Recently, I was driving in my car to an appointment and the program I was listening to was talking about something called: A Happiness Set-point. I thought that was curious and I began to research what that might mean.
At first as I thought about this, it occurred to me that we all have a “Boiling Point”, right. That moment when we have just had enough and we loose it. We may call it different things like: “breaking point”, “tipping point”, “I’m loosing it,” “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and so on. These all have basically the same meaning. They are all descriptions of that moment when we have just had enough of whatever it is that is pushing us and we flip a switch and then something else happens. Sometimes it is for good and sometimes it is not. But, we do go into a different state of being.
We have descriptions for these people don’t we? We hear things like: “He’s a hot head”, or “She’s a cool as a cucumber”, maybe “She’s cold as ice”, or “He is calm under pressure”, we have all heard theses descriptions and thousands more depending your industry, and where you live and your age. Our language is peppered with them.
So how could this be true of “Happiness”? If we know what makes us crazy and fall apart and explode, don’t we also know when we are flying high and happy? Yes, logic tells us that. What is that number of “happiness deposits” that we each need in order to have a “Set-Point”? Do you need 10? Perhaps you are really dry and you haven’t had many happy moments lately so it will take more than 350! What is that for you?
Just like our negative withdrawals from our being which puts us right at the edge of “Boiling Over” or going down into depression; the reverse is also true. When we are continually stroked and praised and things go our way and we have a good hair day and we loose some weight and find something on sale or our meal comes out perfect; we have deposit, after deposit and we feel uplifted and good and we generally wear a smile on our faces.
This is a balancing act which is our life. We are constantly balancing each of these two things: “The Withdrawals” and “The Deposits”.
In our daily lives we must make a conscious effort to have some of each of these to remain at an equilibrium for life. When you add a spouse, children, neighbors, a job, people commuting , the pressure to perform, the media, your peers, and friends to this dynamic there is now a new dimension to this balancing act for now you have each of these factors and multiply that times each of their same interactions and people who impact their set point and you have a mess!
According to a blog I read, some people think that 1/2 of your set point is preset by your biological parents. What do you think? Do you think that Happiness can be located in one of your DNA strands?
Others think that there are definitive factors which determine your set point, such as: “Your intentional Activity”, “Circumstances that you find yourself in”, and that “Predetermined 50% from your parents”. What do you think?
You can choose to let your activities and circumstances to either be a withdrawal from y our set point bank account or you can choose to view and experience them as a deposit into your set point bank account.
Today, I want you to count up your withdrawals and your deposits and tonight at bedtime, ask yourself: “How’s my “Set Point” bank account?