Stumbling on Happiness
336 pages, 2007
science & nature1064 books
In this humorous and upbeat book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, which makes each of us think we will like it much more than we actually do.
Gilbert explores how our illusions of foresight come from our inability to perceive how strange and unpredictable life will be in the future. In penetrating and witty prose, he explains why we misconceive our tomorrows and misjudge our satisfactions.
In Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert explores the idea that we're not very good at predicting what will make us happy in the future. We tend to overestimate how much joy or sorrow certain events will bring us. So, next time you're sure that something will make you happy, take a step back and question your assumptions.
Gilbert digs into the concept that our memories aren't always accurate. We often remember things as being better or worse than they actually were. This can lead us to make decisions based on faulty recollections. So, it's worth taking a moment to check if your memories are playing tricks on you.
The book also explores how our imagination isn't a perfect tool. We often imagine future scenarios in a way that's influenced by our current emotions and circumstances. This can lead us to make decisions that might not actually lead to happiness. So, don't always trust your imagination when planning for the future.
Daniel Gilbert's research in Stumbling on Happiness reveals that we're pretty good at adapting to new situations, even ones we thought would be terrible. This ability to adapt can actually make us happier in the long run. So, don't be afraid of change, you might find it's not as bad as you think.
Finally, Gilbert reminds us that happiness is a subjective experience. What makes one person happy might not work for another. So, it's important to find what truly makes you happy, not what you think should make you happy. Take a look at your own life and see what brings you joy.
Stumbling on Happiness is an absolutely fantastic book that will shatter your most deeply held convictions about how your own mind works. Ceaselessly entertaining.
With psychological insight, humor and wit, Gilbert offers us a fascinating tour of the human mind, leading us to a greater understanding of what makes us happy.
Gilbert's book has the rare ability to weave scientific research, humor, and insightful wisdom into a delightful narrative about the complexities of the human mind.
A witty, insightful, and superbly entertaining trek through the foibles of human imagination that will make you think, laugh, and wonder about the joys of finding happiness.
Gilbert's exploration of how we predict our future feelings is fascinating, important, and beautifully written.