The book, The How of Happiness (http://www.amazon.com/The-How-Happiness-Approach-Getting/dp/0143114956), sites various studies on happiness. One such study determined the following:
- 50% of Happiness is Gene-Based
- 40% of Happiness is Activity-Based
- 10% of Happiness is Circumstance-Based
Your genetic makeup determines your “happiness baseline”. This is the baseline you revert to before and after happiness events and unhappiness events. This baseline is the reason why buying mega-mansions, expensive cars, jewelry etc. do not create long-term happiness. It is also the reason why events in your life that make you unhappy, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, and failure do not create long-term unhappiness. Eventually everyone reverts back to their genetic happiness baseline.
The only way increase happiness, then, is to increase the number of happiness events in your life by engaging in activities that create happiness and in changing your financial circumstances. These two variable are the reason why the wealthy are happier than everyone else. They engage in activities that create more happiness events and that change their financial circumstances in life. By increasing the number of happiness events and your financial circumstances, you will increase your overall happiness in life.