On the flipside of hedonic well-being, another measure of wellbeing is eudaimonic well-being. While both hedonic and eudaimonic well-being are two ways of thinking about the pursuit of happiness, eudaimonism is about engaging in activities, not for the sake of our own 'happiness' but for realizing our 'potential.' Similar to hedonism, eudaimonic well-being has been previously shown to be heritable to some extent.
To explore this concept further, let's take a look at the same research article we referenced for the link between hedonic well-being and certain DNA elements. The authors of this paper investigated the relationship between the genome and the two forms of well-being to find any genetic factors that may influence which type of well-being we may prefer.
Through a first-ever genome-wide association study investigating this, they found two gene loci associated only with eudaimonic well-being.
However, interestingly, the investigators also noticed that there is considerable overlap in the loci found to be linked to eudaimonic and hedonic well-being, implying that these two forms of well-being may not be so different after all and that they may, in fact, be influenced by largely the same key genes.
Thus, what influences us toward hedonism or eudaimonia is not as much our genes as it is the environmental cues around us.
Although the study had several limitations such as using a single item to measure eudaimonia and hedonism among subjects, it reveals how even philosophical concepts can tie in with our genes. Want to know more? Check out the full article here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30279531
Find out on Genomelink if you are genetically predispositioned for eudaimonism!