Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness

by Daniel Gilbert
In this fascinating and often hilarious work, pre-eminent psychologist Daniel Gilbert shows how - and why - the majority of us have no idea how to make ourselves happy. We all want to be happy, but do we know how? When it comes to improving tomorrow at the expense of today, we're terrible at predicting how to please our future selves. 'What would you do right now if you learned that you were going to die in ten minutes? Would you race upstairs and light that Marlboro you've been hiding in your sock drawer? Would you waltz into your boss's office and present him with a detailed description of his personal defects? Hard to say of course, but of all the things you might do in your final ten minutes, it's a pretty safe bet that few of them are things you actually did today.' As humans in search of happiness, we are continually deferring present pleasure for future gain - but, in cosseting our future selves, we regularly come up against the limitations of foresight and an inbuilt tendency to misjudge what it is we truly want.
In this delightful romp through the interrelated fields of psychology, philosophy and the psychological equivalent of music-hall illusionism, Daniel Gilbert draws on examples that play with the reader's perception, combining lively fresh analysis, fascinating research and considerable wit to illustrate how our fundamental drive to satisfy our desires is not only often misguided, but also intrinsically linked to the most long-standing and contentious questions about human nature. At once whimsical and scholarly, 'Stumbling on Happiness' is an engaging and engrossing look at what it means to be a human being on a perennial quest for happiness.