The strange story of the lottery winner

Some time ago, something interesting happened to a lady. She had been suffering from mild depression for years. Every week, to cheer herself up, she dropped by the local grocery store and bought a lottery ticket for as little as $5. Recently, Lady Luck favored her and she won more than twenty-two million dollars in the lottery. She was blissfully happy. Immediately, she resigned from her job. She bought an eighteen-bedroom house, a luxurious car and lots of elegant clothes. She also sent her children to private school and thought that nothing could disturb her happiness anymore. But after a few months, her mood slowly dropped. About a year later, her psychologist told her that she was suffering from chronic depression again.

This story, and similar stories of the people who strike it rich, whether through a lottery or inheritance or whatever, show that our mood is not much influenced by external factors. In fact, psychologists like Sonja Lyubomirsky refer to a mechanism inside us called the happiness thermostat. Just like a thermostat that keeps the temperature at a certain level, this thermostat keeps our level of happiness within a certain range, and it is mainly influenced by our genetics. 

In other words, when something terrible happens to us, yes, we get upset, but after a while, we go back to the way we were before. Isn't that interesting? Also, when something good happens to us, we are happy at that moment, but after a while, we usually go back to the previous state, because fifty percent of our general state is influenced by genetics.

Psychologists say that almost another ten percent of our happiness depends on external factors which are not very much in our control. 

But forty percent remains. Forty percent of our happiness is under our control. Yes, we can’t control the whole one hundred percent, but forty percent of it depends on our choices: on our decisions about how to think and behave every day. 

Remember! What IS in your control is your daily choices. Decide, today, to think differently and behave differently. That's the only way you can make sure you get different results. 



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