The Formula for Happiness

Just saw this on the Dilbert Blog.  Great idea – particularly in its simplicity.

A reader has acted on one of suggestions in this post – there is now also a Happiness Formula Wiki.  Go and add your thoughts!

Another reader noted that “current research shows that happiness causes success more than success causes happiness”.  Scott Adams responded, “given that happy people are typically optimistic, energetic and fun to work with, I can see how happiness would lead to success.” 

I think that there is also a correlation between happiness and luck.  (I could be wrong…)

Someone did some research a while ago into luck.  He interviewed a wide range of people who consider themselves to be lucky, and then analysed all the responses.  He found four basic principles that “lucky” people live by:

  • They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities.
  • They make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition.
  • They create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations.
  • They adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.

So what’s your formula for happiness?


  1. Lance – I agree that there may be a few alternatives on the order. The alternative words are also of interest – there is a distinction between surface joviality and a deeper contentment.

    I would also add something about a glass of St Anne’s port by the fireplace at Blackwood

  2. I think the Dilbert website was pretty close…except for the order. I’d go for meaning, social life, health and then money.  But having said that, there are plenty of people i would say are genuinely happy, without health or money. So I’d probably say happiness is a life that has meaning and has good relationships in it.

    I’d like to make a distinction between happiness and joy (the Greek makarios, Hebrew word simha) in the Bible, but I don’t have time…

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