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About the Better Living Test (BLT)

The BLT was designed to help people learn how to live healthier lives, and to learn from research what causes sickness and wellness.  The test and research are directed by Wellness Education for Living and Loving (WELL Inc.), a 501c3 nonprofit pursuing this simple mission:  to find out what makes us sick, and how to get well.  You can learn more about WELL here, at, and at its own website,


The personal details, anonymity, and privacy of the BLT users are well protected.  The test is free and anonymous.  Test scores are returned to an email address that is given by the person who takes the test, but those wanting maximum anonymity will usually not use their own email.  They can give the email address of a friend, relative, or neighbor, so we at WELL Inc.  never know whose data we are looking at.  These email addresses will never be shared with any other agencies or individuals. 


Someday others might want access to our database for purposes of their research, or to confirm our conclusions from our data, but the email addresses are not kept with our database.  There will be no bulletins, newsletters, or offers sent out to these emails, only information needed by people who have taken the test.  Anyone wanting to receive our monthly bulletins will be able to sign up for that on our website, or follow us on social media.

The test does ask respondents personal information about their age, gender, occupation, marital status, residential region, etc.  This information is required before the test can be scored, and before scores can be returned.  But these answers are given in broad categories, so that nothing is precise enough to identify a person.  We are researching how these things affect personal wellness, and in return, how well-being affects these things.

Normative Population Sample

BLT scores are given as percentiles, which show how many out of 100 people probably have less of this trait than the person who has taken the test.  These scores are computed from the averages for each scale, based on the test scores of everyone who has previously taken this test.  As of April 1, 2024, the normative sample of 140 adults was 57% male, 43 % female. The average age was 42, and the marital status was 33% single and unattached, 4% cohabitating, 39% in their first marriage, 6% separated, 8% divorced, 6% remarried, and 4% widowed.  It is a well educated sample, with all having their HS diploma or GED.  8% of the sample had associates degrees, 24% bachelors, 14% masters, and 17% had doctorate degrees.  Average income level was slightly above the American average, about 55 %ile for the USA. 


Since the test is still new and the normative sample still modestly small, about half the percentile scores it gives will be accurate within about 5 percentile points. The other half would be accurate within an average of 10 percentile points, compared to all Americans. A larger and more international sample is being pursued now.

Test validity for the BLT  has been demonstrated in a pilot study at Asbury University.  BLT scores correlated highly with lifestyle indicators of wellbeing, and with two other proven instruments: the Comprehensive Inventory of Thriving (CIT) and the Spiritual Well-being Scale (SWBS).  The alpha coefficient of internal consistency was excellent (.91), showing the items in all scales seem to be measuring the same thing.


What You Need to Know about your BLT Scores

The BLT measures nine pairs of TRAITS:  mindsets and lifestyles that show patterns of healthy and unhealthy choices you are making in your life.  Unhealthy traits are portrayed in red, the color suggesting both danger and inflammation that would lead to decay, disease, bondage, and death.  The habits shown in green are healthy traits, suggesting both growth and encouragement to proceed toward life, health, freedom, and wellness.  Traits are assigned this way based on our traditional definition of wellness:  what does the most good and the least harm for all people in the long run.   The color also reflects what research has shown to contribute positively or negatively to people’s health.  The issues presented in blue combine the red and the green, showing how well people are dealing with the resources which both traits use. 

Toxic Traits - Sickening Mindsets and Lifestyles

[high percentile scores here would be unhealthy]

DECEIT   Not looking much at your faults, and not admitting them, therefore presenting yourself on this test as healthier than you really are.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include illusions, delusions, hypocrisy, lying, and ignoring truth.

FEAR   Being preoccupied and troubled from worry and anxiety about physical, financial, and emotional security in the present and future.  Beliefs and habits may reflect insecurity, panic, doubt, distraction, insomnia, and other stress-related physical problems.

