Everyday Happiness starts in our DNA: Can we really do anything about it?

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” ~Marcus Aurelius

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Deepak Chopra on the principles of leadership. Part of the conversation focused on the happiness formula. This formula has yield new insights and understanding about the contributing factors of happiness. The formula:

Happiness = Set Point + Conditions of Living + Voluntary Choices

Simple, right? Let’s break it down

Set Point (SP)

Set Point makes of 50% of our happiness. That’s a huge chunk. Here’s the kicker: it’s biologically set, ingrained in our DNA and buried deep within our unconscious process during the first 3-4 years of our life. After we turn 4 years old there is no turning back.

I don’t believe that the set point is not changeable. With the vast amount of human genome and neurobiology research happening, there is probably a way to reshape the set point.

At a macro level, awareness becomes the first step in being able to reshape your set point. There is a lot to be said about how to become more aware of self and be ready for change.

Ways I like to practice self awareness:

Schedule time for reflection. I get my notebook and pen ready to look back on the goals I set for the year and review what has happened so far.

Prayer. This has been a powerful way for me to set the ego and logical mind aside and let God speak to my heart

Qigong (气功). I’ve been practicing qigong for a over 10 years now. I wish I was more consistent with the practice. If you are interested in setting a good foundation in qigong, I recommend you find John Cole and attend one of his workshops.

Ask others what they perceive. We’ve all done 360 feedback at work. What about 360 feedback for life?

Simple activity. For me it is hiking, biking and walking.

Your Turn

How do you become more self–aware?

I’d like to see what other are doing.

Be on the look out for part 2 of this series on the Happiness Formula

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