Most of us spend our lives steering ourselves toward the best of all possible futures, only to find that tomorrow rarely turns out as we had expected. Why? As Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert explains, when people try to imagine what the future will hold, they make some basic and consistent mistakes. Just as memory plays tricks on us when we try to look backward in time, so does imagination play tricks when we try to look forward.
Using cutting-edge research, much of it original, Gilbert shakes, cajoles, persuades, tricks, and jokes us into accepting the fact that happiness is not really what or where we thought it was. Among the unexpected questions he poses: Why are conjoined twins no less happy than the general population? When you go out to eat, is it better to order your favorite dish every time, or to try something new? If Ingrid Bergman hadn't gotten on the plane at the end of Casablanca, would she and Bogey have been better off?
©2006 Daniel Gilbert; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"An absolutely fantastic book that will shatter your most deeply held convictions about how your own mind works. Ceaselessly entertaining." (Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics)
Well written and narrated. I loved that this book delivers the how any why behind what makes us happy. I also enjoyed that Daniel Gilbert is an expert in his field, you can even view him on Netflix's This Emotional Life which goes along great with the book.
I was impressed that he wrote and narrated the book. He does a good job and have a very relaxing voice.
If you are interested in understanding or increasing your happiness I highly recommend this book!
Say something about yourself!
Science of happiness! After listening, you will love the book or at least know that the reason you didn't is not due to the book's qualities, but due to your own imperfections, and that these imperfections are to your own advantage. This last part wasn't clear? Well, read the book, you'll understand. And the author does a great job entertaining you while telling you about his science!
I would listen to the book again because the information has been instrumental in helping me to understand my own flawed thinking and decisions.
It has helped me to give more credence to the experiences of my friends. I am much more open about accepting the advice/experiences of similar minded people who are going through many of the same scenarios.
the narration was hilarious. Its very well written. But it's TOO scientific for most people. There are hundreds of studies sourced and it just gets soo cumbersome that it falls more in the "interesting" category than "useful" category.
The writing was very funny, and keeps your mind engaged. Props there!
Amazing book with lots of great insights into the human condition. Gilbert's narration makes the material come alive. Highly recommend to anyone who loves the work of Malcolm Gladwell.
The book is brilliantly written and excellently delivered by the author. I don't think you can call the author's rendering 'a performance', you can hear him think as he reads to you.So what is the big problem with this book? Well, my problem was withdrawal! I had a very hard time listening to another audiobook after this one. It took me a couple of weeks before I could get the audible app fired up without shutting it down after 30s... Prof Gilbert, kudos for a brilliantly written and fabulously well read book!
Yes, because it is entertaining and informative, can be listened to in a day or two, and brings life back into perspective. Daniel Gilbert narrates wonderfully, and had my attention the whole way through.
I found it interesting that people fill in the blind spot of their imagination by collecting information that works in their favour, such as looking at advertisements for the expensive car they've bought and telling themselves that they are learning the facts when really they're looking at one-sided information showing advantages only. Or how people ask questions in such a way as to get a positive reply.
Egos exposed: the nitty gritty of what makes us happy.
This is a book I'll recommend to my friends.
Interesting science about the limitations of our memory and how we reconstruct our past and try to foresee our future using patches of memory which we weave together as stories. I do think Gilbert has a narrow view of the meaning of life as the strife to maximize the feeling of happiness, e.g. I don't think people get children because they think every moment will be happy and harmonious but because it is a meaningful thing to do.
Gilbert reads it himself, which I liked, but perhaps others would have preferred a professional narrator.
I really enjoyed this book. Many of the concepts were basic in their principle, but the author did a nice job of presenting them. It was a little long, and while the reader's voice was fine after an hour or so I'd notice my self start to zone out. Otherwise I'd recommend for those interested in cognitive psychology. There were some interesting concepts that were new to me about our ability to "predict" or foresee our futures, and how that affects our expectations that I enjoyed.
Daniel Gilbert provides a close-in and interesting look at how the inner workings of our brain affect how we look at the world. A lot of what I learned from this book wasn't obvious to me. Gilbert is as good a narrator as he is an author.
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