Isnít my happiness determined by my lifeís circumstances?

Our lifeís circumstances do influence our level of happiness. Research studying identical and non-identical twins showed that only 8% to 10% of our level of happiness is influenced by lifeís circumstances. Each of us has something called a base level of happiness. When we experience periods of joy and pleasure our level of happiness increases. However, once that period of joy and pleasure wear off, we return to our base level of happiness. Consider, as an example when you receive a promotion at work or start driving a new car. Over time, the novelty associated with the promotion or new car wear off. Similarly, when we experience suffering, disappointment, or sadness it negatively impacts our level of happiness. However, over time we overcome our suffering, disappointment, and sadness and return to our base level of happiness.

Importantly, we can influence our base level of happiness. When we take action and work on building our level happiness we can increase our base level of happiness. This does not mean that we do not experience ups and downs based on what happens in our lives. The key difference is that when we work on improving our level of happiness, we start returning to a higher and higher level of base happiness. Our base level of happiness is no longer a flat line, but one which has an upward, growing trend line. We have structured the Art of Happiness program to give you practical ways to increase your base level of happiness so that it becomes an upward trend line.