Overcoming the Power of Genetics
If I did a survey asking people what they want from their lives the majority would say ‘to be happy’. If I pushed them further as to what happiness means they might say ‘to feel content’ or ‘to be at peace’. Happiness is something that we all want more of; it is something we feel from time to time but is elusive and unsustainable.
Studies have shown that 50% of our happiness comes from genetics. So basically half of our happiness level is out of our control. The other 50% comes from our circumstances and our intentions. You see it all the time in people who live in the direst of circumstances still manage to look at life from a happiness perspective. And those who have many, many blessing can concentrate on the one negative thing in their lives. One person can approach being cut off while driving with a ‘whatever and quickly move on’ and another person can approach it by hunting down the offending driver and giving them the finger and then allowing that offense to ruin the rest of their day. There are definitely people who just have negativity as a way of life.
So if 50% is controlled by genetics–you still have 50% that you can control with your circumstances and your intentions.
I believe living happier is about 3 main themes:
Awareness and Curiosity: Awareness of how you move in the world, how you affect other people, how other people affect you. How are you perceived? What triggers you? What do you do when you get triggered? What actually makes you happy? How can you add more happiness into your life–in small ways? Building awareness and curiosity around what you need, how you feel and how you perceive the world are powerful ways to build happiness.
Intention: Being intentional to me means, consistently bringing yourself back to your values and what is most important to you. It is so easy to get caught up in Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda and Comparison. Being intentional gives you room to come back to what matters to YOU. Being intentional means, waking up each morning and setting your intentions for the day: today I want to be loving, kind, grounded, joyous, or quiet. Being Intentional allows room for a natural pause and a chance to savor life.
Keep it Simple: Living Happier isn’t some magical concept. It isn’t about doing it right or following a formula. Living Happier is about honoring yourself, your dreams and your relationships. Living Happier is recognizing the gifts you bring to the world and sharing them with as many people as possible. Living Happier is a process and there are days when you nail it and days when you don’t. Living Happier is about starting over each day with awareness and intention. Living Happier is about keeping it simple. Honor yourself, honor your gifts and honor your life.