The How of Happiness.

Last week, the hubby told me about an interesting book that he was reading and I had checked it out.

It’s called The How of Happiness, A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want.

It was a very interesting and thought provoking read for me. And I’m going to share a few pointers that I had taken away with me from this book.

The author says that What Determines Happiness? is split into 3 parts – 50% is Set Point, 40% by Intentional Activity and 10% by Circumstances.

In short, what that means is that whether you are happy or not depends on (1) your genetic make up, (2) the activities you engage in and (3) the situation you are in and things that happen to you.

I was very amused that 50% of whether we are happy or not depends on our genetic make up. Shucks! That means that if you were not born a happy baby, and don’t have cheery genes, you’re pretty much screwed. I’m going to be as smiley and happy as I can be if I get pregnant so that my baby can have happy genes from Day 1!

The author also listed the thinking and behavioural patterns of the happiest people in their studies. And at the top of the list was this –

[Happy people] devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships.

Is this a hint to unhappy people? Perhaps people are not happy because they don’t spend much time with their family and friends?

Continuing in the next page, I picked another two of my favourite items –

[Happy people] savor life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment.

Aaah, I strongly believe in this. I always say, “Life is short. Live it.”

And, the happiest people do have their share of stresses, crises, and even tragedies.

How true.. even in my happiest times, there were moments of pain and struggles. I just don’t blog about those stuff, that’s all. This place is not!

I love reading this book. It makes me think about what I want and the attitude I want to wear in my life.

I’m going to share more stuff from this book later!

[20 April 2010 – The How of Happiness Part 2 is here.]

Get this book at Book Depository here. They provide free shipping worldwide.



  1. nice blog


    • Thanks siwlass!

  2. very nice~~ tks for sharing~ ^^

    • Yeah, it’s a great book!

  3. very interesting and you got the good point, not “GENES”, we have the right and choice to choose, life is short, so remember, “Always Choose To Be Happy” ;D

    • The part where you can choose how you live your life is 40%. That means some people are just naturally more happy than others. Coz genes form 50%. Interesting book, isn’t it? =)

  4. I dun believe in the genes thingy either. Happiness is a personal thing, a personal choice. I don’t think that a career-minded person will be content with spending more time with the family unless he/she truly enjoys being with the family in the 1st place. He/she may b happier at that point of life just to climb the ladder. Different stages of lives, difference views in regards to happiness

    • Happiness is definitely a personal choice. This, I have to agree!

  5. very interesting! I should have a read too

    ya spending time with family and friends are important that I must agree, its about sharing our love and getting appreciated in return

    Just to share with you about this TV show I watch in china, about a old philosopher who claims that to be happy, we need to DO these 5 things

    to manage Expectations, to be Grateful (apprecaite family and friends), To be able to forgive, to Love and to have a Purpose (to engage in more purposeful activities).

    nice entry :)

    • I’m just starting to read the part in the book on what we can actually DO to be happy. Will share that shortly!

      I like the 5 things u mentioned. For me, to be able to forgive is the hardest. =p

  6. Thanks for the reference. Makes me feel like I’ve read a book. I don’t have time for books, so sad. Forwarded your write up to friends who really need these tips on being happy. It’s sad that genes can determine our state of mind. Thankfully, I’ve got happy genes. While some people don’t believe, we know that depression is genetic. So, I’m sure the book is about right.

    • Some people are really naturally more happy than others. Always so happy go lucky. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those. I’m quite a pessimistic person at heart. I worry heaps. Haha.. So for me to be happy, I have to work harder on the remaining 40%, which is “intentional activity”. =)

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