50 Percent

Don’t worry it’s not my grade average.

No, apparently, 50% of your happiness is genetic. Did you know that?

Cause I sure didn’t.

Yesterday in a fit of procrastination I turned on the TV and flipped through the channels to Oprah.

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(source)

50% of happiness is from birth. The other fifty is up to you. This was interesting to me. I’d never thought of my happiness as something that has a “set point” if you will. But it makes sense at the same time. I have friends who can get ridiculously excited about things that would barely make me react. And other friends who react even less than me.

Angela over at Oh She Glows also made a post about her Daily Glow. It was interesting to read what other people thought of sense of purpose in life, and the relation to happiness. I commented on it about my lack of a sense of purpose lately, because I used to associate “purpose” with “goal” and how I haven’t really had any goals lately. Goals to me are associated with improvement, or pushing yourself. That’s not to say I’m not trying hard, but rather just not trying to do better; I’m satisfied with where I stand and I’m trying to be okay with that. I got some great replies to my comment about purpose in life.

My original commentL

I’ve been feeling so without a purpose recently. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because I have always had a goal; a running goal, a school goal, this goal, that goal. And right now… nothing. I don’t feel like I need to improve everything, (dare I say anything?) about me right now… and that’s left me stuck… what can I do to invite purpose into my life if it isn’t about improvement? Maybe that’s a self-fish point of view for purpose, but it’s not like I’m not volunteering, or giving, or being a good friend and person. But I’ve felt directionless lately, and I more question what is “purpose” to me.

The replies I received:

Hi Bronwyn, can’t the purpose in your life, if only for now, just being? You say you feel like you are a good person and friend, and you don’t need improvement in yourself. isn’t that a great thing? much more important than achiechiving some running goal? I think if you live from goal to goal sometimes you can miss out on the REAL purpose of life, just being yourself and enjoying life and being a good person. I know it’s sometimes hard to see wat you have but pleasure treasure where you are now and how good you have it and live in the moment. – Sabine

Hi Bronwyn!
I can really feel with you. When your live is dominated by tangible goals like finishing school it’s so hard when this changes! I had a rough time after I finished my master degree and started a “real” job because there wasn’t something I could work towards.
I agree with Sabine that it’s important to take time to just enjoy your live and acknowledge what you’ve achieved so far – which IMHO is a lot from what you write! Your individual purpose should not solely be defined by goals and personal improvement. Those can be a part of it.
Maybe you should take a step back and ask yourself why you think you need improvement. Why do you feel that you and your life don’t seem to be good enough right now? – Julia

That is such a great question that you have touched on. I think it is actually great how you feel. It tells me that you feel very balanced in your life and I think that is a great thing. :) I think as Sabine mentioned, sometimes you can focus on just ‘being’ and focus on being present in your life. It sounds so easy, but for myself, that is one of the biggest challenges that I face each day. I don’t think it necessarily has anything to do with self-improvement in the traditional sense, but just to be mindful of things we encounter each day can be a prupose in itself. Of course, only you can define what purpose is in your life obviously…I am glad the post got you thinking about it. – Angela

I don’t know exactly where I’m going with my post, but I guess I’m trying not to associate my happiness with just the achievement of goals, but maybe more with the process of just living. Yes there are things that I want to achieve in my life, but is there anything I need to rush towards? No, not right now.

What does make me happy?

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Sunsets from my window. Best part of my day.

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Huge piles of biscotti.

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Okay, or maybe just a couple at a time. 😉

Also being able to say that biscotti was my homework makes me really happy.

What makes you happy? Do you believe you have a happiness set point? Or an expectation of what will make you happy?

I used to be the type of person who said “once I achieve _________ I’ll be happy” or “If only I had ________ then I’d be happy” or “If only I was _______ then I’d be happy”. Then I realized that won’t make me happy. I must admit, I’m happy most of the time these days, I have ups and downs. But I don’t have an expectation of what will make me happy. Sometimes you seek out happiness, sometimes it’s a struggle, but there are totally moments where it just sort of happens, and that’s always great.

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2 Comments

Filed under baking, emotions

2 responses to “50 Percent

  1. This is an interesting post! I am the same as you, always having a goal, challenge, plan and always striving towards the next thing.

    Yet some of my happiness moments have happened WHEN I was just being and living.

    Interesting 🙂

    • It is such an interesting subject isn’t it? I love having goals and challenges, but can you reach a limit? Can you reach a point where you just can’t get any further? Or do you just switch where and what you are using to challenge yourself? I think I think about this too much!

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