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Reserve Index

Posted by on Nov 15, 2008

I have written about this pdf file, which you can download, called the Reserve Index, on my business blog a few times, and thought I should introduce it here because there are different readers for this blog than that one.

Basically, it’s a self evaluation form to help you determine just how comfortable you are with your life and ideas, based on the questions, of how you can improve your life even further for your peace of mine. The first time I took this test, I only scored 8 out of 100+ possible points, which was disheartening. A year later, I was able to mark off 27, which was a significant improvement. However, a couple of months ago I took it again and only managed 18 positive points. The scary thing is that I passed it out to a number of my friends, and only one of them, when I originally took it, scored higher than I did. That’s pretty sad.

The test consists of six regular categories and one bonus categories, basically giving you the opportunity to write in something that you feel improves you life that hasn’t already been addressed. Not all of the questions will apply to you as far as your happiness goes. For instance, there was a point about multiple vacations out of town, and that’s something that would never interest me, so I’ll never get that point.

Anyway, I’d like you to take the Reserve Index test, evaluate yourself, and, if you feel comfortable enough, come back here and tell us how you did and how you felt about where you place. Come on, you have nothing to hide!

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11 Comments »

John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

To start, let me say that the Reserve Index is formatted nicely.

That’s about all I can say nice about it.

I enjoy taking self-improvement tests and have taken many over the years.

I found this to be skewed, irrelevant, and poorly written.

I got about half-way through and tossed it in the trash. Then, I pulled it back out so I could comment on it.

There are a number of the statements that can’t be honestly claimed because of their absolute nature.

“My gas tank is always at least half-full.”

“I don’t do errands, ever.”

“I am always 10 minutes early and never rushed.”

“No one in my life thinks I should change.”

“I always have $100 in my pocket that I never use.”

“I am never ill.”

That should be enough to illustrate the point. With an absolute statement such as the ones I listed, all you have to do is think of one exception and that will negate being able to claim credit for the statement. That doesn’t even take into account whether the statement describes something of real value in the first place.

My second point is that it uses terminology that may not be clear to everyone, especially if we don’t have any experience with the Reserve Course, whatever that may be.

For example:

“My 3 key boundaries are always honored.”

“My Clean Sweep score is 100 out of 100.”

“My 3 Standards are clear and honored.”

What are these things?

At least one statement make no logical sense:

“Time is collapsing all around me.”

Some statements are completely arbitrary:

“I got 25 cards on my last birthday.”

“I take 4 relaxing vacations per year.”

One is simply self-serving:

“I paid the full Reserve Course tuition/donation prior to the deadline.”

I will grant that some of the statements have some value and a person is to be congratulated to being able to claim credit for them.

I can show my own bias when I think the following statements have value:

“I invest 5% of my revenue in my own training.”

“I am earning a stream of passive income.”

“I have no credit card debt/short term debt.”

One statement I completely disagree with:

“I tip 25% when the service was awful and tell the server why.”

Why would I want to pay extra for lousy service? I tip one penny and tell the server why.

I’m going to stop here.

I will grant that there are some statements that made me stop and think, and I even got a couple of ideas for things I should do.

Taken as a whole, however, I really don’t see any validity to this Reserve Index.

I’m sure others will disagree with me. I’m okay with that. Do I get one point somewhere for being tolerant of others’ opinions?

I don’t mean to rain on your parade, Mitch.

Act on your dream!

JD

November 16th, 2008 | 4:56 AM
Mitch:

It just basically proves that everything isn’t for everyone, John. As with most assessments, you can take them and get some kind of gauge on things, but none of them are perfect. For me, I’d like to reach 50 of these and at that point I’d know that my life is running pretty good.

The point is that if you have eliminated these worries from your life, you’d be at peace. Even with some of the things you mentioned, are you really telling me that if you had no credit card debt that you wouldn’t be at peace? That if you felt free enough to be able to walk around with $100 in your wallet all the time that you wouldn’t feel at peace with yourself? That, if you actually had the kind of money that you could spend 5% of it on training each year (seminars, etc) that your mind wouldn’t be at more peace?

I can honestly say that I’ve been in a couple of these places, and when I was there, I felt like I was on top of the world, and nothing could bother me. The test has a valid purpose (and, of course everyone knows I didn’t create this, so you can talk about it at will), that being where do you feel you need to be in your life where you’d have about as much peace in it as you possibly could? The questions may be disturbing, but that’s kind of the point.

But I don’t mind that you couldn’t take it or handle it, so to speak. And I thank you for offering your opinion on it.

November 16th, 2008 | 10:37 AM
John Dilbeck:

Good afternoon, Mitch.

