Stumbling on Happiness

By Daniel Gilbert

Read: 2016-12-21, Rating: 5/10

Interesting insights into many life situations. This book does not answer “how to be happy” but gives background information on the feeling of happiness.

My takeaways:

We treat our future selves as though they were our children, spending most of the hours of most of our days constructing tomorrows that we hope will make them happy.

When we imagine future circumstances, we fill in details that won’t really come to pass and leave out details that will. When we imagine future feelings, we find it impossible to ignore what we are feeling now and impossible to recognize how we will think about the things that happen later.

We should want to control our boat to avoid bad places and end up in a good place. We think we have a good idea of where we should go but most of our steering is in vain.

Story of conjoined twins Lori and Reba. From outside we would imagine they couldn’t be happy. But their story demonstrates how happiness is relative and they wouldn’t want it another way. Happiness is different for different people.

Example of a cheesy ending that “ruins” the movie that we may have enjoyed. We often mistakenly judge the pleasure of a whole experience by only its ending.