Thursday, August 16, 2007

There is no simple formula for finding happiness

Book Mark
Stumbling on Happiness
Daniel Gilbert

Emotional happiness may resist our efforts to tame it by description, but when we feel it, we have no doubt about its reality and its importance, says Daniel Gilbert in Stumbling on Happiness (

“People are strongly, perhaps even primarily, perhaps even single-mindedly, motivated to feel happy,” he declares.

A great gift of nature that we use for seeking happiness is imagination. “Our brains have a unique structure that allows us to mentally transport ourselves into future circumstances and then ask ourselves how it feels to be there.” However, this ability to simulate future selves and future circumstances is by no means perfect, says Gilbert. “We fill in details that won’t really come to pass and leave out details that will.”

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