SELFISH PRIDE  Seeing yourself as special, thinking too highly of your worth, wisdom, charm, looks, etc.  This leads to being manipulative, vain, seeking admiration, hiding personal vulnerability.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include arrogance, narcissism, prejudice, rebellion, and self-centeredness.

ENVY   Delighting in others’ misfortunes, and disliking their success, causing you sadness, resentment, jealousy, self-pity.  Comparing yourself to how others look.  Beliefs and habits may reflect idolizing, dependency, infatuation, and image management.

RESENTMENT   Harboring grudges or anger, wishing or working for revenge, such as by passive-aggressive avoiding, and finding it hard to forgive people.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include revenge, guilt, shame, violence, gossip, slander, cursing, irritability, and divisiveness.

LUST   Betraying and neglecting loved ones selfishly with infidelity or pornography.  Seeing base instincts in most people, and seeing attractive others primarily as objects and sources for sex.  Lifestyles may reflect pornography, extramarital sex, sexual abuse, and sexual addictions.

GREED   Valuing money and possessions more than family, friends, and people in need.  Too much identity and worth come from material things and money.  Beliefs and habits may include materialism, workaholism, gambling, compulsive spending, and abusing the environment.

LAZINESS   Neglecting important relationships and responsibilities to relax and take it easy.  Needing entertainment to avoid boredom.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include depression, hoarding, procrastination, and addictions to entertainment and online electronic devices.

GLUTTONY   Over-indulging in pain-killing habits with food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other activities, experiences, and substances.  Bad habits may include eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, compulsive exercising, and medicating symptoms for pain relief.

TOTAL TOXIC TRAITS  (percentile from adding all your 9 toxic scores)

Healthy Traits - Lively Mindsets and Lifestyles

[high percentile scores here would be healthy]

HONESTY       Seeking and telling the truth; fact-checking; showing consistent behavior in all settings of life; keeping your promises, with transparency.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include integrity, wisdom, curiosity, discernment, and open-mindedness.

TRUST    Trusting in a benevolent source of protection that empowers you to think and act courageously, even in a crisis.   Beliefs and habits may reflect calm, hope, confidence, peace, courage, and ability to focus your mind when you are threatened. 

HUMILITY      Living as if everyone has value and potential for both good and evil, and treating all people with respect.  Self-esteem is modest, moderate.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include acceptance, listening, civility, sense of humor, and friendliness to all.

COMPASSION   Helping, encouraging, and empathizing with people in trouble, showing thoughtful behavior toward the down and out.  Beliefs and habits may reflect love, kindness, giving, helping, sharing, and empathy with action.

PEACEMAKING   Trying to make peace when you’re hurt by showing forgiveness, and patience, calling for help, and gently expressing your hurt in words.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include forgiveness, grace, fighting for justice, and hating the misbehavior while loving the misbehaver.

SEXUAL INTEGRITY  Saving most sexual enjoyment for consummating intimacy in marriage, and in marriage, enjoying this faithfully.  Beliefs and habits may reflect enjoying sex when it comes with love, respect, romance, desire, and marital fidelity.

STEWARDSHIP   Living simply, gratefully, generously, and saving for the future.  Things are used, people are loved, not the other way around.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include generosity, simplicity, saving for the future, and enjoying a balance of work, rest, and play.

ENTHUSIASM   Working long and hard without getting burned out.  Inspired dedication to stay focused and put your heart into all you do.  Beliefs and habits may reflect purpose, drive, energy, optimism, spontaneity, joy, mental focus, and a zest for life.

PHYSICAL FITNESS   Keeping your body fit with diet and exercise to enhance your energy, attractiveness, longevity, and productivity.  Mindsets and lifestyles may include moderation or sobriety with alcohol and medication, and disease prevention through effective diet, exercise, and medication.

