Time and time again research on gaining or losing romantic partners, passing or failing exams, winning or losing elections has found they have little effect on our long-term happiness. In fact, Gilbert quotes a recent study finding that almost anything that happened more than three months ago has no effect on our current levels of happiness.
Entertainingly, Dan Gilbert proposes the following secrets of happiness:
- Accrue wealth, power and prestige then lose it.
- Spend as much of your life in prison as you possibly can.
- Make someone else really, really rich.
- Never, ever join the Beatles
Find out what he’s on about in this video of a presentation he gave at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) Conference.
» Check out why too much choice is bad for us.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
» Discover more insights from positive psychology.