Humans are incredibly bad predictors of what will make them happy.
That’s the central premise of the book Stumbling on Happiness by well-known author and psychologist Daniel Gilbert, and I must say, I agree with it wholeheartedly.
“The human being is the only animal that thinks about the future,” he says in the prologue. But, he continues, that doesn’t mean what we predict is right.
Did your significant other cheat on you recently? Do you think you’ll never get over it? Gilbert gives evidence that if you believe that, you’re wrong. Forgiving a cheat, if it was just a one-time occurrence, is, statistically speaking, much easier to do than forgiving someone who refuses to pick up his socks. That’s because, of course, you see the socks every. Darn. Day.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Gilbert’s conclusion and mine: Get better at outsmarting yourself. Figure out what about your relationship–and life in general–really upsets you. Then spend your time working on that instead of what you can, over time, let go of just fine.
It’s spirituality for the rest of us.
Eckhart Tolle is awesome. So are Byron Katie and all those Buddhist monks we hear about. Why, then, doesn’t their advice immediately solve all our most pressing spiritual problems?
Why are their results so difficult to replicate?
More Stuff to Read:
Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.
There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Here, stories about the ones that actually work. (In some posts, I rate the practices on a scale of 1-10, too. Sort of like county fair pumpkins, but more spiritual.)
These Are the Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
Kids, here it is. Have at it.
- Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
- All Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday
I’m a Partner, a Mom, a Friend, a Mom, a Sister, a Daughter, a Businessperson and a Mom. Here’s What Helps.
Don’t read this section. It’s nonsense, mostly.
- My Mostly Ridiculous Self-Improvement Journal
- 150 Life Hacks for Getting Suddenly Awesome
- Suddenly Awesome Miscellany (And, Let’s Be Real: Book Promos)