Positive psychology investigates the science of what makes life worth living. Now, everyone likely knows someone who says that beyond physical health, they “just want to be happy”. But research has found that pursuing happiness for its sake alone, can actually make you unhappy. This is because happiness is only 40 percent under our control, while 50 percent is determined by our genetic predisposition. Another 10 percent is affected by circumstance.
When our level of happiness does shift due to circumstance, it tends to go back to our personal set-point. This isn’t really surprising when you think of it. Some people are generally happy under most circumstances; while other people report feeling less happy, no matter what their situation. A happy life is an easy life, one in which we feel good most of the time and experience little stress or worry. But that’s not real life.