Your Mission in Life – Happiness

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”  Mark Twain

On December 3rd, I attended a lecture by Deepak Chopra in Toronto.  Mr. Chopra is such an excellent teacher makes enlightenment in this lifetime seem achievable and even easy.

In 2006 in Vancouver, Mr. Chopra and a group of other scientists attended a conference in Vancouver showcasing the Dalai Lama who was granted honorary citizenship in Canada.  The Dalai Lama told Mr. Chopra and his fellow scientists that their studies always focused on suffering.  He asked, “Why not study happiness?”

The scientists took the Dalai Lama’s suggestion to heart and began a study of the biology of happiness.  In 2008, when they came back to the next conference, they had determined that happy people see opportunities whereas unhappy people only see stumbling blocks.  They presented the Dalai Lama with the following happiness formula:  Fifty percent of the total happiness experience is genetic.  For example, if your parents were miserable in the first nine months of your life, including 3 months in the womb, you too would be miserable.  This pattern is set by age 3.  “Happily” you can change genetics with Cognitive Therapy and Meditation.

Your conditions of living account for another ten to twelve percent of your happiness experience.  For example, if you won the lottery, after the initial exhilaration, your feelings of happiness would gradually fade and by the end of one year, you would return to your original set point.

Finally, 38% to 40% of the happiness experience comes from your choices about things that give you personal fulfillment or pleasure.  The scientific researched found that you are happiest when you are making other people happy.  The scientists’ research found that the happiness derived from experiences, such as traveling to exotic places or hiking in the mountains, provide lasting happy memories whereas the gratification found in buying material things, for example, on a shopping trip, is short-lived.

At The Munroe Institute, in the 1970s, researchers were trained to go “out-of-body” into the non-physical world and report on their experiences.  Their findings were recorded on tape.  In one of these recorded sessions, a non-physical being who was communicating with a researcher was asked to define love.  The being or spirit said that the definition of love is the accumulation of shared experiences.  Certainly the scientists’ findings seem to support this.  Since life experiences make you happier than material ‘stuff’ and taking time and energy to make someone else happy makes you happier, indeed, the spirit’s comment seems to ring true.  It’s something to think about!!!