Joy and Genetics

The achievement of deep-soul joy is not just a choice or resolution; hard work may be required to achieve it. You may have to reprogram yourself and create new habits, patterns, and beliefs. This takes discipline, focus, time, and effort. And this is all part of Living with Certainty. Research suggests that human genetics also contributes to our ability to experience happiness. In 1996, professor of psychology David Lykken and associate professor Auke Tellegen of the University of Minnesota conducted a study on the heritability of happiness, revealing that we are born with a genetic happiness baseline to which we consistently revert. Attempting to be happier than your baseline dictates can be difficult, but not impossible.

If you’re willing to make the inner changes needed to increase your happiness, your genetic predisposition can be overruled. More commonly, however, people prefer to make the easier changes to their external situation, rather than put forth the necessary effort for internal change—thus keeping long-lasting joy at bay.

While genetics do play a role in our overall level of happiness, our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions are significant as well. You may be surprised to learn that achievements, circumstances, and material possessions have little effect on joy. If you place your focus on discovering your purposeful authenticity and become engaged in the passionate expression of what you love, your inner life and happiness level would, indeed, change. Happiness and joy have everything to do with personal fulfillment. Once we all understand that deep-soul joy is possible for all of us, we can transform our world, one person at a time.


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