Stumbling on Happines Audiobook
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Stumbling on Happines audiobook free
If you aspire to discover happiness, embark on a journey of benevolent deeds and spontaneous acts of kindness. Maintaining a gratitude journal can also be effective, as can shifting your mindset from negativity to positivity. While this book may impart valuable insights (such as contemplating the pros and cons of future scenarios), it primarily offers an intellectual adventure through the realm of psychology.
Daniel Gilbert is the kind of individual one would want as a friend. He would engage you in captivating conversations, introduce you to gourmet dining, and elucidate the surprising nature of life. Along the way, he would undoubtedly provoke hearty laughter, as he did in this book. I lost count of the times his humor elicited my laughter, perhaps due to my resonance with his wit and his highly creative writing style. Additionally, I acquired a few new words, like “panglossian.”
While reading, it struck me that I seem to remember my past experiences more vividly than the individuals discussed in this book. I have a clear understanding of what brings me happiness based on past experiences and what won’t in the future. Nevertheless, this book did address some of my inquiries, such as the reason behind my anticipation of packages from Amazon. I often opt for free shipping just to prolong the excitement of their arrival. This habit of delaying gratification consistently provides me with anticipatory joy.
One point of disagreement lies in the book’s commentary on the movie “Casablanca.” Typically, a person does not regret doing the right thing; in fact, doing what’s right can yield immense happiness. Additionally, I’m uncertain if the author has ever experienced a form of spiritual enlightenment, as it’s a transformative experience like no other, characterized by unparalleled happiness. Some of the author’s remarks suggest a focus on science over religion, though religion undeniably brings happiness to many. The absence of substantial mention of God, except in passing, means there’s no data on those who have found profound love in spirituality. I’m also thoroughly convinced that some individuals actively choose misery, persisting in their negative ruminations.
Nonetheless, Daniel Gilbert is an astute observer of the human condition, possessing a profound understanding of human nature. From this perspective, the book is immensely intriguing. It’s a delight to explore his profound thoughts and conclusions. His logical reasoning and philosophical grasp are evident throughout. It’s worth noting his belief in evolution, although the book doesn’t dwell extensively on this topic, except for descriptions of certain aspects of the brain.
Personally, I find it enjoyable to envision a positive future, but I’ll exercise more caution when my imagination runs wild. Will I ever have a pool or the opportunity to travel to Paris again? These are hopes that bring joy to my thoughts, and contemplating what tomorrow holds and which book to read is a source of anticipation. Hope undeniably plays a role in predicting happiness.
So, prepare to have an author unveil some hidden societal truths. Be ready to burst into laughter. This book offers a highly enjoyable reading experience that I can recommend to nearly anyone. Just be sure to have éclairs or chocolate cake on hand, as it will undoubtedly awaken your culinary cravings.
Stumbling on Happines audiobook Series Shifters Unbound
In the words of the author himself: “Despite the inclusion of ‘happiness’ in the title, this is not a practical guide that imparts actionable advice on achieving happiness… Rather, it is a book that delves into the insights provided by science concerning the human brain’s capacity to envision its own future and its ability to predict which of those potential futures will bring the most joy… By weaving together findings and theories from fields such as psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, this book presents a perspective that I personally find compelling, but its merits are best assessed by you.”
In conclusion, Daniel wraps up the book with this reflection: “There is no straightforward formula for uncovering happiness. However, while our complex minds may not guarantee us a seamless journey into the future, they do grant us the capacity to comprehend the stumbling blocks we encounter.”
This book comes highly recommended for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of how we recollect our past, perceive our present, and envision our future. It stands as a true work of creative brilliance.
Audiobook Stumbling on Happines by Cris Dukehart
Happiness is a diverse and individualized emotion, and this exceptional book exemplifies it for me. It cleverly conceals its scientific underpinnings beneath a vibrant facade reminiscent of a kindergarten palette. Its design, reminiscent of pop psychology and self-help books, might have deterred me if not for the high praise it received from the esteemed psychologist Daniel Kahneman. (Gilbert reciprocates the compliment on the jacket of “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” describing it as a “masterpiece.”) Both Gilbert and Kahneman share a fascination with the inner workings of our minds, which forms the basis of the “stumbling” aspect in the book’s title. The pursuit of happiness is not a straightforward journey along a path of hedonistic pleasure. Regardless of the path chosen, we inevitably encounter the rugged terrain of cognition, forged by millions of years of evolution to enhance survival but not necessarily happiness.
