Japanese maple. Photographed with Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens.
Yesterday I received some bad news about two friends: one of these women contacted me directly; news about the other was delivered by a mutual friend who I'd met for drinks. These two women do not know each other, nor is it likely that they will ever have the opportunity to meet, since they don't live in the same community.
What's interesting, however, is that in both cases, these women are handling their situations with intense grace. Where most people would find themselves depressed or even incapacitated in the same situations, both of my friends are able to use humour, and acceptance, and even gratitude to manage their circumstances. But the truth is, even in less extraordinary times, these friends are both just generally happy people. Their natural setpoint is happy.
I think we all probably know people like this: people who seem to deal with uncanny odds with relative ease, even humour. And I've long had a theory that people like this -- people who just deal with life more happily -- aren't necessarily born that way, but some of them actually learn to be that way.
A quick Google search (not the most scientific of methods, admittedly) seems to indicate that I'm half right: about half of our happiness setpoint is based in genetics, but the other half is within our power to change.
You know what? I'll take it.
The article goes on to talk about how you can help jolt your setpoint in the right direction, and frankly, it's the kind of stuff you'd expect: get some fresh air, go on a run, make a list once a week of three things you're grateful for, have lunch with a friend. In other words, go out and make happy.
So today, as the week draws to a close, I'll challenge you all to take some time over the weekend to make happy. Spend time with people you love, start a good book, or just take 5 minutes to write that short gratitude list. You never know: by doing this, you just might actually become ... happy.
Have a great weekend, everyone.