I’m slowly making my way through the Book of Joy (BoJ) – mostly because I find myself pausing to meditate every couple of pages. There is just do much truth in it!

You have probably heard the theory of the “set point of happiness.” If you haven’t here is a link to an article on it. To sum it up,  a study found that lottery winners and spinal cord victims reverted to their original baseline of happiness after these life-changing events. Based on that theory you might conclude we’re all doomed to be as happy as we’re fated to be, but that’s not the whole story.

I often joke I that I don’t come from “happy people.” My dad and mom were always on the grind, either working construction or as a secretary. Going further back, my grandparents had a Depression-era mentality, lean, nose-to-the-grindstone, farmers, butchers, factory workers, housewives – they were dependable, pragmatic folks.

I lucked out, got a scholarship to a fancy, elite college and even fancier MBA – exposing me to “the other half” (and even the “other one-percent”.) What did I learn? Money does not buy you happiness, happiness is a choice. Trust me, I know how hoey-goey that sounds – still, doesn’t make it wrong. So how do you start?

Focus on what you can control.

The following three factors are entirely within your control (per Chapter 5 of the Book of Joy) and are critical for growing and maintaining happiness.

  1. Ability to reframe a situation positively
  2. Ability to experience gratitude
  3. Ability to choose to be kind & generous

If you aren’t already practicing them – GET CRACKIN’! Try practicing one or all of these for a week!  It’ll change your life.