I agree that assessment vehicles are all flawed in some way and inherently show the bias if their creators. Some, like the MMPI go out of their way to eliminate bias by approaching certain statements in various ways as we go through the 600+ statements. These statements have been reviewed by experts, but the test can still be manipulated by someone who wants to do it.

Setting that aside, I see a lot of value in gaging where we are with respect to where we want to be. If nothing else, it helps us to set goals to improve our lives and to help us see if we’re making progress. I just don’t think this Reserve Index does a good job of this.

I have no credit card debt or short term debt and I do feel at peace. (In fact, I have no debt at all and I’ve been debt free for over 15 years.) I lived in credit card hell too many years to ever go back. I think getting out of debt is one of the most important things anyone can do to stop mortgaging their future and limiting their options.

I can carry $100 around all the time, if I wanted to, but I’d be more likely to waste money on things I don’t really need by purchasing on impulse.

When I was a consultant, I used to carry $2,000 in cash all the time. But, at the same time, I was over $20K in debt to credit cards. The cash made me feel better, but I was not in a good situation, overall. (And this was in 1970s and 1980s dollars, which were worth more than our present-day dollars.)

I spend upwards of 20% of my revenue on training, books, and other resources to help me get better at what I do. I think that is essential if we want to improve our skills and better take advantage of opportunities as they arise. I don’t feel more at peace as a result, however.

I don’t find the statements disturbing in any way. As I said, there were a few that caught my attention and offered a little insight into parts of my life I can improve.

It’s not that I can’t handle the test, it’s just that I disagree with its approach and don’t believe it is a good assessment vehicle for what it sets out to do.

Than, again, I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.

(grin)

After many years, decades actually, I have eliminated most of my bad habits, have done more with what I think are my strengths, and have made decisions that put me in a place where I feel calm, at peace, and content the great majority of the time. It’s been a long road, but worth the effort.

Self-assessment and self-improvement are good things and I’m happy that I’ve taken the time to do what I have to change my life for the better.

Maybe I’m just biased against this test because I don’t see significant effort to make it better. There are just too many glaring statements that would be impossible to answer completely honestly and they could be improved with very simple changes.

I don’t know.

If it helps someone improve their life and find more peace, then it’s worth recommending, and I don’t know a better one that I can point to.

I still think it needs a lot of improvement, however.

Act on your dream!

JD

November 16th, 2008 | 2:35 PM
Mitch:

The thing about this test is that it comes from a personal life coaching perspective. One of the things I’ve learned about life coaching is that they’re not supposed to ask people specific things; everything is supposed to be up to how the client interprets it, and one works with them from there. I should write a post on coaching, and why I much prefer being an executive coach to a personal life coach. Anyway, that’s why the questions are written the way they are; that was done on purpose.

November 16th, 2008 | 3:50 PM
Dennis Edell:

You’re a life coach?

Dennis Edell´s last blog post..UPDATED – We Will Stay Do-Follow, But…

November 17th, 2008 | 12:49 PM
Mitch:

Not really. I’m an executive coach who does life coaching when asked. I’ve studied life coaching, and I don’t agree with some of the principles, therefore I’ve never gone for certification. I will say, though, that when people really want life coaching, they’re much easier to work with than executives. lol

November 17th, 2008 | 12:52 PM
Mitch:

Yeah, I know. I’m a listener, but I’m also action oriented. I give assignments, and I listen, but I also respond, something many coaches don’t really do. It’s a weird world all around, but when it works, people surprise themselves with what they’ll accomplish.

November 17th, 2008 | 10:53 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

For whatever reason, I have been unable to get into this blog for a couple of days, but it loads for me this morning. (Thumbs up!)

I admit that I don’t have any background in life coaching, or in this case, executive coaching. For that reason alone, my opinions are just that, opinions and not informed critiques.

I know of lots of things that are valuable and work well for people, but which leave me totally cold. I also know that I don’t approach many things the same way most other people do.

So, I’m going to back out here. I don’t want to negatively impact your recommendation for something that has proven beneficial to you and your clients.

Act on your dream!

JD

November 20th, 2008 | 3:09 AM
Mitch:

Don’t worry about it, John. One, I didn’t write it, two, if it didn’t have enough merit to stand up to scrutiny, then it wouldn’t be of any use to anyone. And three, I think you helped me with it because it’s been downloaded a bunch, even if no one has shared their thoughts here. 🙂

November 20th, 2008 | 9:45 AM
John Dilbeck:

Hi Mitch,

It’s been awhile, but I’m back.

If our discussion got more people to look at it and decide for themselves what they like and dislike, then I’d say that’s a plus. 🙂

December 15th, 2008 | 12:50 AM
Mitch:

Oddly enough, John, it’s the 21st most read post since it was posted, so that’s not bad.

December 15th, 2008 | 12:59 AM