Monday, December 26, 2011

"You Have to Practice Happiness."

Amy Alkon has a good interview up with psychologist Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky on her book The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want.

Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky says that the components of happiness are estimated to be 50% genetic, 10% life circumstances, and 40% of happiness comes through your thoughts and actions: the latter is where one can practice to improve their life.

Do you agree with this analysis?

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13 Comments:

Blogger Amy Alkon said...

Thanks so much for posting that. She's fantastic, and I hope people get a lot out of the show. She's probably the least gooey person on happiness -- Russian-born...generally the grimmest people of the human race! (I like that, work-wise, she plays against type.)

12:07 PM, December 26, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I might argue with the 50% genetic part, switching it with "thoughts and actions." But, generally, I agree. Most people I know seem have made a decision to look at the bright side or the dark side.

As Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

1:10 PM, December 26, 2011  
Blogger Gordianus the Finder said...

Agree, but changing one's attitudes to result in a significantly different level of happiness can be quite difficult.

4:50 PM, December 26, 2011  
Blogger Ern said...

I agree with the statement. In my own case, taking the proper actions has had a lot more to do with achieving happiness than changing my thoughts. I knew quite early in my work life (it would be inaccurate to call it a career) that working as a financial analyst or pricing manager for a large organization was making me unhappy. Knowing that didn't make me happy. Becoming a free-lance software developer has.

8:33 PM, December 26, 2011  
Blogger Der Hahn said...

I defnitely agree with the sentiment if not the exact theory. I'd say it's more like 80/20 .. 80 percent is your thoughts and attitudes, and 20 percent is circumstances. I also agree with Gordinaus that it's often devilishly hard for a person to change those attitudes. I'm generally optimistic and can usually get myself readjusted pretty well though I know people with a more pesmisstic outlook that have a harder time.

11:46 AM, December 27, 2011  
Blogger sykes.1 said...

Having raised kids, I would say the genetic component is well above 50%. Basic behavioral patterns show up within several months of birth and persist into adulthood.

This is actually a mammalian pattern. If you've ever let a cat keep her kittens and you keep them all, you will see behavioral tendencies from their first leaving the nest until they die.

8:42 PM, December 27, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

I also am not at all certain about what percentage I can control and what I cannot. And I am skeptical that anyone can really know that.

But, I really want to control the part that I can, and a PMA really, really helps.

Trey

9:39 AM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

i read somewhere recently that it is about giving up being unhappy and refusing to have unhappiness and unhappy people around.

and i don't know what percentage of t is genetic or not, but i've been called selfish most of my life for being happy and choosing to do things that make me happy....generally by people determined to be unhappy about things.

and yes, it definitely takes practice.

and robert j. ringer said that jesus was crucified by unhappy jealous people...i think the miracles had something to do with it as well, but i see his point.

i'm off to see dennis miller's first live show on dvd now.

3:22 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger fredsbreakfast said...

“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.”

~ Oscar Wilde

4:17 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:45 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

wilde was gay. in no way was he a PUA, but he certainly understood women's true nature...and held them in particularly low regard.

and i'm in a particularly misogynistic mood this early morning, my sweet gently white dog put her teeth on me last night when i tried to mover over on the couch.

and don't get me started on my step-daughter.

6:00 AM, December 30, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:05 AM, December 30, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

my apologies for being pedantic zorro, but my point has always been that gay men have an easier time discerning the true nature of a woman...and making them dress up in silly costumes.

...and eric holder? who's the racist now yo....

11:44 AM, December 30, 2011  

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