Saturday, August 2, 2014

TED Talks Notes - Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren't we happy?

Notes from this favorite TED talks

Daniel Todd Gilbert (born November 5, 1957) is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He is a social psychologist known for his research (with Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia) on affective forecasting, with a special emphasis on cognitive biases such as the impact bias. He is the author of the international bestseller Stumbling on Happiness, which has been translated into more than 25 languages and which won the 2007 Royal Society Prizes for Science Books.

Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Through experiments, he’s found that our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. It’s a big idea that has spawned pages of discussion on

Synthetic happiness 

You can synthesize happiness (Happiness is a choice). In the Harvard student lab experiments, it is proven that keeping more than one options makes people less happy as they are always comparing and contemplating than the students who have chosen their decided option in the first place. However, 80% of the students (people) choose to keep their option.
Understanding the natural happiness - help one to change their views of the world so that they can feel better about the world.
Freedom – the ability to make up your mind in change your mind is the friend of natural happiness
The same freedom is the enemy of synthetic happiness
Helping people accept the things they cannot change
When our ambition is bounded, it leads us to work joyfully, when our ambition is unbounded, it leads us to lie, to cheat,  to steal, to hurt others, to sacrifice things of a real value.
When our fears are bounded, we are prudent, we are cautious and we are thoughtful, when our fears are unbounded and overblown we are reckless and we act cowardly.
Lesson: Our longings in our worries are both to some degree overblown because we have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are constantly chasing when we choose experience.

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