TOTAL HEALTHY TRAITS  (from adding all your 9 healthy scores)

Nine Issues - Experiences you Crave,  Invisible Resources you Need

(these combined scores reflect both healthy and unhealthy traits for the same issues)

[high percentile scores here would be healthy]

TRUTH   -   Honesty vs. Deceit 

Issues of Reality, Authority, Validity, Integrity

SAFETY   -   Trust vs. Fear

Issues of Strength, Shelter, Security, Stress

RESPECT   -  Humility vs. Selfish Pride

Issues of Honor, Esteem, Value

LOVE   -   Compassion vs. Envy

Issues of Concern, Caring, Comfort

MERCY   -   Peacemaking vs. Resentment

Issues of Anger, Guilt, Blame, Hurt, Grace, Forgiveness

SEX -   Sexual Integrity vs. Lust

Issues of Affection, Desire, Beauty, Modesty, Fidelity

MONEY   -   Stewardship vs. Greed

Issues of Wealth, Treasure, Possessions

PURPOSE   -  Enthusiasm vs. Laziness

Issues of Time, Energy, Effort, Focus, Drive, Work

HEALTH -   Physical Fitness vs. Gluttony

Issues of Diet, Exercise, Medicine, Drugs and Alcohol

TOTAL WELLNESS INDEX  (subtracting toxic from healthy scores)


How this Feedback can Help You Become a Healthier Person


1. Get educated.

Learn to see how health and illness flow into and out of people and organizations.  A dynamic flowchart, linked below, portrays nine pairs of traits.  Research has proven these habits are highly correlated with health in groups and individuals.  Use the model to distinguish toxic from healthy sources of life.  See how you feed others whatever you eat yourself.  Learn to identify causes and effects of the nine health issues configured here, in both their healthy and unhealthy expressions.

See the Personal Well-being Flowchart

It pictures the traditional model for wellness upon which the BLT and WELL are based.  The fleshy-colored section in the middle is the individual person, showing the nine neutral, natural, mostly invisible resources printed in blue that come into you as a part of life (TRUTH thru HEALTH).  The issues that are involved with each resource are listed under each one.  For example, TRUTH involves issues of wisdom, integrity, and open-mindedness.  The healthy mindsets and lifestyles  are listed above in green – they will lift you and others up.  The toxic mindsets and lifestyles  are listed below in red – they will bring you and others down.   “Red means stop, green means go.”  Red shows infection, and green shows growth. 

  ·  PAYING ATTENTION:  Whatever fruits we pay attention to will grow, as will whatever we call other’s attention to.  It all becomes part of our souls, just as the food/fruit we eat becomes part of our bodies.  And when we share ourselves with others, it affects their souls like food affects their bodies.  Both giving and receiving attention can either make both parties stronger and healthier, or weaker and sicker.  Here are five levels of attention that we can give to People, Associations, or Dreams (PADs):

1 star   =  Attention ~ deliberately focusing ourselves to examine them (PADs)

2 stars =  Acceptance ~ deciding they’re harmless and worth exploring further and more often

3 stars =  Affection ~ coming to enjoy it by paying attention only to the positive

4 stars =  Allegiance  ~ joining, subscribing, committing to be together regularly

5 stars =  Adoration (others may see it as Addiction) ~ deciding they are a source of life, believing they always bless you so you can leave the world better off

To get disconnected from PADs, we need to reverse the five stars/steps, by taking back each type of attention, starting with the highest level of five stars, so we can find fulfillment elsewhere.

  ·  WELLSPRINGS AND WHIRLPOOLS:  wellsprings are resources for healthy power that strengthen you and others, and whirlpools are resources for unhealthy power that weaken you and others.  Wellsprings and whirlpools within you are invisible, and the ones around you become visible as you pay more attention to them. 

To see how WELLSPRINGS grow the nine powers that bring us fulfillment in “the good life”, pick one of the nine issues where you believe your life is the strongest, where you think that issue is healthier for you than most all the others.  Look inside yourself there, for creative, cooperative internal wellsprings. They are the beliefs and habits which allow you to give away this particular life power without getting drained, without needing to receive that same life back in return.  That’s how virtue becomes its own reward.  Now look around you, at PAD’s that inspire you that way.  At least for this issue, these are external wellsprings for you and others.

