Dan Gilbert speaks about synthetic happiness at TED

If you’d like to take some deep thoughts into your long holiday weekend, here’s a great way to spend about 20 minutes.

Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, explains in scientific terms that we overestimate the effects of things outside ourselves have on our happiness and that we have great capacity for creating synthetic happiness.

In more concrete terms, that means if you’re expecting you’ll be happier when you make a million dollars or buy a better home or find your perfect mate, those events might bring you pleasure but fundamentally, if you’re an unhappy person without those things, you might still be unhappy with those things. You make your happiness.

Likewise, if you’re worried about how unhappy you’d be if you lost your job, your spouse left you or you suffered major health issues, although no one wants to experience setbacks, if you’re basically a happy person, you’ll probably come through life’s challenges still a happy person.

Check out this video for something to ponder while twirling sparklers …

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Categories: health and well being, lifestyle

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