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The Formula for Happiness and My Bad Attitude

The Formula for Happiness and My Bad Attitude Posted on January 27, 2019
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The formula for happiness is a positive psychology concept. It states that we can control up to 40% our happiness, as 60% is determined by a combination of genetics and the environment.

Is positive psychology’s formula for happiness accurate?

This is where my bad attitude can kick in to ruin any pragmatic benefit of understanding the formula for happiness.

I recently learned about the formula from this book The Positive Journal, by Nancy F. Clark. Here’s the deal: If I let my bad attitude poo-poo the happiness formula, harnessing my skepticism in order to take it down, then I won’t get any actually journalling done. And therapeutic journaling is good for your mental health!

The book asked me to make a decision to work on the 40% of happiness that I can control. Then, it prompted me to write about the decision, wondering if it would be worth five minutes a day to me.

Five minutes a day to happiness?

Sure, sign me up. I would spend five minutes a day reading The Positive Journal and jotting down notes if it meant the difference between happiness and misery. Of course I would.

Is happiness a decision? Abraham Lincoln is often quoted (or misquoted) as suggesting such a thing.

People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln (perhaps)

A decision to suddenly become happy seems abrupt to me. Yet, I feel like I can make it. Maybe it’s due to all the work I’ve done on myself. Or not I don’t know.

I wonder if anyone is happy who never decided to be? Or, how many people have gone from misery to happiness without ever making a conscious decision to do so? When even the simplest things like relaxing require a degree of mindfulness, how do you just end up some place fabulous on autopilot?

Seems like deciding to be happy, or pursue happiness while minimizing self-sabotage is an important piece of the puzzle.


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