Stumbling on Happiness

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

In this best-selling book, Daniel Gilbert assures us that “this is not an instruction manual that will tell you anything useful about how to be happy.” Instead, using scientific research, amusing stories and a witty writing style, he shows us that our best laid plans are unlikely to make our future selves as happy as we think they will.

Our highly evolved human brains trick us into mis-remembering the past and mis-predicting the future, rendering our plans completely unreliable as a means to future happiness. Despite this, our plans are almost exclusively made with the intention of being happier in the future than we are now.

Gilbert finishes with a sure tip for making better predictions; then assures us that we won’t use it. Although our brains don’t “allow us to go surefootedly into our futures, they at least allow us to understand why we stumble.” A fascinating insight into how our brains work and how we make decisions.

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