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How Much of Your Happiness Is Under Your Control?

The Happiness Pie Chart

The Happiness Pie Chart

The Happiness Pie Chart, first published in 2005, states that 50% of our happiness is defined by our genes, 40% by our activities and 10% by our life circumstances.

Recent studies on what determines happiness prove that it is possible to take deliberate steps to control our happiness, and stay happier in life. Our genes, life circumstances and our activities(and choices) in life aren't isolated factors but can influence each other.

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How Much of Your Happiness Is Under Your Control?

How Much of Your Happiness Is Under Your Control?

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_much_of_your_happiness_is_under_your_control

greatergood.berkeley.edu

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Key Ideas

The Happiness Pie Chart

The Happiness Pie Chart, first published in 2005, states that 50% of our happiness is defined by our genes, 40% by our activities and 10% by our life circumstances.

Recent studies on what determines happiness prove that it is possible to take deliberate steps to control our happiness, and stay happier in life. Our genes, life circumstances and our activities(and choices) in life aren't isolated factors but can influence each other.

Give Yourself A Happiness Boost

Ways to give yourself a happiness boost:

  • Choosing activities that fit our personality and interests, feel natural, are enjoyable and aligned with our values.
  • Choosing meaningful and virtuous activities, instead of just going after pleasurable ones.
  • Practicing forgiveness and gratitude.
  • Trying to pursue a purpose.
  • Committing to new habits by making an effort.
  • Adding variety and diversity to our routine.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

3 kinds of happy lives
  • The pleasant life: you fill your life with as many pleasures as you can. This has hardly any contribution to lasting fulfilment.
  • The life of engagement, where y...
Habits Of Supremely Happy People
  • They surround themselves with other happy people.
  • They cultivate resilience.
  • They appreciate simple pleasures.
  • They devote some of their time to giving.
  • They get immersed in activities that bring joy.
  • They nix the small talk for deeper conversations. 
  • They make a point to listen. 
  • They look on the bright side.
  • They make exercise a priority.
  • They listen to good music.
  • They spend time in nature.
  • They laugh a lot.
Hedonic adaptation

Hedonic adaptation refers to people’s common tendency to return to a determined level of happiness regardless of life’s ups and downs.

Hedonic adaptation is often referred to as “the hedonic ...

Examples of Hedonic Adaptation
  • People who win the lottery are likely to revert to their original levels of happiness after the novelty of the win has worn off.
  • It is also true for those who are in major accidents. People generally tend to return to their pre-accident levels of happiness after a period.
  • Research has found that the first bite of something delicious is experienced as more pleasurable than the subsequent bites.
How Much Control We Have

Researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky has examined this set-point:

A full 50 percent of our happiness set-point is due to genetics. 10 percent is affected primarily by circumstances like where we were born and to whom. 40 percent is subject to our influence.

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Increasing your well-being

A growing body of research shows we can reliably raise our well-being.

Reframing the way we think about money and making financial decisions can lead to long-term gains in life satisfaction.&...

Two categories of happiness
  • The level of positive emotions. This includes pride, joy, contentment, and curiosity we experience on a day-to-day basis. How happy you are on an immediate basis fluctuates by the day or even the hour.
  • The overarching sense of contentment. How happy you are overall, generally remains the same. When you rate your happiness on a 10-point scale, if you are a seven kind of person, you will often stay around seven.
Buy time

Buying time by outsourcing unpleasant or disliked tasks can benefit our well-being. 

Unfortunately, we're not great at valuing time over money. To change our spending habits, it helps to value time more than money. It could mean that we seek a job for its flexibility rather than the salary and prestige.

2 more ideas

Human nature is more than biology
Human nature is more than biology

The level of happiness is part of our genetic makeup - we have a set level and cannot rise above or fall below it.

Some scientists envision the day that we can manipulate our happiness ge...

Quantifying happiness

Happiness has always been difficult to quantify because it is subjective, depending on if you have a short- or a long-term outlook on life. Recently, researchers have started to distinguish between two types of happiness: 

  • Hedonic happiness that provides a mental high;
  • Eudaimonic happiness, a sense of well-being which involves a life well-lived.
The staples of happiness

People will always be happy when they see their children prosper when they feel loved, secure, and well-fed.

But, this formula for happiness is so obvious that most people dismiss it. They would rather look for a secret ingredient. The answer is that there is no secret.

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Happy people vs. miserable people

Happy people engage in more happiness-boosting habits while unhappy people engage in more misery-inducing habits. 

You can choose which habits to cultivate in your life. If ...

Happy People Experience Flow Often
Flow is a state of complete absorption and full involvement in the present moment. 

It is marked by intense concentration, a sense of timelessness, and a loss of self-consciousness. It’s a deeply healing and enjoyable state and one that greatly contributes to our happiness.

Activities of happy people
  • They meditate.
  • They exercise regularly. “Surveys show that exercise may very well be the most effective instant happiness booster of all activities.”
  • They stop and smell the roses. 
  • They spend time with their furry friends.
  • They spend time outside.

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10 Behaviors for Happiness
  1. Let go of the need for specific outcomes
  2. Define your own success and happiness
  3. Fully commit to the things that make you happ...
How to Build a New Habit
  1. Start with an incredibly small habit, one that is easy enough that you don't need motivation to do it
  2. Increase your habit in very small ways -...
Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn

"Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day."

Jack Mezirow

"By far the most significant learning experience in adulthood involves critical self-reflection - reassessin..."

Jack Mezirow
3 areas of life to clarify

You need to have absolute clarity over 3 fundamental facts:

  • Your goals (the destination)
  • Your current situation (your coordinates)
  • The path that connects both of them (the route).

A very simple, but crucial principle: if you don’t know where you are, you can never reach the place where you want to be.

The world of the status quo bias

Making an alternative choice is hard because we are neurologically wired to favor the default solution, even if it brings suboptimal results.

As the complexity of a decision increases, so does our tendency to stick with the answer we know.

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Thinking like an older person

Thinking like an older person is a conscious practice of gratitude. It means focusing on what is rather than what is not. It also means accepting your mortality and being motivate...

Happiness is a choice

The quality of our lives isn't based on the events of our lives but on the reaction to the events in our lives. 

Make the choice to declare that you won’t be defined or determined by the circumstances of your life. This declaration is liberating.

"Optimism doesn’t mean the future is going to necessarily be better. It means seeing that the present is better."

"Optimism doesn’t mean the future is going to necessarily be better. It means seeing that the present is better."

Happiness

Happiness and satisfaction are subjective concepts – while for some of us monetary benefits can be equated with job satisfaction, some might strive for recognition of their hard-work and los...

Workplace Happiness defined

In a fundamental sense, workplace happiness comes when:

  • We enjoy doing the tasks assigned to us
  • We feel right about the people we are working with
  • We are happy with the financial benefits we get from the job
  • We have the scope of improving our existing skills
  • We feel respected and acknowledged at work
Importance Of Happiness At Work

Happy employees are compulsory for a growing business.

A study on organizational success revealed that employees who feel happy in the workplace are 65% more energetic than employees who don’t. They are two times more productive and are more likely to sustain their jobs over a long period of time.

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