17 September 2013

Happy is as Happy does...

I recently showed this pie chart to my 12th grade students. It inspired a lively conversation so I'm taking the chance that it's blog-worthy too.
What makes people happy?
Well, according to research (and the lovely pie chart above), HALF of our happiness is genetic. We each have a genetic "set point" for happiness and after every event, good or bad, we tend to return to that set point. Some people have a genetically higher set point - that's just the way they're programmed. Some people (I'm sure you know a few) just have a lower set point.
Another 40% of a person's happiness depends on what's termed "Intentional Activity."  These are the actions you choose to do that make you happy. Like blogging. Or wine-tasting. Or talking a walk on the beach.  YOU have complete control over these actions -- a refreshing thought, in my opinion (and a nice counter-balance to the genetic set point).
The final 10% - the SMALLEST wedge of the pie (I was actually kind of shocked by this)- is dependent on circumstances. These include how much money you have, your perceived image, status, and popularity, where you live, work-related issues, etc.
Only 10%....but if you ask some people what it would take to make them feel happy (or successful or fulfilled in life) they might just draw their answers from that smallest piece of the pie.
So, what makes you happy? Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? Which piece of the pie are you savoring today?
Here's what's making me happy right now:
Wishing you happiness too!


Today's Gratitude List:
  • Being home earlier (from work) than expected
  • Blue, blue skies
  • Swings and slides and teeter-totters
  • Stuffed porkchops for dinner tonight!

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