Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy? | Dan Gilbert

Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy? | Dan Gilbert


When you have 21 minutes to speak, two million years seems
like a really long time. But evolutionarily,
two million years is nothing. And yet, in two million years, the human brain
has nearly tripled in mass, going from the one-and-a-quarter-pound
brain of our ancestor here, Habilis, to the almost three-pound meatloaf
everybody here has between their ears. What is it about a big brain that nature was so eager
for every one of us to have one? Well, it turns out
when brains triple in size, they don’t just get three times bigger;
they gain new structures. And one of the main reasons our brain got
so big is because it got a new part, called the “frontal lobe,” particularly, a part called
the “prefrontal cortex.” What does a prefrontal cortex do for you that should justify the entire
architectural overhaul of the human skull in the blink of evolutionary time? Well, it turns out the prefrontal cortex
does lots of things, but one of the most important things
it does is it’s an experience simulator. Pilots practice in flight simulators so that they don’t make
real mistakes in planes. Human beings have
this marvelous adaptation that they can actually have
experiences in their heads before they try them out in real life. This is a trick that none
of our ancestors could do, and that no other animal
can do quite like we can. It’s a marvelous adaptation. It’s up there with opposable thumbs
and standing upright and language as one of the things that got
our species out of the trees and into the shopping mall. (Laughter) All of you have done this. Ben and Jerry’s doesn’t have
“liver and onion” ice cream, and it’s not because they whipped
some up, tried it and went, “Yuck!” It’s because, without
leaving your armchair, you can simulate that flavor
and say “yuck” before you make it. Let’s see how your experience
simulators are working. Let’s just run a quick diagnostic before I proceed
with the rest of the talk. Here’s two different futures
that I invite you to contemplate. You can try to simulate them and tell me
which one you think you might prefer. One of them is winning the lottery.
This is about 314 million dollars. And the other is becoming paraplegic. (Laughter) Just give it a moment of thought. You probably don’t feel
like you need a moment of thought. Interestingly, there are data
on these two groups of people, data on how happy they are. And this is exactly
what you expected, isn’t it? But these aren’t the data.
I made these up! These are the data. You failed the pop quiz, and you’re hardly
five minutes into the lecture. Because the fact is that a year
after losing the use of their legs and a year after winning the lotto, lottery winners and paraplegics
are equally happy with their lives. Don’t feel too bad
about failing the first pop quiz, because everybody fails
all of the pop quizzes all of the time. The research that my laboratory
has been doing, that economists and psychologists
around the country have been doing, has revealed something
really quite startling to us, something we call the “impact bias,” which is the tendency
for the simulator to work badly, for the simulator to make you believe
that different outcomes are more different than, in fact, they really are. From field studies to laboratory studies, we see that winning or losing an election, gaining or losing a romantic partner, getting or not getting a promotion, passing or not passing a college test, on and on, have far less impact, less intensity
and much less duration than people expect them to have. A recent study — this almost floors me — a recent study showing
how major life traumas affect people suggests that if it happened
over three months ago, with only a few exceptions, it has no impact whatsoever
on your happiness. Why? Because happiness can be synthesized. Sir Thomas Brown wrote in 1642,
“I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty
to riches, adversity to prosperity. I am more invulnerable than Achilles;
fortune hath not one place to hit me.” What kind of remarkable machinery
does this guy have in his head? Well, it turns out it’s precisely the same
remarkable machinery that all of us have. Human beings have something that we might think of
as a “psychological immune system,” a system of cognitive processes, largely
nonconscious cognitive processes, that help them change
their views of the world, so that they can feel better
about the worlds in which they find themselves. Like Sir Thomas, you have this machine. Unlike Sir Thomas,
you seem not to know it. We synthesize happiness, but we think
happiness is a thing to be found. Now, you don’t need me to give you too many examples of people
synthesizing happiness, I suspect, though I’m going to show
you some experimental evidence. You don’t have to look
very far for evidence. I took a copy of the “New York Times” and tried to find some instances
of people synthesizing happiness. Here are three guys
synthesizing happiness. “I’m better off physically,
financially, mentally …” “I don’t have one minute’s regret.
