both personal and other’s attitudes. As a matter of fact, both are at the highest we’ve seen it since I started taking the surveys, although as always, “others attitude” sits well below our own personal attitude. This is a trend I’ve seen for quite some time, not only here, but when I do my personal surveys for others. We tend to think our attitude is better than those around us. (Of course, they think theirs is better than ours…) This month, our personal attitude rose to 4.1 and “others” is at 3.5.

As always, my standard disclaimer is that, although this is the second largest sample I’ve had, it is not a large sample (36) and is a self-selecting survey so we don’t know how accurate it is. That said, the upsurge in attitude could be do to some of the good economic news that started coming out in July. Who knows? It could just be that it was good weather. However, July appears to be the “happpiest” month so far in the survey.

A few selected comments from survey-takers:

Negotiating a huge advance for a full color (assignment) and my attitude went from Fantastic to OFF The Chart ONE of a Kind Tremendous!

Work sucks. Layoffs are rampant. But I still have a job. For now. I’m building a huge nonprofit special event in my spare time, which gives me something to get out of bed for.

I’m grateful that someone in my life modeled “choosing” a good attitude. Also, being able to discern when I just have a case of the blues or if it’s more than that is very important – then I can take the necessary action because I know what’s “going on” inside my head & body.

Over all it is good. I have people here and there that I like to hate.

I’ve never felt more blessed in my life

I am going through the grieving process of losing my adult daughter and some days my attitude is great and some days I’m just sad

I feel strong, but I’m concerned about California in particular.

Summer is here, the weather is great, and people are happy. Yea, the economy sucks but so what? Life is too short to sweat the small stuff!

Some noteworthy comments from survey takers about others’ attitudes

One of the prevailing themes in many of the comments that I did not post are that more and more people are trying NOT to associate themselves with “negative people.” That might account for the increase in our view of other’s attitudes.

Some are good, some are poor, most are optimistic and ready to start feeling good.

I can tell at work and places like grocery store by the looks on people faces, that many people are struggling right now. I enjoy smiling at people and people smile back. A kind word goes a long way in this “stuck to my technology” culture where human connection is taking a beating!

People that have known me for a while are having a hard time adjusting to the new me; I used to allow myself to be a “doormat,” and I’m finding it difficult for those who once used me to accept that those days are gone.

People at work are pulling in their horns and not being as nice as they once were.

Most seem to feel good about everything except the economy. Unemployment in Curry County is about 16%, and there is no future hope for timber or commercial fishing. However, this is forcing people to focus on what is available…tourism and retirement communities. With the summer here, tourism is most on their mind, and it seems good right now.

Here’s the chart showing the overview

AttitudeChart
Four Months of Attitude Tracking — click to enlarge (bold lines are trends)

Question Three: What concerns you?

The top three concerns for the month of July stayed as they were last month but with some minor shifting of numbers:

  1. Economy (from 4.0 in May to 3.7 in June, rising a little to 3.8 in July)
  2. Education (3.3 to 3.6 to 3.8)
  3. Environment (3.3 to 3.5 and holding).

Actually, this shows the economy and education tied for the #1 position, which is, quite frankly, a surprise to me. However, it could be (per comment last month) that due to the fact that my friend Jess Pettitt, who speaks with and for college students has been helping me spread the word (so the sample, small as it is, is skewed more towards college students). Or, it could be that I’m just out of touch and education is really tied with the economy as the most pressing concern that we have. (The chart is after the jump.)

Continue reading ‘3rd Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)’

2nd Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)

•July 26, 2009 • 1 Comment

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 three months to analyze.

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.Motivation2009.com.

Guerrilla Marketing Increases Sample Size for June

Per my post on the increase in sample size due to Jess Pettitt’s help and the use of my auto responder. We have a significant number of people in June. However, because Jess’s audience consists mostly of college students, we have strong skew in the direction of what that generation and students consider to be important. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but when your sample size is only in the sixties and about half of them are from a narrow age and interest segment, the results are heavily weighted in that direction.

That said, let’s take a look.

First Three Months of the I3 -- Click to Enlarge

First Three Months of the I3 -- 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

Last month, I had these as two separate sections. I’ve decided to combine them.

Although the trend is positive over the long term (look at the bolded trend lines on the chart), June’s attitude took a dip from May, both in one’s personal outlook (3.8 in May to 3.6 in June) as well as what we think of others’ attitudes (3.3 to 3.2).  This could be on account of a few reasons:

  1. The honeymoon phase with the new administration is wearing out
  2. College students, representing a large portion of this survey, are more pessimistic than the general population (possibly due to education budgets getting slashed)
  3. Small sample size (even 62 people is not a large number)
  4. The death of Michael Jackson (well, probably not, but it so dominated the news that people could have just been fed up)

The trend remains however that we tend to think our attitude is better than those around us. (Which means they’re doing the same thing, you know?)

