You don’t find happiness, you create it.
I’ve been digging into the work produced by positive psychology researchers lately.
I find it absolutely fascinating.
I read Success Principles by Jack Canfield in my second year of college. Ever since then, I’ve been a voracious reader of self-help books.
The relatively new field of positive psychology takes scientific research standards and applies them to the field of self-help.
In the past, self-proclaimed self-help experts taught strategies they either made up based on their own experiences or based on the experiences of the limited number of people they had worked with.
They didn’t try to isolate what really worked and what didn’t using the same rigor that prescription drugs go through in research trials.
Positive psychology researchers do.
At this point, I’ve read thousands of pages on positive psychology. I’m going to share some of what I consider the most interesting findings…
First, you don’t find happiness, you create it.
We’ve been taught to strive for goals, strive to live a better life, strive to “live big”, strive to achieve. Then, one day, we’ll achieve big things and feel great!
However…recent research proves otherwise…
According to positive psychology, 50% of your happiness is determined by genetics, 40% is determined by intentional activity, and only 10% is determined by your circumstances.
So, no matter what you achieve or how much you change your outward circumstances, you are only moving the needle in the smallest chunk of what determines your overall happiness.
You can make the biggest improvement by focusing on the critical 40%, how you think and act.
This means you have the opportunity to create happiness every single day. You don’t have to wait for anything external to happen.
You just need consistent, daily effort.
Creating lasting happiness is much like exercising.
You don’t think, “Hey, I exercised really hard a month ago…so I’m good for the next 3 months, right?”.
To maintain fitness, it requires consistent exercise.
To maintain happiness, it also requires consistent exercise.
You create your happiness by what you do each and every day.
The good thing is, you don’t have to wait for anyone but you 🙂
So what do you actually do on a daily basis to create lasting happiness according to the research?
What I’ve discovered goes against almost every self-help book out there…and makes the process WAY easier.
In the next part of this series, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned about improving your well-being that nobody is talking about…One Size Does NOT Fit All.
Matt Clark, Amazing.com Co-Founder