😄😟 Happiness hypothesis

You, book notesnotes

📖 https://www.happinesshypothesis.com/


Recipe for happiness:

Happiness = S + C + V

The level of happiness that you actually experience (H) is determined by your biological set point (S) plus the conditions of your life (C) plus the voluntary activities (V) you do.

Biology sets the rules of the game

Your genetic make up gives you the bottom and top of your happiness range. Whether you operate on the high or the low side of your potential range is determined by external factors, C and V.

Conditions set the level you're on

The conditions of your life are hard or sometimes impossible to change and, for the most part, you get used to them.

That said, there are many ways in which you can increase your happiness by getting the conditions of your life right, particularly in relationships, work, and the degree of control you have over stressors (such as random frequent noise in your neighborhood, depressing time wasting commutes, or sources of shame such as physical fitness or flaws).

It's worth striving to remove sources of noise in your life, to improve or remove your commute, to increase the sense of control you have over your life, to remove sources of shame (yes, plastic surgery helps). Most importantly, good relationships make people happy.

The moves you make can level you up or down

A happy V (voluntary activities) is largely a matter of arranging your day and your environment to increase both pleasures and gratifications.


They're "delights that have clear sensory and strong emotional components” such as may be derived from food, sex, backrubs, and cool breezes.

Pleasures must be spaced to maintain their potency. They should be both savored and varied. Variety is the spice of life because it is the natural enemy of adaptation. Eating a quart of ice cream in an afternoon or listening to the same song ten times in a row are good ways to overdose and deaden yourself to future pleasure.

Pleasure feels good in the moment, but sensual memories fade quickly, and the person is no wiser or stronger afterwards. Even worse, pleasure beckons people back for more, away from activities that might be better for them in the long run


Gratifications are activities that engage you fully, draw on your strengths, and allow you to lose self-consciousness.

You can increase your happiness if you use your strengths, particularly in the service of strengthening connections—helping friends, expressing gratitude to benefactors.

Gratifications often come from accomplishing something, learning something, or improving something. When we enter a state of flow, hard work becomes effortless. We want to keep exerting ourselves, honing our skills, using our strengths.

Gratifications can lead to our the happiest V of all, being in "flow" - the state of total immersion in a task that is challenging yet closely matched to one's abilities. It is what people sometimes call “being in the zone.”, because it often feels like effortless movement.

Flow happens, and you go with it.

Flow is consists of 3 parts:

  1. There's a clear challenge that fully engages your attention;
  2. You have the skills to meet the challenge;
  3. You get immediate feedback about how you are doing at each step (the progress principle).

You get flash after flash of positive feeling with each turn negotiated, each high note correctly sung, or each brushstroke that falls into the right place. In the flow experience, the mind and the body are in perfect harmony.

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