It was a glorious experience.” “I believe it turned out for the best.” Who are these characters
who are so damn happy? The first one is Jim Wright. Some of you are old enough to remember: he was the chairman
of the House of Representatives, and he resigned in disgrace when this young Republican named
Newt Gingrich found out about a shady book deal that he had done. He lost everything. The most powerful Democrat
in the country lost everything: he lost his money, he lost his power. What does he have to say
all these years later about it? “I am so much better off physically,
financially, mentally and in almost every other way.” What other way would there be
to be better off? Vegetably? Minerally? Animally? He’s pretty much covered them there. Moreese Bickham is somebody
you’ve never heard of. Moreese Bickham uttered
these words upon being released. He was 78 years old. He’d spent 37 years
in Louisiana State Penitentiary for a crime he didn’t commit. He was ultimately [released for good
behavior halfway through his sentence.] What did he have to say
about his experience? “I don’t have one minute’s regret.
It was a glorious experience.” Glorious! This guy’s not saying, “There were
some nice guys. They had a gym.” “Glorious” — a word we usually reserve
for something like a religious experience. Harry S. Langerman uttered these words. He’s somebody you might
have known but didn’t, because in 1949, he read
a little article in the paper about a hamburger stand owned
by these two brothers named McDonald. And he thought,
“That’s a really neat idea!” So he went to find them. They said, “We can give you
a franchise on this for 3,000 bucks.” Harry went back to New York,
asked his brother, an investment banker, to loan him 3,000 dollars,
and his brother’s immortal words were, “You idiot, nobody eats hamburgers.” He wouldn’t lend him the money. Of course, six months later,
Ray Kroc had exactly the same idea. It turns out, people do eat hamburgers, and Ray Kroc, for a while,
became the richest man in America. And then, finally, some of you recognize
this young photo of Pete Best, who was the original
drummer for the Beatles, until they, you know, sent him
out on an errand and snuck away and picked up Ringo on a tour. Well, in 1994, when Pete Best
was interviewed — yes, he’s still a drummer;
yes, he’s a studio musician — he had this to say: “I’m happier
than I would have been with the Beatles.” OK, there’s something important
to be learned from these people, and it is the secret of happiness. Here it is, finally to be revealed. First: accrue wealth, power and prestige, then lose it. (Laughter) Second: spend as much of your life
in prison as you possibly can. (Laughter) Third: make somebody else
really, really rich. And finally: never, ever join the Beatles. (Laughter) Yeah, right. Because when people synthesize happiness, as these gentlemen seem to have done, we all smile at them,
but we kind of roll our eyes and say, “Yeah, right, you never
really wanted the job.” “Oh yeah, right — you really didn’t have
that much in common with her, and you figured that out
just about the time she threw the engagement
ring in your face.” We smirk, because we believe that synthetic
happiness is not of the same quality as what we might call “natural happiness.” What are these terms? Natural happiness is what we get
when we get what we wanted, and synthetic happiness is what we make
when we don’t get what we wanted. And in our society,
we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness
is of an inferior kind. Why do we have that belief? Well, it’s very simple. What kind of economic engine
would keep churning if we believed
that not getting what we want could make us just as happy as getting it? With all apologies
to my friend Matthieu Ricard, a shopping mall full of Zen monks is not going to be
particularly profitable, because they don’t want stuff enough. (Laughter) I want to suggest to you that synthetic happiness
is every bit as real and enduring as the kind of happiness you stumble upon when you get exactly
what you were aiming for. Now, I’m a scientist, so I’m going
to do this not with rhetoric, but by marinating you
in a little bit of data. Let me first show you
an experimental paradigm that’s used to demonstrate
the synthesis of happiness among regular old folks. This isn’t mine, it’s a 50-year-old paradigm
called the “free choice paradigm.” It’s very simple. You bring in, say, six objects, and you ask a subject to rank them
from the most to the least liked. In this case, because
this experiment uses them, these are Monet prints. Everybody ranks these Monet prints
from the one they like the most to the one they like the least. Now we give you a choice: “We happen to have
some extra prints in the closet. We’re going to give you one
as your prize to take home. We happen to have number three
and number four,” we tell the subject. This is a bit of a difficult choice, because neither one is preferred
strongly to the other, but naturally, people tend
to pick number three, because they liked it
a little better than number four. Sometime later — it could be
15 minutes, it could be 15 days — the same stimuli are put
