The "Pursuit of Happiness," is guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. It also may be inherited.
Dr. David Lykken, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, reported on a major new study of twins. He says, "We found that identical twins who begin life as a single egg that divides and who therefore have the same genetic blueprint, have very similar happiness scores." It's as if we have a built-in happiness thermostat, set at the factory by our genes.
A low setting means we're grumpy and a high setting means we're cheerful. Some medical experts point to the MRIs of a happy person's brain that glows like a light bulb.
Does that mean that some people are doomed for the grump-pile of life? Not at all. Like correcting a bicycle that has a natural tendency to pull to the left, you can take charge and correct the error.
Dr. Lykken is convinced you can rise above your fixed set point of happiness by 25 percent or more -- by attacking the big three: depression, irritability and fearfulness.
What's the key? Fill your life with a steady diet of small, happy pleasures.