In some Germanic languages, the word for ‘happiness’ is derived from the word that is used to describe someone who is lucky.
In Dutch for instance, being lucky is ‘geluk hebben’ (having luck). The word for being happy is ‘gelukkig zijn’ (being in luck).
Only a fool would deny luck plays a role when it comes to happiness, but the kind of luck that influences happiness might surprise you.
Scientific research suggests approximately 50% of happiness is determined by genetics, 40% by our decisions and only 10% by life circumstances (source).
When thinking of ‘being lucky’, most people think of fortunate life events, which only contribute 10% to happiness. The real luck of the draw comes from winning the genetic lottery, rather than winning the actual lottery.
Given these numbers, the pessimist will naturally focus on the 60% that’s outside of their control, while the optimist realizes a large proportion (40%) of happiness is dependent on the quality of our actions – which are under our control.
Train yourself to be the optimist. It’s in this 40% that happiness can be found, as far as it can be found – so why not make the most of it?
Ask yourself: which small actions can I take on a daily basis that are likely to make me feel happier in a couple of years time?
Roll up your sleeves and set it in motion.
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