40% of our happiness depends on our decisions.
The purpose of “40% happier” is to give small tricks to improve what we can. This monthly newsletter is a way of regularly reminding yourself that a good part of our happiness depends our actions.
The ideology of happiness has permeated all areas of one’s life, sometimes creating a feeling of a requirement impossible to satisfy. Yes, every single one of us wants to live happier, be loved more, have more meaning in our lives and in the relationships we nurture.
The goal of « 40% happier » is not to give in to the dictatorship of happiness but to put into practice a realistic optimism, to improve what is possible to be improved.
For decades, experts thought that, above all, being happy was determined by our genes and our education. “Being happier” is a bit like wanting to be bigger. It is “counter-productive”, researchers of a famous study picked up by the media all around the world, stated in 1979.
But science has progressed, and what was believed yesterday can be discredited today. And this was precisely the case of this study’s conclusions, which the authors revised in 1996, highlighting that contrary to the results of the first study, we have real room for manoeuvre to influence our feeling of well-being, both its increase and decrease.
To have ample room for manoeuvre doesn’t mean to have total control. According to Sonya Lyubomirsky, researcher and expert on what makes (and doesn’t make) us happy, our level of happiness is 50% determined by our genes and 10% by the context where we live in. The remaining 40% depend on our choices and decisions.
Is it then enough to think positively to be happy? The answer is clearly no. Being positive and happy all the time is not a long-term viable solution, it is even often counter-productive, or negative. The idea is not to see the glass half empty or half full, but to find the ways to fill it – a little bit – in order to be a bit happier.
That is the purpose of “40% happier” which gives you small tricks to improve what we can improve.
The monthly e-mailing is also a way of regularly reminding yourself that a good part of our happiness depends on our choices and that every day you need to re-set the intention to take care of your happiness. The same goes for sport: you need to practice it!