Among the many illusions that trip us up on this journey are the counterintuitive ideas that variety can reduce happiness, that our affection for new possessions wanes quickly, and that money does not buy happiness. We are all familiar with this last notion, aren’t we? Once we’ve earned enough to enjoy life to the fullest, we’ll stop working and savor the moment, right? Wrong. According to Gilbert, money is entangled in dubious cultural beliefs about happiness (“it suspiciously resembles a super-replicating false belief”). In short, accumulating wealth doesn’t necessarily bring individual happiness, but it does serve the needs of an economic system that perpetuates delusions about happiness and wealth.
Consequently, the activities that occupy most of our waking hours—shopping for material possessions, laboring for income, checking off a list of “must-do” experiences—may not yield the one desired outcome: happiness. On a positive note, “most people display surprising resilience in the face of adversity.” For example, if someone becomes paralyzed in a car accident, life eventually doesn’t seem so bleak. We possess a sort of “psychological immune system” that defends our minds against unhappiness, but we often underestimate its effectiveness. In an experiment, volunteers asked to predict their emotional reactions to rejection only envisioned the initial sting, neglecting to consider how their brains might mitigate that pain.
A recurring theme emerges: when it comes to happiness, it’s not solely the objective events that matter but also our interpretations of them. This is why our remarkable ability to imagine and “experience the world as it isn’t and has never been, but as it might be” holds the key to understanding happiness. Being “the only animal that thinks about the future” is a remarkable trait, but how skilled are we at it? Once again, we find ourselves on the rocky path of stumbling toward happiness, with this book exploring how well the human brain “can predict which of those futures it will enjoy.”
Happiness is such a subjectively variable emotion that it may seem science has little to offer, and introducing the concept of imagination only complicates matters. However, Gilbert begins by reminiscing about his childhood fascination with optical illusions. These illusions are scientifically intriguing because everyone makes the same perceptual errors, and these errors are captivating, even when we’re aware of them. “The errors induced by optical illusions in our perceptions are systematic, lawful, and regular. They are not unintelligent mistakes but rather intelligent ones, revealing those who comprehend them a glimpse into the elegant design and inner workings of the visual system.”
We commit similar systematic errors when “we fail to recognize that our future selves won’t see the world the way we see it now.” We compound this error by our “inability to take the perspective of the person to whom the rest of our lives will happen.” While it’s clear that objects close to us appear clearer, it’s less apparent that this principle applies to time as well as space, especially when it’s our imaginations, not our eyes, that are doing the seeing. In this scenario, “the clarity of the next hour and the fuzziness of the next year can lead us to make a variety of mistakes.”
People may be mistaken about their emotions, but what can be asserted is that all claims of happiness stem from a personal perspective. They arise “from the viewpoint of an individual whose unique collection of past experiences serves as a context, a lens, a backdrop for evaluating their current experience.” There is no objective standpoint.
In “Stumbling on Happiness,” Daniel Gilbert navigates us through the latest scientific psychology research while drawing on the history of ideas and our comprehension of the scientific process. He has previously traced his theory of belief back to the seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, and here he suggests that “Bernoulli’s genius lay not in his mathematics but in his psychology.” Bernoulli recognized that what we objectively gain (wealth) differs from what we subjectively experience. “The unfortunate truth is that converting wealth into utility—predicting how we will feel based on what we will obtain—isn’t quite like converting meters to yards… The straightforward, consistent relationships governing numbers and words don’t apply to objective events and emotional experiences.”
As expected, there’s no simple formula for discovering happiness. In a universe like ours, perhaps we should be grateful for any semblance of happiness. Gilbert concludes, “if our expansive minds don’t guarantee us a smooth journey into the future, they at least equip us to comprehend the obstacles that make us stumble.”