before the subject, and the subject is asked
to re-rank the stimuli. “Tell us how much you like them now.” What happens? Watch as happiness is synthesized. This is the result that’s been replicated
over and over again. You’re watching happiness be synthesized. Would you like to see it again? Happiness! “The one I got is really
better than I thought! That other one I didn’t get sucks!” That’s the synthesis of happiness. (Laughter) Now, what’s the right response to that? “Yeah, right!” Now, here’s the experiment we did, and I hope this is going to convince you that “Yeah, right!”
was not the right response. We did this experiment
with a group of patients who had anterograde amnesia. These are hospitalized patients. Most of them have Korsakoff syndrome, a polyneuritic psychosis. They drank way too much,
and they can’t make new memories. They remember their childhood,
but if you walk in and introduce yourself and then leave the room, when you come back,
they don’t know who you are. We took our Monet prints to the hospital. And we asked these patients to rank them from the one they liked the most
to the one they liked the least. We then gave them the choice
between number three and number four. Like everybody else, they said, “Gee, thanks Doc! That’s great!
I could use a new print. I’ll take number three.” We explained we would have
number three mailed to them. We gathered up our materials, and we went out of the room
and counted to a half hour. (Laughter) Back into the room,
we say, “Hi, we’re back.” The patients, bless them,
say, “Ah, Doc, I’m sorry, I’ve got a memory problem;
that’s why I’m here. If I’ve met you before, I don’t remember.” “Really, Jim, you don’t remember?
I was just here with the Monet prints?” “Sorry, Doc, I just don’t have a clue.” “No problem, Jim. All I want you to do is rank these for me, from the one you like the most
to the one you like the least.” What do they do? Well, let’s first check and make sure
they’re really amnesiac. We ask these amnesiac patients
to tell us which one they own, which one they chose last time,
which one is theirs. And what we find is,
amnesiac patients just guess. These are normal controls,
where if I did this with you, all of you would know
which print you chose. But if I do this with amnesiac patients,
they don’t have a clue. They can’t pick their print
out of a lineup. Here’s what normal controls do:
they synthesize happiness. Right? This is the change in liking score, the change from the first time they ranked
to the second time they ranked. Normal controls show —
that was the magic I showed you; now I’m showing it to you
in graphical form — “The one I own is better than I thought. The one I didn’t own,
the one I left behind, is not as good as I thought.” Amnesiacs do exactly the same thing.
Think about this result. These people like better the one they own, but they don’t know they own it. “Yeah, right” is not the right response! What these people did
when they synthesized happiness is they really, truly changed their affective, hedonic, aesthetic
reactions to that poster. They’re not just saying it
because they own it, because they don’t know they own it. When psychologists show you bars, you know that they are showing
you averages of lots of people. And yet, all of us have
this psychological immune system, this capacity to synthesize happiness, but some of us do this trick
better than others. And some situations allow anybody
to do it more effectively than other situations do. It turns out that freedom, the ability to make up your mind
and change your mind, is the friend of natural happiness, because it allows you to choose
among all those delicious futures and find the one
that you would most enjoy. But freedom to choose, to change and make up your mind, is the enemy of synthetic happiness, and I’m going to show you why. Dilbert already knows, of course. “Dogbert’s tech support.
How may I abuse you?” “My printer prints a blank page
after every document.” “Why complain about getting free paper?” “Free? Aren’t you just
giving me my own paper?” “Look at the quality of the free paper
compared to your lousy regular paper! Only a fool or a liar would say
that they look the same!” “Now that you mention it,
it does seem a little silkier!” “What are you doing?” “I’m helping people accept the things
they cannot change.” Indeed. The psychological immune system works best when we are totally stuck,
when we are trapped. This is the difference
between dating and marriage. You go out on a date with a guy, and he picks his nose;
you don’t go out on another date. You’re married to a guy
and he picks his nose? He has a heart of gold.
Don’t touch the fruitcake! You find a way to be happy
with what’s happened. (Laughter) Now, what I want to show you is that people don’t know
this about themselves, and not knowing this can work
to our supreme disadvantage. Here’s an experiment we did at Harvard. We created a black-and-white
photography course, and we allowed students to come in
and learn how to use a darkroom. So we gave them cameras,
they went around campus, they took 12 pictures
of their favorite professors and their dorm room and their dog, and all the other things they wanted
