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)
A very interesting book that explains why people may feel happy or unhappy. I liked examples author uses to explain each of his points, especially cognitive biases. Frankly, after hearing this certain thing that worried me went away, because now I understand what goes on "under the covers" in my brain. To me, it was totally worth time & money, and deserves 5 stars.
I've read / listened to this book many times now.
On the first read I thought it was wonderful, but each time after that... it gets better... and I get something extra out of it.
There aren't many books that live up to their hype, but this one does.
Read it for interest and entertainment...then read it again just before you buy something you think will make you happy.
I have downloaded over a hundred titles and this is one of my favorite books. I have found myself referring back to it many times and quoting it more than that. It has raised my conscience understanding most significantly when I am making a decision about the future. Great research with a funny and interesting delivery. I recommend it.
Agree it's not self help, it is a 7 hour psychology class - I couldn't finish. After 20 minutes on the concept "does everyone perceive the color yellow the same way?" I had to move on. From what I head the author has some good ideas but is far from concise. For a author narrated book the voice is ok.
This book was better than I expected. I recommend it to anyone who has even a slight interest in Psychology. Gilbert's sense of humor will make you forget you're learning something.
I can't recommend this book. I found the author's pervasive attempts at humor to be lame and annoying for the most part. The book does bring up some interesting observations on human psychology ( our difficulty in predicting our feelings in future hypothetical situations, for example), but I found he belabored the exlanation of many very obvious points, mostly, I think, to allow more opportunities for his cornball humor. It basically drove me crazy and I couldn't finish it.
This book starts off well. The author is the narrator and seems likeable from the start. The first hour is great but then it just seems to devolve into one semi-interesting observation after another with no real practical point of any kind. The author makes it clear from the start that this book does not provide the secret to happiness but I am afraid it does little else. I wanted to like it but just did not. There are too many other great books for you to read out there.
The first time I listened to this book I didn't like it much, but it was interesting enough to keep listening. Honestly, I didn't think the author was as funny as he seems to think he is. However, the ideas contained in the book about how people think and plan were intriguing enough to me that I listened to the book a second time. I found the author's insights on human psychology both fascinating and useful. Give this book a listen, and if like me you are not that charmed by the author's cute stories, you may still be very interested in his ideas. If you like this book, you should also check out Freakanomics.
One of the most disappointing books I have listened to. Just stumbled onto the title and it sounded interesting, it was downhill from there. Boring, repetitious. Boring, repetitious. Boring, repetitious. Boring, repetitious. Get the point yet?
I can't recommend this book. Overall, it wasn't very interesting. A few good points here and there is all. A reader who has NEVER thought about happiness will probably find the book good.
The cornball humor didn't bother me as much as the author's attitude toward the reader. I thought the author assumed a lot about the reader and his assumptions were wrong. He says, "you" this and "you" that, but it didn't apply to me, nor reflected what I thought. I felt he treats his readers like stupid people. There are other better books out there (like Blink, for example). I should have listened to the other reviewers who thought this book was not worth it before I bought it.
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