Happiness is in…participant experiences

Happiness is in…participant experiences

by Joe Robinson for the Huffington Post

Fifty percent of your happiness is genetic. Sorry, you can’t do much about that. Another 10 percent comes from your circumstances (geography, family, health). So that leaves you with 40 percent of your potential happiness that you can actually do something about. This falls into the realm of what’s known as “intentional activities.” Your happiness depends on the activities you choose to participate in on this planet, your experiences. How are you spending your 40 percent?

We’re programmed to blow that stake on one narrow choice, material items, but researchers have found that the biggest bang for your buck is to go for the experience instead. The participant experience is one of the most potent and least known paths to happiness and a thriving life beyond the office and android state. Your brain would take the riveting power of engagement any day over inanimate objects, if it wasn’t so clogged with sedentary distractions.

Researchers Leaf van Boven of the University of Colorado and Cornell’s Thomas Gilkovich have found that we’re happier when we choose experiences over material things. Whether it’s a vacation, painting a canvas, or aikiko lessons, these moments of full engagement contact a deeply personal realm that feeds core self-determination needs. We’re designed to step out, not veg out…

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