to have Harvard memories of. They bring us the camera,
we make up a contact sheet, they figure out which are
the two best pictures. We now spend six hours
teaching them about darkrooms, and they blow two of them up. They have two gorgeous 8 x 10 glossies of meaningful things to them, and we say, “Which one would you like to give up?” “I have to give one up?” “Yes, we need one as evidence
of the class project. So you have to give me one.
You have to make a choice. You get to keep one,
and I get to keep one.” Now, there are two conditions
in this experiment. In one case, the students are told, “But you know,
if you want to change your mind, I’ll always have the other one here, and in the next four days, before
I actually mail it to headquarters” — yeah, “headquarters” — (Laughter) “I’ll be glad to swap it out with you. In fact, I’ll come to your dorm room,
just give me an email. Better yet, I’ll check with you. You ever want to change your mind,
it’s totally returnable.” The other half of the students
are told exactly the opposite: “Make your choice, and by the way, the mail is going out, gosh,
in two minutes, to England. Your picture will be winging
its way over the Atlantic. You will never see it again.” Half of the students
in each of these conditions are asked to make predictions about how much
they’re going to come to like the picture that they keep and the picture they leave behind. Other students are just sent back
to their little dorm rooms and they are measured
over the next three to six days on their satisfaction with the pictures. Look at what we find. First of all, here’s what students
think is going to happen. They think they’re going to maybe
come to like the picture they chose a little more
than the one they left behind. But these are not statistically
significant differences. It’s a very small increase,
and it doesn’t much matter whether they were in the reversible
or irreversible condition. Wrong-o. Bad simulators. Because here’s what’s really happening. Both right before the swap
and five days later, people who are stuck with that picture, who have no choice, who can never change their mind, like it a lot. And people who are deliberating —
“Should I return it? Have I gotten the right one? Maybe this isn’t the good one.
Maybe I left the good one?” — have killed themselves. They don’t like their picture. In fact, even after the opportunity
to swap has expired, they still don’t like their picture. Why? Because the [reversible] condition
is not conducive to the synthesis of happiness. So here’s the final piece
of this experiment. We bring in a whole new group
of naive Harvard students and we say, “You know,
we’re doing a photography course, and we can do it one of two ways. We could do it so that when
you take the two pictures, you’d have four days to change your mind, or we’re doing another course
where you take the two pictures and you make up your mind right away
and you can never change it. Which course would you like
to be in?” Duh! Sixty-six percent
of the students, two-thirds, prefer to be in the course where they have
the opportunity to change their mind. Hello? Sixty-six percent of the students
choose to be in the course in which they will ultimately be deeply
dissatisfied with the picture — (Laughter) because they do not know the conditions
under which synthetic happiness grows. The Bard said everything best,
of course, and he’s making my point here but he’s making it hyperbolically: “‘Tis nothing good or bad
But thinking makes it so.” It’s nice poetry,
but that can’t exactly be right. Is there really nothing good or bad? Is it really the case that gall bladder
surgery and a trip to Paris are just the same thing? (Laughter) That seems like a one-question IQ test. They can’t be exactly the same. In more turgid prose,
but closer to the truth, was the father of modern capitalism,
Adam Smith, and he said this. This is worth contemplating: “The great source of both the misery
and disorders of human life seems to arise from overrating
the difference between one permanent
situation and another. Some of these situations may, no doubt,
deserve to be preferred to others, but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardor
which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice, or to corrupt the future
tranquility of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance
of our own folly, or by remorse for the horror
of our own injustice.” In other words: yes, some things
are better than others. We should have preferences that lead us
into one future over another. But when those preferences
drive us too hard and too fast because we have overrated
the difference between these futures, we are at risk. 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 real value. When our fears are bounded, we’re prudent, we’re cautious, we’re thoughtful. When our fears
are unbounded and overblown, we’re reckless, and we’re cowardly. The lesson I want to leave
you with, from these data, is that our longings and 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. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy? | Dan Gilbert

