Over recent posts, we’ve been looking at the factors that determine our happiness
Last time we considered genetics, which contrary to many people’s views, accounts for as much as 50%!
This time, we’ll think about life circumstances
where we live, our health, marital status, income, material possessions, social standing, etc. Researchers have shown that these things are only 10% responsible for our happiness – which may come as another surprise!
But in fact, loads of research has confirmed this
For example with money: if you start off from a position of disadvantage and poverty, satisfaction does indeed increase with income. But after a certain point, increasing material wealth and possessions has very little impact on our happiness – the upward curve tends to plateau!
As Sonja Lyubomirsky (one of the key psychology researchers) says
“It may be hard to believe that such things as riches, beauty and perfect health have only short-term and limited influence on achieving happiness, but the evidence is formidable…”
Given that we live in a very materialistic culture…
The consequences of all this are profound. Think of the huge investment by the media and advertisers to encourage us to find happiness through what we can buy. In fact, the “10%” includes most of the things that we are led to believe will bring us the most fulfilment and satisfaction in life.
What do you think?
And what are the alternatives?