Articles

Happiness Really IS a CHOICE

In Happiness on April 12, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , , , , ,

When you think of the word happiness, what comes to mind?

When you think of finances and happiness, what comes to mind?

For many, it is typical to equate our happiness to the amount of things we have, or don’t have.  In fact, did you know that the United States ranks number 24 on the list of happiness!?  There are many poor countries that are much happier and rank much higher than the US.  It is so easy to get caught up in believing the more we have, the happier we will be.  Have you ever caught yourself saying “as soon as I get the blank , then I’ll be happy!”  Fill in the blank – job promotion, make more money, new car, new home, new clothes, etc.  And, have you noticed that once you have the new ‘whatever it is’, you are no more happy and instead end up searching for the next thing to make you happy?

Out of your 100% of happiness, this type of searching (also known as Conditions of Living) is only responsible for 7-8% of your overall happiness!

I encourage you to stop searching for the ‘next thing’ and start living.  While you are living, you can look at the two other factors that contribute to your total happiness:

  1. Brain Set Point – responsible for 42-43% of happiness
  2. Voluntary Choices – responsible for 50% of happiness

To quickly evaluate your Brain Set Point, you can ask yourself one simple question:

When I see a situation, am I likely to see a problem or more likely to see a creative opportunity?

In general, unhappy people see a problem and happy people see opportunities.  If you find yourself closer to the ‘problem seeing spectrum’, don’t worry, be happy – there are things we can do to change your Brain Set Point.  For now, though, let’s focus on the Voluntary Choices.

The bulk of your happiness, whether you recognize it or not, is based on your Voluntary Choices.  About 50% of your happiness lies within two types of voluntary choices that you make.

The first are choices that increase pleasure.  These are the moment to moment, day to day choices.  The happiness attached to these choices generally last a few hours or a couple days, at most.  Dinner, movie, glass of wine, visit with a friend, and sex are a few examples of pleasure increasing choices.

The second are choices that increase fulfillment.

Maybe you’ve heard the expression that if you find a way to make someone else happy, you’ll in turn be happy.  This is very true.  In fact, it is the quickest way to bring happiness to yourself.  It is very fulfilling to see others happy and this can be fast and inexpensive, often free.

Another way to bring happiness by increasing your fulfillment, is by reconnecting with your creativity and allowing yourself to express it.  Simply stated, get connected to the child inside of you and go have fun!  Start to explore things that you used to enjoy but have somehow been left behind.  Allow yourself a few moments each week to re-discover what lights you up!

As you begin to dive into the Financial Happiness Project and learn more about it, you’ll come quickly to realize that happiness cannot be bought.  Additionally, I would argue that the more you believe it can be bought, the unhappier you probably are.

What do you think? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Jennifer Brentano, Ambassador of Joy @ fHp

P.S. Connect with us a on Facebook or Twitter.

Knowing that everyone is uniquely designed and divinely created for something spectacular is Jen’s passion.  With this, she started Inspiring Radiance, a business dedicated to supporting others to greater levels of health and happiness.


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2 Responses to “Happiness Really IS a CHOICE”

  1. Jennifer,

    Have you read Sonja Lyubomirsky’s The How of Happiness?

    I’m wondering about the Conditions of Living aspect. What if you’re the type of person who likes to achieve or acquire things because the act of earning them is what makes you happy? If you understand that it’s about the “journey” and not the destination, can this type of behavior be okay?

    -Matt

  2. Hey Matt!

    I have not read that book – sounds like one I may need to pick up and check out.

    GREAT question!! I love the way you stated this and in your asking, I believe you have answered it. Here’s how I see this unfolding… if you like to achieve or acquire because of the ACT of earning them makes you happy – it isn’t the actual THING making you happy – it is the ACT supporting your happiness. In order to achieve and acquire those things, you need to be living and acting a certain way – you are already choosing to BE the person it takes to acquire those things. In my opinion, acquiring the ‘things’ is a by-product of the person you are BEing. This type of being would fall under the category of the voluntary choices.

    Matt, you are simply connected with your creativity and allowing yourself to express it. By doing so, you are acquiring the ‘things’ along the way. Manifestation is a by-product of getting into that alignment.

    Rock on!

    Jen

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