  1. I'm bounded to my work and I don't enjoy it at all. I think that a lot of what this guy is saying is pure bs to be honest.

  2. I know….a squirrel went by!
    We can make ourselves happy just by changing our attitude about our experiences that may not be optimal. —if a guy can describe a 30 year prison term for wrongful conviction as "glorious" surely you can come up with a positive outlook for that annoying driver, an unexpected bill….etc.

  3. Sure that falsely imprisoned man was happy he got out of that considered worst prison in the USA. Ditto with someone who just won 25 million in the lottery. Ditto when someone gets a big raise. And sure, 3 months later, none of these people are happier in their lives than they were before whatever happened. Bad or good happening will cause one to have a 'happy' or 'unhappy' immediate reaction. Thing is 'happy' has nothing to do with long term anything. You sir dont know what happy means.

  4. Stats show that the average Mexican w/family of 4 living off $400 a month has only the essentials. No IPhones, 2 hours commute to a job on some broken down bus each way to some really shitty job, living in such a way that middle class Americans would not be able to tolerate are consisently 'happier' than most Americans even the richest. I know this is so my late husband a Beverly Hills psychiatrist worked exclusively w/ millionaire BH patients THE most UNhappy people on this planet.

  5. Synthesized 'happiness?' WHAT in hell are you talking about? Being happy or sad over some event that happens means nothing. Most people are NOT consistently happy. Consistent happiness is rare and has nothing to do with what you are talking about. I dont know what you are talking about. IF you could syntheyize consistent happiness this world would be paradise. This talk demonstrates how the entire world has got it wrong. Sad really.

  6. Since life is full of uncertainty. Those who are so sure of everything will soon be surprised that something out of left field comes their way. Such people then are ill prepared to handle situations due to never giving such challenges that come to all of us and they become a helluva lot more unhappy than anyone can imagine. There are people who plan their lives out in ways where nothing will go wrong. Sad thing is they have never really lived.

  7. We aren't happy because people have not awoken to the truth of life. Go to Google, search for 'Truth Contest' & click 'The Present' on the homepage. The knowledge in this book will transform us and the world we live in, and it's not blind faith religion.

  8. just wondering how old you are. I know you will read what you wrote sometime later, you will see your thoughts a little differently. They are not happy eather.
    Just full of shit. Also why you so mad at the creator of all things. did he not do it like you think he should have?

  9. I'm aggravated. My friend resides in the opposite room and he just got excellent at getting the women. The guy found the Master Attraction web page (Search in Google) by Jake Ayres. All he's doing now is fucking women. He's constantly pulling women back. I can't help but hear it, which is nasty and I wish he never found that site. My best friend is getting laid now too coz of that site. I'm envious!

