A new study suggests the key to long-term happiness may lie not only in your genes, but also in the choices you make in life.
Researchers say the findings contradict the popular notion that life satisfaction is largely determined by a person’s genes, marital status, or personality.
Instead, researchers found choices relating to one’s partner, the balance between work and leisure time, participation in social activities, and healthy lifestyle are key factors in determining life satisfaction.
“Life goals and choices have as much or more impact on life satisfaction than variables routinely described as important in previous research, including extroversion and being married or partnered,” write researcher Bruce Headey of Melbourne University, in Australia, and colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For example, researchers found placing a high priority on family and altruistic goals, church attendance, participation in social events, and regular exercise were all equally or more important than being extroverted in affecting happiness.
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