Q&A with me guided by your query….this question came from one of my loyal LinkedIn followers last week and it’s a great question, Erica Rasmussen!
“Why is it that we can only control 40% of our lasting happiness and what can one do ensure they maximize that 40%?”
I asked my loyal LinkedIn followers to ask me anything about happiness and the first question was a great one! Here it is: “Why is it that we can only control 40% of our lasting happiness and what can one do ensure they maximize that 40%?”
A little backstory….my programs are called “Focus on the 40” for reasons that will make sense in just a few more keystrokes. Researchers in the field of Positive Psychology have done an incredible job digging deep into what happiness is and how we bring more of it into our daily lives. Researchers have also determined three sources determining our happiness and their contribution (%) to our overall happiness:
Source 1. Our genetics determines our baseline happiness (50%). The bad news? 50% is a lot – thanks Mom and Dad! The good news 50% is within our control and baseline is not fixed. We can shift up our baseline!
Source 2. Surprisingly our life circumstances like age, income, martial status only provide for 10% of the variance in happiness amongst people. And to be clear for those living above poverty levels money affects happiness less than you think and for less time than you think. But if you want to focus on money then there are two big lessons: 1. Happiness causes success – not the other way around – so get happy first 2. Spend your money on experiences instead of things if you have to choose.
Source 3. So that leaves us with 40% of our happiness in our third source. The beauty of the 40% is that you can create it through intentional activities providing what scientists call “durable” or lasting happiness. What are these activities, Basil? That’s the second part of the question posed and the crux of “how do I get happier?”
Focus on the 40 is the answer and that is to say:
A. hire me, shameless I know and
B. Focus on activities related to PERMA which is an acronym for Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement and to maximize these activities using your character strengths!
Have a question of your own? Ask me on LinkedIn or hit reply. I’d love to hear what you’re curious about!
Anthony Poponi is a Corporate Trainer, Coach, Motivational Speaker and author of “Focus on the 40” specializing in improving team dynamics, communication and productivity for teams and individuals. His work is based on the research in the fields neuroplasticity, positive psychology, and leadership to focus on a flourishing life.