I am a poor, wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world alone.

And there's no sickness, toil, or danger
In that bright land to which I go

After six decades of taking up space on this earthly orb, I am still in search of peace, happiness, contentment, joy and the occasional very cold Guinness.  And I don’t think I’m alone.  I think a lot of us are, in one way or another.  We are forever seeking those things for ourselves and our families.  No more drama.  No more unnecessary sadness.  Right?

It’s not that there’s any shortage of information out there, pointing us toward nirvana.   Oh, if I only had a nickel for every self-help publication available that holds the “secret” for happiness.  Why I’d treat us all to a snappy lunch with an iced tea.  And probably throw in a tasty dessert as well.   

But now perhaps science can help?  People in lab coats are smart, you know?  After 40 years of painstaking research, social scientists say they've cracked the formula for happiness.  They attribute happiness to three sources.  Ready? 

 Genes, events and values.

And that's it!  According to the white lab coat guys;

  • about 48% of your happiness is genetic.  So it helps if you come from a happy family. 
  • 40% comes from events in our recent past - and they say this is the element of happiness that doesn't last long.  
  • 12% comes from our basic values and beliefs.  They say this is the part that we control the most.

This of course, flies in the face of previous research that speculated that happiness was attainable through a warm puppy or a ham sandwich.  

The part of this research that makes a lot of sense to me is the finding that 48% of your happiness is genetic.  Which is where the phrase - 'If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy' comes from.   I just didn't know it meant - for life!!!

So, the search goes on.  I think I’ll have one of those very cold Guinness’s now.