Synthesizing Happiness

Dan Gilbert is an entertaining speaker! Do you agree with anything he says?

I’ve been an underachiever/uninterested in worldly achievement most of my life — in Gilbert’s terms my ambition has definitely been “bounded.” I agree with him that it’s one reason I’ve been so happy. On the other hand, if I had to spend years in jail even though I was innocent, I doubt I would ever be able to call it a “glorious experience.” What do you think?

bikehikebabe: I phoned a couple of times today but there was no answer. I didn’t want to pester them so left a message to please tell her we’re sending our best wishes.


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9 Responses to Synthesizing Happiness

  1. Rummuser says:

    In his book Stumbling On Happiness he is more elaborate and explains the various processes and the synthesising of happiness. This is something you and I in our different ways have called “Wiser by hindsight.” and “Happiness as a spiritual practise.”

    Yeah, Right!.
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..Amadeus.

    • Jean says:

      I’m more of an explorer and experimenter than you are, but the results are the same. That’s all that counts. 🙂

  2. tammyj says:

    i listened to the entire talk.
    i always enjoy ted talks. regardless usually of the topic.
    but … truth to tell…
    i didn’t enjoy this one so very much.
    i don’t know why. can’t put my finger on it. i look at happiness as i do poetry.
    it is ruined when it is dissected and synthesized with graphs and bars and charts. at least it was for me!
    maybe i’m just tired! or not smart enough.
    when it ended there were other selections of ted talks showing. so i picked one.
    “my philosophy of a happy life” . . . by sam berns.
    i feel like little 17 year old sam berns who has the disease of progeria said more in his 12 minutes 44 seconds than the esteemed doctor said in over 20 minutes!!! LOLOL.
    anyway. . . i am and have always been an EXTREMELY happy underachiever too!
    though i hardly think you’re an underachiever! good grief NO WAY!
    but… this was another fascinating post my monk!
    i hope we hear about bhb soon. i left a message on her blog which i doubt she’ll ever see! so please… when you do get to finally talk with her… give her my heartfelt best wishes for a really FAST recovery!!! xoxo ?
    tammyj´s last blog post ..remember?

    • Jean says:

      For some reason his style tickled my funny bone.

      bhb phoned this afternoon. She may be able to go home tomorrow. They’re trying to get her up and moving with a walker, which is painful but necessary, especially at our age. She says she won’t be going downstairs to the computer for quite a while. I did tell her what you wrote.

  3. tammyj says:

    i don’t know why the question mark after the snoopy hugs! LOLOL
    a monkey mind that needs a rest. going to turn in now i guess! xoxo?
    tammyj´s last blog post ..remember?

  4. KB says:

    I wish I could watch the talk… but I have this lousy satellite internet that is very slooooow and has usage limits, so no videos longer than two minutes are allowed over our internet. It sounds fascinating though from what others have said. I’ve always believed, that to a large extent, being happy is a choice. You can wallow in the darkness or you can make conscious choices to be happy. However, since I didn’t see the video, I don’t know whether that jibes with what it said!
    KB´s last blog post ..Back to snowbiking!

    • Jean says:

      I’m sorry you can’t see some of the videos I include.

      GIlbert’s talk wasn’t very practical — it used some outlandish examples — but there was something about his style that tickled my funny bone. My guess is reading the reviews of his book Stumbling on Happiness would be a more efficient use of your time. Here’s what one Amazon reviewer wrote:

      Here are some of the most important points of this book:

      1) We often exaggerate in imagining the long- term emotional effects certain events will have on us.

      2) Most of us tend to have a basic level of happiness which we revert to eventually.

      3) People generally err in imagining what will make them happy.

      4) People tend to find ways of rationalizing unhappy outcomes so as to make them more acceptable to themselves.

      5) People tend to repeat the same errors in imagining what will make them happy.

      6) Events and outcomes which we dread may when they come about turn into new opportunities for happiness.

      7) Many of the most productive and creative people are those who are continually unhappy with the world- and thus strive to change it.

      8) Happiness is rarely as good as we imagine it to be, and rarely lasts as long as we think it will. The same mistaken expectations apply to unhappiness.

      Gilbert makes these points and others with much anecdotal evidence and humor.

      A pretty happy read, but not as happy as you think it is going to be.

      Shalom Freedman

      I enjoyed the review, but I’m not going to read the book because I agree with you, for the most part happiness is a choice and I’d rather focus on practicing being happy.

  5. Cathy in NZ says:

    Well, I’m like Tammy, and the blasted charts and graphs…I also watched young Sam, what a magnificent young man he is. Then I watched a couple of other performances, they were all about music…

    I would have to say that most of the day was spent in happiness although when I left the city I was mentally word dead – a lot of words have been read today! I’m unwinding now and don’t feel as bad…looking forward to a great day with the family tomorrow.
    Cathy in NZ´s last blog post ..Let’s visit: Wellington

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