50% Of Our Happiness Set Point Can Be Worked On – Can It?


Happiness is an esoteric concept. A concept we aspire to every single day, yet one that eludes us… Or, does it?

Our genetic set point determines 40 per cent of our happiness. A person’s generic set point is determined mostly by heredity and personality traits that a person is born with. Those of us with low set points must work harder to achieve be happy, while those of us with high set points will find it easier to be happy under similar conditions.

Our life circumstances govern 10 per cent of our happiness. The agonies and the ecstasies of our roller-coaster lives determine one tenth of our happiness set point. In our quest to become happier, many of us focus on changing the circumstances of their lives in the misguided hope that those changes will help make them happy. 

However, here is a rainbow on the horizon of happiness. One half, or 50 percent of our happiness is something that we can work on by incorporating intentional activities or happiness strategies into our lifestyle.

3 Tips to Improving Your Happiness

While we cannot alter our genetic set points and changes in life circumstances often don’t have a lasting impact on how happy we are, we can increase and sustain our happiness through promoting these happiness-increasing strategies in the workplace.  

  1. By Fostering a Sense of Purpose Rosabeth Kanter, Professor, Harvard University wrote that people want to work for companies where they feel they are making a meaningful difference in the world. People want to feel as if their work matters, and that their contributions help to achieve something really important.  People who believe in what they are doing are happier, motivated, and more productive.
  2. By Forming Collaborative Communities – a Community that fosters a work environment that encourages mutual respect and sensitivity. You like the community and the community likes you. This creates a sense of belongingness, respect and pride – which leads to employees taking on more responsibility. Close, trusting and supportive relationships are hugely important to one’s state of mind and their willingness contribute to a team.
  3. By Fashioning the capacity to make choices – People like to have a say in shaping their workday and controlling their own destiny.  “We found that knowledge workers whose companies allow them to help decide when, where, and how they work were more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, performed better, and viewed their company as more innovative than competitors that didn’t offer such choices,” wrote Diane Hoskins in the Harvard Business Review.

And with people spending roughly a 1/3 of their time, Monday-to-Friday in the workplace, that can have big impact on how happy a person is and lead to a shift in the culture of your workplace. 

Harnessing the power of happiness with people – physically and physiologically – leads to improved employee performance in the workplace. 

And that is powerful. 



Sharon S. Rajkumar, PhD is the Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies. Her unique skill sets are the key to drive the Happiness Agenda across the organization. Built on the mission to create ‘Happiest People . Happiest Customers’, Happiest Minds believes that happiness enabling practices must be built on strong conceptual frameworks and that happiness and mindfulness enabling strategies must filter throughout the organization across its business operations.

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  1. Thanks for the 3 tips! Very well written and interesting tips indeed!

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