How genetics influences happiness

"The Big Book of Happiness" - a unique practical guide that will help us become happier, released in November by the publishing house Eksmo *. About their research told 100 prominent psychologists from 50 countries. Author and editor - Leo Bormans (Leo Bormans), Belgian writer and popularizer of the ideas of positive psychology and columnist of the magazine. Today we publish an excerpt from the book.

How genetics influences happiness

You have two friends. Let's call them John and Michael. They have no real problems, and they live in the same conditions. But John chronically unhappy and Michael extremely happy. Why are these people so different? Professor Sonia Lubomirski for over 20 years has been researching such cases. She can advise John (and Michael!) How to change the situation by 40%.

Professor Sonia Lubomirski engaged in experimental social psychology. An internationally recognized authority, author and lecturer, over 20 years iscleduet theme of happiness. She studied at Harvard and Stanford universities, working in the Department of Psychology at the University of California (USA). Author of the popular book "The psychology of happiness", which sets out the scientific approach to how to get what you want.

We do not need to obey the orders of their genes

A growing number of studies of identical and fraternal twins shows that every person is born with a particular "given the magnitude of happiness." This is the initial mark, or the potential of happiness to which he is forced to come back even after considerable losses or wins. Some people are lucky to be born "is not prone to be overweight." They can easily maintain their weight easily. Others, however, have put a lot of effort to maintain your weight at the desired level, and once they relax, they'll gain weight. In many ways, a similar principle applies to John and Michael. Maybe Michael just above the target value of happiness, well-being above potential. He does not need to exert much effort - he just happy.

So if Michael happiness associated with genetics, what do the poor man, John? Are we doomed to constantly carry out the orders of their genes? The answer is no. (...) Sustainable happiness is attainable regardless of genetics, if the person is willing to work hard at it. Like the weight loss and physical fitness, lasting happiness requires some permanent changes, daily effort and dedication: stick to your goals, avoid unnecessary speculation, to invest in the relationship, learn to forgive, to use the body, take care of the soul, do good deeds, enjoy the pleasures of life and give thanks . fate (...) In general, we believe that the setpoint specifies only 50% of happiness, and only 10% can be attributed to various life circumstances people: rich or poor, healthy fo stems or not, they are married or divorced. Surprisingly, it is still 40% capacity to be happy in our power. This means that John could be much happier, and Michael could be happier than now.


  • to 50% capacity fortunately it determined initially set value. We need to accept it.
  • 10% can be attributed to life circumstances. Do not pay much attention.
  • In our power to change 40%. Like losing weight, it requires some permanent changes, daily effort and dedication.

The book presentation will take place during the 16th International Fair of Intellectual Literature, which will be held 26-30 November 2014 at the Central House of Artists on Krymsky Val.