"The ability to imagine — to try to predict our future state of mind — is what sets us apart from less-evolved species. It’s also the very thing that stunts our shot at true happiness.
We assume that a sportier car, a bigger house, a better-paying job, or that dress will bring us joy because, well, they did in the past, right?
Not really, says Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor and the author of Stumbling on Happiness. “Research reveals that memory is less like a collection of photographs than it is like a collection of impressionist paintings rendered by an artist who takes considerable license with his subject,” Gilbert writes. We forget that the new-car high deflated well before our first trip to the mechanic, and the raise came with stressful late nights at the office and a steeper tax tab."
Monday, August 24, 2009
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