Your guide to happiness formulas

Happiness formula

Written by Annie

Annie shares content that focuses on inspiring and encouraging you to dial up the feelings of happiness, meaning and purpose in your life – using easy and personalised life goals.

September 16, 2021

Choose your own adventure

If you are trying to be happier you may be looking for a simple formula – a happiness formula.

We live in world of systems, formulas and programs that promise to help us achieve our goals. And when it comes to dialing up feelings of happiness in our life – aligning our efforts to a proven equation seems attractive. 

There are lots of formulas to choose from. But, how do you know which will work for you? 

If you want to improve your happiness – it is good to treat your journey like a “choose your own adventure” story. 

Everyone is different. What makes you happy – might not make me happy. So, the key is to find what works for you.

Finding a happiness formula (or just part of one) that resonates with you will allow you to start thinking differently. It will help you choose a direction towards a happier you.

So, if you are ready to get started – you are in the right place. Below are some of the basic principles and popular happiness formulas you need for your journey.

Happiness formula

Happiness formula rule #1: Explore at will

Before you set off on your happiness journey – it is a good idea to explore your options. 

When you do – you will see that there are many different routes you can take. But, this is no reason for concern.

Happiness formulas are like any equations. If, for the sake of demonstration we assume that happiness equals 4. We know there are many options to get us there. 

2+2=4, 3+1=4, 8-4=4, 2 squared equals 4. 

I think we can “happily” agree that all these equations get us to the answers. It’s just a matter of using the one that works for us – when we need it.

But, which one is the happiness formula you need? 

I would argue that it is unlikely that a happiness formula is going to solve all your happiness-related problems. But, I would also argue that you can learn some fundamental points from many of them that can help you on your journey.

So, given all the options, the more you explore, the more likely you are to find things that works for you.

Happiness formula rule #2: Take what you like – leave what you don’t

Another problem we face on our journey is, unlike math, the science of happiness is subjective. 

So, not being experts ourselves. How do we really know that an author’s X + Y = 4 and not 5 or 6? Well, we don’t. 

The formulas we see are from authors who have years of research, experience, prestige and other important things that add weight to their arguments. So we can use these as one measuring stick for their validity. But all these things might not help you on your happiness journey.

The real key is to find what works for you. So, I invite you to judge the options as you like and see what resonates. 

Take from them what you want and leave what you don’t want. 

Start your happiness formula adventure here

Below are some noteworthy and popular happiness formulas (in a nutshell) to get you started on your exploration.

Happiness formula best sellers

Mo Gawdat 

The businessman and entrepreneur, in his popular book, Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy (2017), states that: 

Happiness (is greater or equal to) Your perception of events – Your expectations

So, lower those expectations. 

Neil Pasricha

The New York Times best-selling author, in his book The Happiness Equation (2016), provides many “secrets” and tips with the following happiness formula: 

Want nothing + Do anything = Have everything

So, along with your expectations, keep your desires low.

A happiness formula from a happiness founding father

Martin Seligman was a founding father of Positive Psychology. A branch of psychology that moved research away from studying the issues towards the positive elements that make as flourish. 

Seligman’s formula is as follows: 

H = S + C + V 

Happiness (H) is your enduring level of happiness

Set range (S) is your genetically set level of happiness

Circumstances (C) are the present circumstances in your life

Voluntary variables (V) this is the part of the equation you can have influence over. This is approximately 40% of the equation and is divided into three buckets. The past, future and present. The more positive emotion you have about these three buckets the happier you will be.

This formula shows us that we are stuck with a certain level of happiness due to our genes and our circumstances, but the portion we can change involves the way we approach the past, future and present. The more positivity we have with our relationship with these buckets, the happier we will be. 

So, think fondly about your past, positively about the future and keep trying to dial up your happy vibes in your day.

A three-part happiness formula from a modern-day happiness guru

Arthur C. Brookes is a Harvard Business School Professor, author and podcaster. Brookes gives the following equations to consider. 

Equation 1: Subjective Well-being (Happiness) = Genes + Circumstances + Habits

Equation 2: Habits = Faith + Family + Friends + Work

Equation 3: Satisfaction = What you have ÷ What want

Brookes’ equations echo learnings from the formulas above. For example, we want to curb our desires and we only have so much happiness we can influence. But, Brookes tells us that the key for dialing up our happiness can be found within our faith, relationships and work. 

Chapter 2 of your adventure

What resonated for you here? Did you find something that you want to work on and investigate further?

These formulas tell us that you can make yourself happier. And whether you want to work on your expectations, your relationships, your happiness habits or more – what you need to do is find the right path for you.

But, the most important step – is the next one. So, keep up the good work, and keep forging forward with your happiness adventure.

Where does your happiness adventure take you from here? Let us know in the comments!

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    Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

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