No, You Didn’t Learn This in School, But There Is A Formula For Happiness!
Yes, There is a Formula For Happiness!
Happiness = 35% genetics + 15% circumstances + 50% free will.
No, you didn’t learn this formula in school, but it is more researched than any Newton’s law. According to the American Martin Seligman, this is the equation for being happy.
The method is described in his book Authentic Happiness (Authentic Happiness), in which the psychologist attempts to propose a formula. To begin, Seligman argues that the first factor is found in our DNA. This means that each of us inherits a certain level of happiness; that is, we will be no more or less happy than the genetic load left by our parents “allows.”
While the first variable in the equation is linked to genetic determinations, the next is linked to cultural and environmental heritage.
For example, who has never heard French people say that they went to London and were depressed by such a gray city?
The climate, economic level, social life and even religion form what we call “external circumstances”. That is to say, everything that does not depend on you or is not part of you but which directly affects the way you see and feel the world.
So, Does This Mean That Happiness Is Like Luck and Acquired?
No, because the rest of the equation considers the motivation of the individual and everything, they can do to achieve their own satisfaction. To do this, Seligman offers a series of exercises: positive thinking, eliminating grudges and even praising yourself.
According to the United Nations World Happiness Report, the highest level of happiness is found in the Nordic countries. The study, carried out between 2019 and 2021, made it possible to rank 146 countries according to their level of happiness. Among the criteria are life expectancy, evaluation of freedoms, and perception of generosity and national solidarity. France occupies 20th place in the ranking.
Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Norway are at the top of the ranking.
What also attracts attention is the fact that the material situation greatly influences our state of mind.
Could This Be an Indication That Money Really Does Bring Happiness?
For a friend of mine who has lived in bustling Amsterdam for four years, it’s not just the hardware that’s to blame. “Living in a rich country is more important than being rich,” he defends.
He says the Netherlands offers citizens all the infrastructure they need to live: good public health, labor laws, and low corruption rates. From there, getting a good job, having a family, and doing things that give you pleasure becomes easier. It’s harder to be happy if your life is uncertain or threatened.
To Achieve Happiness
The therapist feels uncomfortable with the so-called formula for happiness. Not because she disagrees with the influence that genetics, environment and motivation have on people’s morale. The problem would be trying to freeze something that is completely volatile.
“Happiness is a process including time. It cannot be formulated because it is neither permanent nor a concept.” Think about it: a woman today doesn’t want to achieve the same thing as a woman in the 1960s, and it will probably be different in a few decades.
So why are there so many experts, books and studies promising happiness?
This offer is only a consequence of the times in which we live: Happiness is discussed as if it were the purchase of a product. At the beginning of life in society, we were uncertain, so we created a formula and tried to sell the secret of happiness, something that naturally belongs to us.
The Path Is You
Happiness may be complex, but it exists, and not just in moments of small pleasures, like eating chocolate or receiving a kiss from someone you love. I believe that fulfillment occurs precisely when joy becomes the path, not the goal. To do this, you have to deal with the opposite: frustration.
It is not possible to get rid of suffering, but it is possible to manage it and walk with it.
In other words, arriving at the end of the year without achieving our objective should not be a reason for discouragement. Just understand why you couldn’t do it, accept the frustration and start again!
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