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How Am I Doing? A Humorous Self-Test

A quick and whimsical self-survey -- just for fun

During his three terms as the mayor of New York, Ed Koch was well-known for asking just about anyone he'd run into, "How am I doing?" Koch was explicit about wanting to know, but I think most of us are constantly asking ourselves that question about our lives. Few of us are wondering how we are doing as mayor (which is what Koch was really asking); but rather we wonder if we are where we should be at our age, if our marriage is as good as it could be (answer: it isn't), whether we're being good parents (answer: you could be better), and how people feel about us.

As a psychologist, I feel it is imperative that I help my fellow human beings to address this question and discover, as objectively as possible, how they are doing. Hence, I have developed a very brief questionnaire, called the Lifetime Opportunities Survey and Esteem Review (LOSER) that can help you. Remember, though, that I never did practice psychology; I only taught it. So if on my little test, you don't do very well, don't be alarmed. On the other hand, if you are one of the few who still hasn't tried therapy, why not give it a try?

I know that none of you have very much time, so my questionnaire only has four items. But I will tell you this: If you don't have time to take my test, you are not doing very well. You are overcommitted, stressed out, overburdened, and just too busy. In fact, before you even take the test, call your mother. If she's not alive, call someone else's mother.

Okay, here's my questionnaire. How to score your answers will be at the end. Don't cheat and look now. If you do that, I can tell you right now how you're doing - not well. You're a cheat and a sneak.

1. When I look around at friends who are about my age, I realize:

a. I should be hanging around with younger people.
b. I don't see them all that well, which means that maybe I need new glasses.
c. I realize I don't have any friends.
d. I've accomplished more than they have, and I love telling them of my accomplishments.
e. They've accomplished more than I have, and I hate them.

2. When I put my head on my pillow at night, I typically:

a. Feel good about the day I've just had.
b. Realize it's time to get a new pillow.
c. Start thinking about all the things I have to do the next day; then it's how stupid I am to be doing this. Finally, I realize that I'm not living life the way I should, so I get up and read in one of my many self-help books.
d. Think about all the people in the world who don't have a warm bed to sleep in, and what a bad person I am for not helping them.
e. Think, "Why isn't this Ambien working?"

3. If someone were to ask me if I think of myself as successful, I would probably say:

a. None of your damn business.
b. What's it to you?
c. Leave me alone.
d. Well, I'm more successful than you!
e. Are you kidding? (Because I know this answer will get them totally freaked out, since they won't know what I mean.)

4. I would describe my marriage this way:

a. Nonexistent. I'm not married.
b. Nonexistent, but I am married.
c. A source of constant joy, except when my spouse is home.
d. A roller coaster, but a very slow one that often just sits there.
e. A cake with no frosting.

Now the scoring.

Give yourself 0 points if you actually took this test. If your life has become so empty and meaningless that you feel compelled to take a four-item test to see how you're doing, you are not doing well.

Give yourself 5 points if you skipped the test and looked directly at the scoring. I know I said that would be sneaky and cheating, but, hey, this is America, and if you want to get ahead, what else are you going to do?

Give yourself 10 points if you realized that this whole point system is meaningless.

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