Statistics are crazy and sometimes they’re tossed around like rice at a wedding, but if you’re not a statistician and a specialist in the field it’s hard to know what they mean.
That having been said here are a few stats for your consideration.
In her book, The How of Happiness, Sonya Lyubormirsky, states that 40% of our happiness is set by genetics and possibly unchangeable effects of early experience, 10% is due to our circumstances, like being rich—though money only helps make you happy when you are close to being poor, above that, money has a rather small effect on your happiness—and a whopping 50% of our happiness is due to us, to what we do with our lives, and more importantly, what sense we make of our lives, what meaning we give it, how we think about it and how we respond to it.
This is not a new idea, but old wisdom is no less wise and no more common simply because it’s been around for a while.
Epictetus, in “The Art of Living”, said, “People are not disturbed by things, but by their view of them.”
William Shakespeare, no slouch when it comes to understanding human nature, wrote, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
Of course this is often a lot easier said than done, but no one said it was easy, just that it was possible.
The performance artist, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed’s partner, said in a recent interview, “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re a human being, and being human is hard.”
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to pick up the gauntlet and fight for your share of happiness, or whether you want to live your life at the mercy of that 50% that you seem to have little or no control over.
But before you go off thinking that it might be too hard for you to make yourself a good life, take a look at this guy’s video clip, and know that no one has a monopoly on hardship, nor on happiness. Your life may not always be easy, but there’s a lot you can do to make it a good one.