Positive psychology is all the rage these days, especially when it emphasizes the aspect of life that makes it worth living. For example, finding your true calling motivates you to do something greater than yourself — it supersedes you even.
For someone like myself, perhaps I want to see the best in people because I can. I don’t mind a dash of positivity. It balances out the bad in the world, after all.
Even if the worst arrives, at least we could say that we tried, and we tried hard. Plus, there are contingency plans that can be created if the worst arrives. However, to be truly happy, we have to believe that the pathway to get there is possible.
For example, we have prided ourselves on past accomplishments, so there is factual proof from our own past that happiness is possible. Therefore, it is within reason to reach that destination once more.
At the Seoul National University and Korea University, researchers found evidence that our sense of happiness is simply not tied to our ability to “essentialize” it. For example, perhaps we misattribute our sense of happiness towards our genetics exclusively. Perhaps we falsely think that all sense of happiness is derived from our genes and are disappointed to find not much of it there.
To be happy, it seems that we have to stop prioritizing happiness so aggressively.
Happiness Is Tied to Non-Deterministic Forces
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Our happiness is not tied or fixed to one specific thing. It’s not static in nature. It’s the bidirectional forces in our lives that influence it, such as our personality, our friends, our environment, and so much more.
From the study itself, the researchers designed and validated a happiness construct that was tied to essentializing these beliefs of happiness. Then, they determined whether or not these beliefs predicted one’s ability to boost happiness.
In total, over 400 participants were involved, and 400 people is a lot for a single study. It seemed that those who felt that biology placed a great role in happiness were less likely to do the things they needed to be happy.
In normal people's terms, this means that if we expect the worst out of a situation, that worst situation is likely to happen because you are inadvertently doing things that will cause the original statement to come true.
However, this term can be applied to beneficial situations too. If we expect the best of a situation, the best will normally happen.
If someone reported that they didn’t have happiness due to biological parameters, then it would likely come true because this person didn’t make the effort to address the environmental, social and/or personality factors that can optimize their happiness.
There’s a lot more to explore when it comes to the research surrounding happiness. Time and time again, we like to pride ourselves on lots of knowledge, and sometimes, the contemporary knowledge out there is scarce.
It seems that happiness can be tied to non-deterministic forces, and those who tie their happiness towards biology are more likely to be sad, possibly due to the power of deterministic and self-fulfilling thoughts.
The next time you feel this way, just remember to not force it upon yourself. If you need to, keep yourself busy with supportive allies and helpful activities — but when the time comes, it will come.
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