Who says we'll be miserable if we don't get what we want? According to psychologist Dan Gilbert, our "psychological immune system" lets us feel real, enduring happiness even when things don't go as planned. This kind of happiness--"synthetic happiness," Gilbert calls it--is "every bit as real and enduring as the kind of happiness you stumble upon when you get exactly what you were aiming for." In this twenty-minute TED talk that is by turns funny and counter-intuitive, Dan Gilbert synthesizes his most recent work.


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  • Jamie

    great vid to contemplate while buying gifts for Christmas - that happiness comes from not getting what you want... although I don't like that he calls it "synthetic" happiness as I don't see this type of happiness as being synthetic at all... I think happiness generated by outside influences (like getting a new car) is of the synthetic variety... it's the happiness that comes from within - that does not come from winning the lottery - that is real...

  • Greg

    Very engaging and apropo for my life today

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  • Read Dan Gilbert's blog and learn about his best-selling book, "Stumbling on Happiness." 
  • Imagine a happiness not to be chased after, but found within oneself.  Learn more about positive psychology.
  • Reframe your focus so that you're not tying your and others' happiness to what you have, but rather to what each of you are. 

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