3. SHELF it · Book Review Actions · Book Reviews · Psychology

BR 122: Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: This is a very good book and almost makes it to the “Buy it!” list. The trouble I had with it is that there is no structure and this makes it rather difficult to absorb in the audio version. Some really really good insights, though.

Top 3 learnings:

1. The best way to sustain happiness is to do something in intervals. So, if you have access to something amazing, do it in intervals e.g. a fancy meal every few weeks vs every day.

2. We greatly underestimate 2 big factors in our judging of our experience – the strength of our personal immune system and our ability to project our current feelings into the future.

As a result, we underestimate how well we will cope with most kinds of adversity/loss. And, we make very poor predictions of how we will feel after an experience

3.  Surrogation (i.e. making a judgment based on someone else’s experience) is a very interesting technique to gauge happiness. We like  thinking we are unique but in reality, we are not. So, the best way to judge if you will be happy after a decision to ask others who’ve been through the experience. There is a certain wisdom in the crowd.

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