Audio Stumbling on Happines narrated by Cris Dukehart
Gilbert chooses to deal with happiness because it is a fundamental aim and indisputable right of human life, a fact which is sometimes stated in a clear, constitutional way (like in the Declaration of Independence) and sometimes inferred from our actions.
The title of the book derives from the author’s central position: we usually find happiness not by conscious effort but by chance.
Gilbert’s argument is straightforward: our imagination is flawed – and indeed it has flaws similar to those of other basic functions of our brain, such as memory, vision and perception. Therefore, our ability to predict what will make us happy or how happy we shall be in a future situation is limited.
Using the findings of a large number of empirical studies, the award-winning writer focuses on the shortcomings inherent in our imagination, on the inadequacies which cause our predictions to be wrong. “Realism” is the first of these shortcomings: according to Gilbert, our imagination works fast, quietly and effectively in order to convince us of the “reliability” of its products and to appease our skepticism. The process is reminiscent of optical illusions, as well as of the way memory fills-in the gaps with information it never received but which fits in with the rest of the puzzle.
“Presentism” is the second shortcoming of the imagination: the future we envisage is not very different from the present we live in, thus making the available choices seem fewer that the ones that actually exist.
And if it is hard to imagine future events, it is even harder to predict the thoughts and feelings that these events will cause. “Rationalization”, our ability to cope without unpleasant experiences, is the third shortcoming which completes the game that our own brains play on us.
The errors of prediction are difficult to cure by means of our personal experience, which is limited in any case. It is even more difficult to overcome them using the “wisdom” of past generations. And this is because this “wisdom” consists of ideas that flourish when they sustain the social systems that enable them to be transmitted – something they achieve by disguising themselves as recipes for individual happiness.
Instead of these approaches to happiness, the author suggests something simple: do not try to imagine how happy or satisfied you will be in a future situation, but observe, ask, learn how happy the people are who have already achieved happiness. And yet, it is sobering to note that this simple solution fails due to two barriers: our conviction that we are unique and our desire for control. Hence Gilbert is himself pessimistic regarding the adoption of his proposal.
One of the most interesting moments of the book is the discussion about the distinction between emotional and moral happiness. The author understands why philosophers feel it their duty to identify happiness with virtue as the particular type of happiness that we should be aiming at. He stresses, however, that “if a virtuous life is a cause of happiness, it is not happiness itself” and that the identification of virtue and happiness is misleading, because it mistakes the reason for the outcome. He concludes: “Happiness refers to feelings, virtue refers to actions and actions may lead to these feelings. But not necessarily and not exclusively.”
Also very interesting is the discussion about the methodology used to approach the subject. The will for a scientifically rigorous study creates the need for measurement – even for such a subjective experience as happiness. Measurement, in turn, demands appropriate tools, however imperfect these are. It also requires the right timing, the right (i.e. high) frequency of measurement and a validation method that will make inter-subjective comparison possible.
The language of the book shows the sharpness of its author, who handles scientific concepts in a way that attracts lay readers without compromising the seriousness of the material. The unpredictable and witty sense of humour contributes to the enhanced enjoyment of reading. The real surprise, however, is its unconventionality – something you would not expect from a professor of a leading university. Gilbert does not hesitate to question two of the most powerful institutions of western societies: family and money. Referring to the family, and more specifically to the common belief that children bring happiness, he presents four different studies which show that happiness decreases dramatically after the birth of the first child and increases again only when the last child leaves home.
As for economy, the professor’s sharp eye gleans from the work of Adam Smith, father of modern Economics:
“In what constitutes the real happiness of humans, [the poor] are in no respect inferior to those who would seem to be much above them… The joys of wealth and greatness…strike the imagination as something grand and beautiful and noble, of which the attainment is well worth all the toil and anxiety which they are apt to bestow upon it…It is this deception which rouses and keeps in continual motion the industry of mankind.”
As Daniel Gilbert is well aware, it is not certain that in finishing this book people will feel happier or more ready to find happiness. However, it is very likely that their attitude towards many things will change – and they will surely feel they have made a large step towards self-knowledge.
Free audio Stumbling on Happines – in the audio player below
The book was sent in a carton along with other items with no packaging as a result the cover was slightly damaged. It is reprinted on poor quality paper and looks fake
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