  10. Yes on the most profound level they are the lucky ones aka 'ignorance is bliss' (and perhaps they are right lolo). So sure…if they live entire lives on this know it all route ….good for them…like you i am not so 'blessed.'…definitely a blessing for we all die and so we go no where then fine if there is some afterlife (positive) thats great too. I would feel sorry for Catholics who say are in war zone and mortally wounded who had missed mass sunday before & fear they spent forever in hell

  11. You will know that unwanted point when your friend (who’s been a loser for a long time) gets a jaw-dropping girl to fall for him in, like 3 weeks?! God, that happened. I know I should be pleased for him having said that I would rather it to be me. He smiled as he told me he used the Cupid Love System (Search for it in Google). I wish to disappear inside a cave instantly.

  12. As St Bernard of Clairveaux (sp) was said to have said 'let your conscience be your guide.' Very wisely said. Also St Augustine of Hippo was said to have said, 'Love …then do as you please.' Another wise remark.

  13. What does it mean "The irreversible condition is not conducive to the synthesis of happiness"? at 18.15. Shouldn't it be the "the reversible condition"?

  14. "Tis nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so" is true! we know all life has to eventually come to en end so we don't matter, if we all killed our selves or didn't it just doesn't matter! being happy just doesn't matter unless you have emotions and a mind to conclude it does but that is just thinking! someone dumb kids can be bullied and not realize it so they are happy, not because of what is happening but because of what they think about what is happening.

  15. But also… this whole thing about "synthetic happiness" may be right, but there is a reason why people would rather choose freedom over less choice. And I would too, even after seeing this video.
    I don't want to be happy if there is a chance for me to have a broader choice. I would choose freedom over happiness all the time.

  16. I spend way too much time considering pros and cons of future tech purchases (which often does lead to me being happy with the product, and I wouldn't do it otherwise), but sometimes I am happier just buying the item to stop the waiting, so i don't have to worry about making the wrong choice. not quite the same thing, but a bit related. 

  17. Happiness is a choice and not based on your circumstances.  Check out the science that proves this is true.

  18. When our ambition is bounded, it lead us to work joyfully. When our ambition is unbounded, it leads us to lie, to cheat, to steal, to hurt other people. 

  19. At 18:12, he says 'the irreversible condition is Not conducive to the synthesis of happiness'  …. doesn't he mean the opposite?  I'm confused.

  20. I would love to see where the data at 3:04 is coming from. Seems highly unlikely. Also has been disproven already by studies which show to what amount of money happiness keeps improving. Result: money does play a role untill a certain extent. So yeah.. Motivational bs. You can choose not walking. I'll still choose the money. Stopping to watch right here. This presentation is for people who don't read.

  21. Ok…….i would love to get in on the intellectual dialogue but i gotta ask
    DID ANYONE ELSE HEAR HIM FART AT 9:30?
    DUDE DROPPED THE BOMB!!!

  22. My issue with this is he didn't show us enough data. I want to know if successful business people (like Bill Gates) have higher amounts of subjective well-being than regular people. I want to know what life styles lead to the highest forms of happiness (if any). I also want to know what life styles lead to the least forms of happiness (if any). I understand synthetic happiness exists now; however, certain actions must produce more or less longterm happiness. Choice, for example; produces less happiness. So what other actions do that?

  23. My main take away is the key component that commitment serves in happiness. "Make your decision, you'll never see the other one ever again." When we have a way out or a way to reverse things (a way out of commitment), we give ourselves an unending dilemma. It makes sense how that can add to or even create cognitive dissonance. We'll question not only that decision but our decision making process in general. Cool talk.

  24. God created Man, not evolution
    There is more evidence that supports creation than evolution. Sad that some people don't use the brain capacity this guy references.

  25. One thing I question about in his talk is that how did he measure the happiness? The happiness is not like weight or height, you cannot just simply measure it psychically. Can some one answer me ?

  26. Brilliant. I wake up everyday and spend an hour lying there contemplating and visualising everything I could or should do, then end up doing and achieving nothing. Is your next talk on how we can focus our minds on limiting our many choices?!

