12 August 2013

The pursuit of happiness: Syntethic Happiness

There is one thing we all have in common: we all want to be happy. What differentiates us is the road we take to get there. Cause we all want different things in life and if we get them we're happy. If not, turns out, we can still be happy. Synthetically happy but happy...that is what research revealed.

Daniel Gilbert is a Harvard professor, a social psychologist who wrote "Stumbling on Happiness". His studies have shown people can be happy when they don't get what they want:

"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. In our society, we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind." ...but it's not. Gilbert says that the economic engine programmed us into thinking that we can be ok only when we are winning. Surprisingly, a year after winning the lottery a man is as happy as a paraplegic is a year after loosing a leg. Here is the TED talk with more details on synthetic happiness.

Instead of focusing on what we want we should be developing strategies for irrational situations like being happy with the things we didn’t expect. Like the sudden attraction to the person who doesn’t match our list.

So, don't worry, be happy, come what may! Easier said then done, I know, but it's worth trying.

Have a happy week!

P.S. this is the first post on "The pursuit of happiness" series . Every Monday we will talk about happiness just to set the tone right for the beginning of the week

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