Lively, fulfilling uses of these nine resources involve cooperating to create these same nine experiences in ourselves and others.  Living like this leaves all people involved with more of the four main signs of health:  freedom, connection, growth, and life.  Well-being comes through mindsets of overflowing fullness, and through lifestyles of pouring out freely from wellsprings of health.  Wellsprings are experiences where the more we give of ourselves, the more we are able to give.  We can find these sometimes supernatural wellsprings, both within ourselves, and coming from those around us. 

WHIRLPOOLS:   By contrast, deadly, draining uses of these same nine powers involve competing to consume these resources, often at the expense of others who end up with less.  Sickness of the soul comes from mindsets of lacking and longing.   Lifestyles of emptiness acting all this out work like whirlpools. Whirlpools are natural experiences that drain inner strength from self and others.  They hinder people’s healing, leaving them with more of the four main signs of illness:  bondage, division, decay, and death. 

WHERE DO ALL THESE IDEAS COME FROM?  The view of personal well-being presented here is a traditional hybrid approach, drawing from several different wisdom streams.  3000 years ago all the principles and traits in this model were mentioned by King Solomon and the other writers of the Book of Proverbs.  History records that scholars and scribes from all over the mideast came to learn from each other at Solomon's temple, including Persian poets and mystics, and Egytians scholars and "wise men".  For the past 1500 years it was widely taught by guidance counselors and physicians, by philosophers, and also by all three Western religions (the faiths which descended from Abraham:  Judaism, Islam, and Christianity).  “Taking inventory” of these very same nine issues is required in 12-step recovery.  This nine-fold pathway to well-being has also been validated as healthy by four decades of scientific research.  Studies have now clearly proven that these same nine pairs of beliefs and habits clearly have many positive effects on health, and not just in our bodies, but also in our hearts, minds, finances, and relationships. 

This model reflects convincing data that emerged from research with an earlier test. This model is called a flowchart because these healthy and unhealthy traits have four invisible powers which are quite dynamic, all proven in the earlier research.  · The red and green habits are alive, and therefore, either growing or dying.  They feed themselves on what they feed others, so they are always feeding themselves.  The more you give or receive any trait, the more of it you want to give and receive, and the more you are able to do so.  ·  The red and green are mutually opposed:  they fight actively against each other.  All the reds fight against all the greens, and the greens battle against the reds.  ·  They are two-way streets:  whoever you are getting them from, you are giving them to.  Anyone who is absorbing them from you is giving them back to you.  ·  And finally, these traits are contagious:  each red trait fertilizes the growth of other reds, and the green traits grow other greens.  A full list of 21 references for these two paragraphs is found elsewhere in this website, in its "Professional Literature Review" which will be submitted for publicaion in the fall of 2024.

Note:  it is possible to have high scores for an issue in both the healthy and unhealthy traits.  For example, your background, upbringing, role models, disposition, and current lifestyle may have caused strong gluttony in you.  On the other hand, you may have been working hard for some time to build up your health, through physical fitness education and activities.  So you may have strong internal and external pushes toward gluttony, and yet you may be very good at resisting those pushes.  The same is true for all nine issues:  both healthy and unhealthy traits can have high percentile numbers.  When this happens, the scores offset each other, so that the overall score for that issue would be moderate.

Likewise, it is possible to score low in both the healthy and unhealthy traits for the same issue.  Low scores indicate low push from within, and low pull from without.  Just as when both scores are high, this is good news and bad news.  The good news is there isn’t much temptation to unhealthy behavior, but the bad news is there’s not much healthy ability to resist temptation, should the situation arise.  So again, the overall score for that issue would be in the moderate zone.

An extra column can be imagined at the right.  Here you can think about any other issues that you might want to experience in healthier ways.  For example, in the middle row, you could consider neutral resources such as your emotions, habits, and relationships.  You can also think about how you use other ressources, such as nature, technology, or your gender, family, career, politics, or religion.  You can apply the same principles and use the same solutions that help with the other nine issues the BLT measures.  It will help you to name the healthy and unhealthy fruits (mindsets and habits) you find for any issue. 