  27. Brilliant. I wake up everyday and spend an hour lying there contemplating and visualising everything I could or should do, then end up doing and achieving nothing. Is your next talk on how we can focus our minds on limiting our many choices?!

  28. I was interested in your talk until you mentioned evolution. I know I'm a created being, I do not come from some ape man. anyway, I may listen to the rest of it

  29. Just wanna mention how we often find fake data on ted talks. There is the study about lotery winners and paraplegics http://pages.ucsd.edu/~nchristenfeld/Happiness_Readings_files/Class%203%20-%20Brickman%201978.pdf
    If you read the methods of this study, you'll see that the tame past from the event (lotery winning or big accident) is not controled. For the one group it's somewhere between month and 1,5 year, and for the other it's between 1month and one year. If however, we take this as roughly one year passed, we should look in the results about subject's answers about the present (table on page 921). Paraplegics are definetely more unhappy than the other two groups. It's kinda unclear how exactly were obtained the results about expected future happines (not mentioned in the methods). Note that it should be expected, but not measured happines. Also note that although the results in the table show that paraplegic will be a little more happy than the other two groups in the future, paraplegics are not more happy than in the past. It's just that there is bigger variation in their answers and that makes them look a little happier in the end.
    To be fair, the discussion states that the results of paraplegics are less supportive of the adaptation theory. So the presenter here kinda misrepresent what's in the article.
    Also, I have to mention that all the groups in the experiment are made up from less than thirty people. It's not a good practice in psychology, cause it leaves more chances for the randomness to influence the results.

  30. I still find it hard to believe that people stay at the same level of happiness months after a traumatic incident. What about people who never get over a deceased loved one? I've never been the same since my mother passed.

  31. Can somebody explain what he meant by showing that people with and without amnesia made the same choice about the case with the pictures?

  32. His argument is: a slave should be happy being a slave. Nothing wrong with slavery if the slave is happy. I fundamentally disagree with this. This guy must be religious to believe that type of thing

  33. Happiness is that man keeps his connection with God constantly alive.
    The Secret of Success
    "For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.
    Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.
    So when you have finished [your duties], then stand up [for worship].
    And to your Lord direct [your] longing."
    (The Noble Quran. Surah Ash Sharh. Verse 5-8)
    The purpose of our life is that:
    "And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me."
    (The Noble Quran. Surah Adh Dhariyat. Verse 56)
    Listen to the voice of the Noble Quran.
    Maybe your life will be changed If God allows.
    Really amazing
    French : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVY8pwx9B74
    English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omh4oG8T_Fw
    German: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXWTxB6oS6I

  34. I was really interested to watch and then he started off with evolution. Do people seriously still believe that we came from a speck of nothing which exploded nowhere.

  35. What he fails to mention is Pete Best attempt at suicide. It was after this event that he founded his own band and became a family man.

  36. Maybe I didn't get it right, but isn't he contradicting himself when he first says that we naturally tend to be happy with the choice we made, but later he says that having choices makes us unhappy because we'll probably question what we chose?

  37. Where is the water? The water is in the glass; if it is not in the glass, where would the water be? The water would be running and if the water is running it is simply it. – Sergio the Trickster

  38. I was always wondering how people thought of me, I was new at my school and I did everything for people to like me and wondered if they did, me and my friend were talking one day and she told me that everyone in my class hated me, ironically I didn't care, I was so happy because I was free from worrying about it because people weren't going to like me anyway so I should stop trying happiness really depends on your view on things

  39. Hope we know that this is not at all a "univesal truth". This is just the perfect speech for spoilled kids, people living in rich countries… ask around people living in Yemen… Palestinia… Africa… South America… don't tell me that homeless people not having perspective, or simply not having food, shelter, social relation, medical treatment for disease …. Accroding to his mindset, Judes in Hitler's camp were happy. Hope listeners had more common sense than Dan Gilbert.
    Unhappiness is not at all synthetic !!! this is also is a good speech for the profet Harari, Noah of the XXIst AI Big Data century!!

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