New Perspectives – My Genetics Half Full?

50% Head Start


My friend messaged me the other day after reading a recent blog post. He found it interesting that positive psychologists say that 50% of our happiness is genetically predetermined. This reference comes from Sonja Lyubomirsky's book, The How of Happiness. I responded saying, I found it interesting as well, but 50% seemed to be a lot that was out of our control and that I would like to better understand exactly what she meant by a ‘person’s happiness’ because that seemed so subjective. Basically, I was defending my position that I found it unfair that I was 50% down to start with. In which he responded with, “I agree but I consider myself a happy person with a 50% head start.”

What???...*Insert mind blown here*

I had never even considered this perspective. I always viewed it as an automatic deficit, but I’m not sure why. This is where I would guess that those of us who are suffering or recovering from low self-worth and self-esteem automatically look at a statistic like this and assume our genetics are half empty because we don’t think we are worthy or deserving to be 50% ahead. I have been pondering this, and realized I’m no genetic expert. I don’t really know about the happiness of my genetics. Because I'm not expert, I don’t have to assume it’s a deficit. It may be a little more difficult for me to experience happiness than some others, but I’m certainly not completely void of experiencing happiness, so I can assume I am ahead at least a little.

Being Open to Different Perspectives

I really appreciated receiving this message, which opened a new perspective for me. Being open to new perspectives, especially when we are in pain and suffering enables us to grow and change…to see, try and understand things differently. Our minds have us believe some ridiculous things at times, especially when we experience feelings and beliefs of low self-worth. I encourage all of us to be open to new ideas and perspectives, at least consider them before choosing to refuse them. It is a choice after all and it may open your world to a whole new and improved experience.