2. Set goals.


You might decide to work on one or more of these issues.  Once you’ve looked at your scores, consider the situations and relationships currently in your life. Perhaps this is a time when you realize that you need to understand more about what could be making you and others sick, and what changes you NEED TO make to live a healthier life.  The information below will help you figure out what adjustments you could make in the near future, and what changes would most benefit you and other people.

You can think of experiences that you take in or give out as food that you eat or serve.  The traits pictured in red take away your health, while the green choices above them make you stronger and healthier.  Both will affect your self-worth and identity, and make you healthier or sicker at your core.


Think about which people and groups you are allowing to give you their truth.  Then do the same for your safety, respect, love, mercy, sexuality, money, purpose, and bodily health.  As you absorb these resources from those around you, you are picking up their values, beliefs, and lifestyles in the process.



3. Use the tools.

When you realize you are struggling with any of these nine personal health assets, you can benefit from the THREE LEARNING TOOLS described here for each issue.  All nine sets of these three teaching aids for healing and growth are available free to be downloaded or printed, at, and each one is described here.

Life  Lessons

These pages bring wisdom from psychology, philosophy, and common sense.   They give insights and guidance for personal change and growth.  They identify sickening habits and beliefs to avoid, and healthy habits and beliefs to put in their place.  These Life Lessons describe what’s good and bad for you, and for your friends and family.  And they explain why things work out the way they do. 

Devotional Studies

Each article explains over 20 scriptures to guide and encourage you.  They give further descriptions and examples of the nine pairs of toxic and healthy traits shown in the flowchart.  They tell about the benefits/blessings that come from making healthy choices.  These are contrasted with the costs/curses that naturally follow unhealthy decisions.  These study guides will be particularly helpful if you are trapped in legalism and black-and-white, either/or beliefs.  Devotional studies allow you to see how the Bible can reveal shades of gray in yourself and others.  This will help you to discern both the direction and the pace of personal growth, in both yourself and others.

Parenting  Tips

These articles help parents to understand what makes children learn bad habits, and how to teach them better ways to live.   You can also use these articles to re-examine your own childhood, to see how you were groomed and taught to think and act in healthy or unhealthy ways.  Some of these articles give online resources to help parents create healthier homes.  Most of these articles give insights and directions specific to three different stages in your children’s lives:  preschool years, elementary school, and the adolescent years of middle and high school.


4. Get connected.

You can talk about all this with your family and friends.  You can become accountable to each other for growth.  All the healthy people you discuss this with can bring growth and healing into you.  They can share with you their life stories and personal examples, their criticism and praise, their prayers and people, their companionship and protection, their new insights and solutions.  That’s how anybody can get healthy and find a better life.  

WELL Inc. launched its website, to help people, groups, and organizations grow healthier.   This domain is the new secure portal for the BLT.  It gives free links to healthy counselors, universities, workplaces, articles, videos, podcasts, programs, products, research, music, movies, novels, short stories, self-help books, etc.  These will all be curated by WELL, to insure they are either based on our model, using it, or compatible with it. 

Some of your close loved ones might want to take this test too, maybe members of a small group you are in.  To teach and encourage one another, you can share your results and goals with each other. 

Finally, after learning from these resources, you will have a clearer picture of the life you can live in the future.  Of course you may lack confidence that you can ever find that life, or be truly happy fitting into it.  Looking at research and people’s life stories reveals that you cannot fulfill your dreams alone.  So get connected.  Consider asking the help of a friend, relative, accountability partner, mentor, class, support group, pastor, or professional counselor.  You will greatly improve your odds of finding a better life than you deserve, one that turns out to be the life you’ve always wanted.



       The Better Living Test is licensed by Creative Commons Copyright  BY-NC-SA 4.0.

         Wellness Education for Living and Loving, Inc.

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