What does it take to be happy?

Feb 05, 2012, 08:34 IST | Sowmya Rajaram

This 75-minute film attempts to find out through research and interviews with happy people

This 75-minute film attempts to find out through research and interviews with happy people

How can you achieve happiness? If the makers of Happy, a film that explores exactly that, are to be believed, it has little to do with your circumstances, and almost everything to do with intent. Eiji Han Shimizu, producer, quotes Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at the University of California Riverside, to explain: "By studying identical twins, people with almost exactly the same genetic makeup, researchers have discovered that approximately 50 per cent of the differences in our happiness levels is determined by our genes.

Amazingly, our circumstances only account for 10 per cent. That leaves 40 per cent unaccounted for, and so our theories suggest that that is left for intentional behaviour -- things we can do on a regular basis to become happier." It's information like that that promises to make the simultaneous worldwide screening of the film on World Happy Day, worth attending. In the making for almost six years, the film is a compendium of interviews, profiles, and scientific and literary research conducted across 14 countries in a bid to uncover the "hows of  intentional behaviour," as Shimizu puts it.

On February 11, the film will be screened in 615 venues in 60 countries in all continents, including Antarctica. Mumbai finds a mention in the movie too. "With Mumbai being the financial centre and economic engine of the country, we are hoping that people will find the right balance between wealth and the kind of happiness that we are promoting in the film, and will not lose some of the beautiful virtuous and communal values, like many of today's industrialised nations have lost in their progress," explains Shimizu. "There are no selfish happy people," says Shimizu, simply. Some of the happiest people that we met along the journey were kind, giving, and altruistic."

A still from the film which shows laughing Indian kids. To register for the screening of the film at the Bombay Hub, log on to bombay.hub@unltdindia.orgor call 32220475

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