Monday, April 6, 2009

Ever wonder why some folks always seem so happy?

There are a lot of self-help and positive psychology books out there, and most of them are garbage. But not The How of Happiness. This one has value because it is based on real research.

Here is an excerpt from the book that we need to pay attention to:

…50 percent of individual differences in happiness are governed by genes, 10
percent by life circumstances, and the remaining 40 percent by what we do and
how we think – that is our intentional activities and strategies. The
secret of course lies in that 40 percent. If we observe genuinely happy
people, we shall find that they do not just sit around being contented.
They make things happen. They pursue new understandings, seek new
achievements, and control their thoughts and feelings. In sum, our
intentional, effortful activities have a powerful effect on how happy we are,
over and above the effects of our set points and the circumstances in which we
find ourselves. If an unhappy person wants to experience interest,
enthusiasm, contentment, peace, and joy, he or she can make it happen by
learning the habits of a happy person. (p. 64).

Happiness is a daily choice.

Do you work with any people that you consider consistently happy, day in and day out? Think not only of those that seem to be just over-the-top happy, but those that are simply content and at peace with themselves and those around them.

What are they doing different than anyone else? Can you find an explanation for their happiness? Consider simply asking them “what is your secret, why do you always appear to be so happy?”

In the coming days and weeks I’ll share with you some of the intentional activities from The How of Happiness that we can all practice to improve our 40 percent of the happiness pie.

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