Comments from survey takers about their own attitude’s covered the gamut from the positive…

Just returned from a youth camp – feeling great hope for our future. Surrounded by AWESOME teenagers for a week and it was very uplifting and powerful.

Going through some challenging personal changes. Optimistic, but enduring a rough patch, such as is the nature of living.

Had a lap full of purring kittens for a while today, which put a smile on my face.

…to the negative…

I’M F**NG PEACHY! (Note: I don’t know who this person was but this comment — or something close — appeared in almost every category. He or she must be a real pleasure to be with.)

Depressed due to long-distance eldercare hell

…to the unsure..

I go back and forth between “I hate people” and trying to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.” Sometimes it changes daily, sometimes it changes hourly, sometimes it’s minute-by-minute.

A little exhausted, but my mojo is still workin’ and the clients are still comin’… just seems harder than it “should be” (whatever that means!)

And of course, there’s always someone offering a solution…

Attitude is what you make it. You choose each day, is it “Good Lord, its morning” or “Good morning Lord, what do you have for me today?”

Some noteworthy comments from survey takers about others’ attitudes

Some days good and some days so/so. Today, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and go with good!

Most of the people I deal with on a regular basis don’t seem all that happy. Friends are depressed, co-workers are cranky, and the members of the public that I deal with regularly are pretty much a pain in the tuchus.

People are not fantastic who I know but they appreciate more today than last year the things they do have. Values of family and friends are more important now.

Your attitude affects others. If they are a 1,2,or 3, why not help them raise their standards?

A lot of moaning and groaning – general malaise. People seem a little fatigued

People are making their own way despite ‘the economy’.

I just need to associate with different people.

They have their ups and downs, but the people close to me have a generally positive outlook.

I’ve been migrating away from grouches and naysayers.

People are generally in acceptance of what’s going on around us, balanced, I think, by the more hopeful political trend of the Obama presidency.

Here’s the chart showing the overview

Three Months of Attitude Tracking
Three Months of Attitude Tracking — click to enlarge

Question Three: What concerns you?

The top three concerns for the month of June were Economy (from 4.0 in May to 3.7 in June), Education (3.3 to 3.6), and Environment (3.3 to 3.5).

We can interpret this a few ways.

Continue reading ‘2nd Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)’

Guerilla Marketing: Clever Use of Email Autoresponder

•July 25, 2009 • 2 Comments

June’s sample size  for the International Inspiration Index is larger than the previous two months, in part due to what I would like to consider a clever use of my email’s auto responder. Most people use their auto responder when they leave their office for awhile. We’ve all received those emails:

“I am out of my office until hell freezes over. I will check my email when I return. In the meantime…”

So, I thought, “Why not use the auto responder as a marketing tool even when I’m in town?”

I use it to promote something I consider important and since I get so much email in a day, it makes sense to broadcast to everyone who sends me email — including people I don’t know. I mean, after all, if I have message I want to get out, why not really get it “out there?”

So, I change my auto responder pretty regularly. In the latter half of June, I could see that the responses to the I3 were weaker than I wanted, so I turned on my auto responder and I set it up to broadcast to anyone who sent me an email. (My auto responder has an intelligent feature so it will only send you a reply once per week so my regular emailers will not get the same message over and over and over again. When I change the message, it resets the database.)

In the auto responder, I stated:

I’ll respond to your email as soon as I can. However, in the meantime, please help me with my long-term project by taking this survey: http://www.Motivation2009.com

Answer the 4 questions. It’s anonymous. It’s a survey on attitude. Please refer it to others also.

Thank you.

What happened?

That’s the cool thing. My survey responses really climbed. Also, because my survey’s closing page directs them to other web pages of mine, several people continued on to see what else I do and from that, several people signed up for my newsletter, including people I would have never thought of.

Social Networks Kick In and Spread the Message!

facebookOne of my good friends, Jess Pettit, is extremely active on Facebook. Because she speaks to colleges, she has a few thousand friends. She got the autoreply and forwarded it out to her network. That really kicked it into high gear! Normally, I’ll get one or two people a day who respond to my survey. The day Jess sent it out, I had 25.

I regularly change my auto responder now when I have a message I want to get out.

More Woes for United Airlines

•July 14, 2009 • 1 Comment

Fellow NSA member and speaker, Don Cooper “The Sales Heretic,” has a great post about the high cost of poor customer service. In his piece, he documents the real life story of how a member of the Sons of Maxwell band has his guitar ruined by United Airlines. Since they didn’t agree to fix it, he wrote a song about it, which has now received over 2,000,000 hits. Here’s the video.

Always smarter to take care of your customers; it will never hurt you. But NOT taking care of them just might.

To read Don’s post, follow this link.