Happiness -- the 40% Solution -- What's your 40%?

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SilentDawning
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Happiness -- the 40% Solution -- What's your 40%?

Post by SilentDawning » 29 Mar 2019, 07:47

There is a Stanford psychology researcher who wrote a book called The How of Happiness. Her name is Sonja Lyubomirsky. Based on what appears to be solid research, she has concluded that happiness is 50% genetic. That some people are just predisposed to happiness and others aren't. This made me very happy (ironic) because it shows that my tendency when I was younger to be negative and blue and unhappy was partly due to the way I was built. Stephen Mansfield in his book "Healing Church Hurt" indicated that even Churchill and Abe Lincoln were predisposed to unhappiness (such as depression), yet lived very productive lives. This made me very happy to read this. To be exonerated by 50% of my unhappy tendencies, yet know it doesn't have to handicap me in life achievement.

But there is more. Dr. Lyubomirsky indicates 10% of happiness is due to life circumstances, another external reason people aren't happy. But lest we be too deterministic and show too much "external locus of control" with the 50% figure+10%=60% figure, Lyubomirksy says 40% of our happiness is up to us and within our own cognitive control.

So, assuming she's correct, what's your 40%? What are the things you do with your 40% to help yourself be happy? If you're not doing anything with it, what might you do to increase your overall happiness?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

AmyJ
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Re: Happiness -- the 40% Solution -- What's your 40%?

Post by AmyJ » 29 Mar 2019, 08:58

Read (and apply the principles from) the book "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy". Or better yet - listen to it. The key takeaways:
Personal - We take things personally that may not be personal OR intended to be personal. Wondering if I should take something personal, or just re-frame it as a consequence of circumstances impacting me has helped me defuse my reactions and respond more than react.
Pervasive - We think sometimes that things that happen in one area of our lives infuse into others. Being mindful of that assumption and mentally countering it regularly can provide a useful perspective shift.
Permanence - Sometimes we extrapolate from 1 failure that future courses of action are automatically failures and we have doomed ourselves for the rest of our lives. Again, the mindfulness and mental countering are helpful with this extrapolation. Also helpful is breaking it down and looking for pieces that we can change or control to counter the permanence of the situation.

Embracing Paradox. For example, I can belong with a group of people with divergent thought processes practicing my own unique way of thinking AND learn how to think more in line with other people to be a contributing member of the societies around me. I can be a working mom AND support my children's needs effectively (most of the time).
I have learned to recently suspect that if I am not experiencing a paradox in thinking, it means I am only getting 1 side of the truth (which is by default , incomplete, very biased, and limited). I got myself a yin-yang key chain last year for the set of keys I share with my husband. He thought it was because we are working to balance our marriage and complement each other (not entirely an untruth). In reality, I got it as a reminder to look for the paradoxes in life - because that means a fuller experience.

The movie "Stranger Than Fiction".

Also small amounts of butter pecan ice cream [though you can insert your own highly prized edible item here].

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dande48
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Re: Happiness -- the 40% Solution -- What's your 40%?

Post by dande48 » 29 Mar 2019, 10:08

It's tough to draw the line between the "genetic" self and the cognitive "self". There's a lot of overlap, I feel like. But for me...

-I feel grateful for the little things.
-I take pride in the accomplishment of others.
-I accept that a lot of times, things will be a mess, and there might not be much I can do about it.
-I am ok with feeling sad.
-I believe some days it's ok to be not ok.
-I try to avoid things I know will bring me down.
-I make time for things I know will bring me up.

Most of all
-I don't take myself, or anyone else, too seriously.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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SilentDawning
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Re: Happiness -- the 40% Solution -- What's your 40%?

Post by SilentDawning » 29 Mar 2019, 10:17

dande48 wrote:
29 Mar 2019, 10:08

-I don't take myself, or anyone else, too seriously.
I've heard this phrase before, but I've always wondered what people mean by it -- care to elaborate @dande? Or anyone who understands it?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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dande48
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Re: Happiness -- the 40% Solution -- What's your 40%?

Post by dande48 » 29 Mar 2019, 12:20

SilentDawning wrote:
29 Mar 2019, 10:17
I've heard this phrase before, but I've always wondered what people mean by it -- care to elaborate @dande? Or anyone who understands it?
There was a word that was invented in the past decade, which has become pretty common, that describes it well:
Sonder - n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
For me, it's a balance between two realizations: 1. Cosmically, nothing matters. 2. Up close, everyone matters immensely.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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SamBee
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Re: Happiness -- the 40% Solution -- What's your 40%?

Post by SamBee » 30 Mar 2019, 13:31

:thumbdown: No disrespect to you personally Silent Dawning (I enjoy many of your posts), but I think Lyubomirsky is confusing innate optimism with happiness. There are also many ways to become unhappy that are not remotely genetic - the loss of a loved one, living in an oppressive regime, being bullied, even diet etc. I have recently been reading a book on trauma and it says the opposite - a lot of unhappiness stems from early childhood and physical & emotional stress back then. People who have been abused as small children are a lot more likely to develop physical ailments as stress compromises the immune system, and more physical illness means more unhappiness.

You have probably known (of) a child at some stage who has been heavily bullied at school, and who is extremely unhappy. Sometimes transferring them out of that environment makes their mood change altogether, and they become happy children again, but in some cases the damage may have already been done. The change in environment, both into the realm of bullying and out of it, has some effect.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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