People are drastically overconfident about their judgments of others.

— Daniel Gilbert

The most fulfilling Daniel Gilbert quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.

The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’re ever been. The one constant in our lives is change.

64

Your emotions are meant to fluctuate, just like your blood pressure is meant to fluctuate. It's a system that's supposed to move back and forth, between happy and unhappy. That's how the system guides you through the world.

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We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.

23

The good news is that going blind is not going to make you as unhappy as you think it will. The bad news is that winning the lottery will not make you as happy as you expect.

17

People want to be happy, and all the other things they want are typically meant to be a means to that end.

17

People are happiest when they're trying to achieve goals that are difficult but not out of reach.

17

Your mistake was not in imagining things you could not know—that is, after all, what imagination is for. Rather, your mistake was in unthinkingly treating what you imagined as though it were an accurate representation of the facts.

14

The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.

13

Part of us believes the new car is better because it lasts longer.

But, in fact, that's the worst thing about the new car. It will stay around to disappoint you, whereas a trip to Europe is over. It evaporates. It has the good sense to go away, and you are left with nothing but a wonderful memory.

12

If someone offered you a pill that would make you permanently happy, you would be well advised to run fast and run far. Emotion is a compass that tells us what to do, and a compass that perpetually stuck on north is worthless.

12

I actually think the same things do make most people happy.

The differences are extremely small, and around the margins. You like peach ice cream; I like strawberry ice cream. Both of us like ice cream much better than a smack on the head with two-by-four.

12

If you are like most people, then like most people, you don't know you're like most people.

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About Daniel Gilbert

Quotes 59 sayings
Profession Professor
Birthday November 5, 1957

We treat our future selves as though they were our children, spending most of the hours of most of our days constructing tomorrows that we hope will make them happy

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Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished.

11

My friends tell me that I have a tendency to point out problems without offering solutions, but they never tell me what I should do about it.

10

The human brain is the only object in the known universe that can predict its own future and tell its on fortune. The fact that we can make disastrous decisions even as we foresee their consequences is the great, unsolved mystery of human behavior. When you hold your fate in your hands, why would you ever make a fist?

8

The word happiness is used to indicate at least three related things, which we might roughly call emotional happiness, moral happiness, and judgmental happiness.

7

Which is more important - experience or memory of experience? If you could have an hour of ecstasy that you'd forever remember as torture, or an hour of torture that you'd forever remember as ecstasy, which would you prefer?

7

Few of us can accurately gauge how we will feel tomorrow or next week.

That's why when you go to the supermarket on an empty stomach, you'll buy too much, and if you shop after a big meal, you'll buy too little.

6

The price we pay for our irresponsible explanatory urge is that we often spoil our most pleasant experiences by making good sense of them.

4

Lower your cortisol level. The happiest people have the lowest level of cortisol, a stress hormone that raises blood pressure and weakens the immune system. Cut the stress-more yoga, less road rage-and you'll cut your cortisol production.

4

Reality' is a movie generated by our brains.

Because we don't realize this, we are far too confident that the stuff appearing in the movie is actually 'out there' in the world when, in fact, it's not.

4

Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we're in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it's time to make a run for the fence.

3

Alas, we think of ourselves as unique entities-minds unlike any others-and thus we often reject the lessons that the emotional experience of others has to teach us.

3

I think good things are happening to me and will continue.

I am not optimistic about the rest of the species, but I'm so blessed, it's almost scary. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I have a wildly sunny disposition. I love to laugh.

3

The data says that with the poor, a little money can buy a lot of happiness.

If you're rich, a lot of money can buy you a little more happiness. But in both cases, money does it.

3

Everyone who has observed human behavior for more than thirty continuous seconds seems to have noticed that people are strongly, perhaps even primarily, perhaps even single-mindedly, motivated to feel happy.

3

To ensure that our views are credible, our brain accepts what our eye sees.

To ensure that our views are positive, our eye looks for what our brain wants. The conspiracy between these two servants allows us to live at the fulcrum of stark reality and comforting illusion.

3

The eye and brain are conspirators, and, like most conspiracies, theirs is negotiated behind closed doors, in the back room, outside of our awareness.

3

I have everything that I could possibly want in life, from a gorgeous granddaughter and a wonderful wife, brilliant students, the best job anyone could hope for, and about half of my hair. Not the half I would have kept, but no one consulted me.

2

We don't believe other people's experiences can tell us all that much about our own. I think this is an illusion of uniqueness.

2

To learn from experience, we must remember it, and, for a variety of reasons, memory is a faithless friend.

2

If I wanted to know what a certain future would feel like to me, I would find someone who is already living that future. If I wonder what it's like to become a lawyer or marry a busy executive or eat at a particular restaurant, my best bet is to find people who have actually done these things and see how happy they are.

0

We humans can look deep into future and predict what will happen, but then turn around and do nothing about it.

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Research suggests that people are typically unaware of the reasons why they are doing what they are doing, but when asked for a reason, they readily supply one.

0

The fact that we often judge the pleasure of an experience by its ending can cause us to make some curious choices.

0

Happiness refers to feelings, virtue refers to actions, and those actions can cause those feelings. But not necessarily and not exclusively.

0

Variety improves the things that we do too often, but it rules the things that we don't do often enough.

0

The brain and the eye may have a contractual relationship in which the brain has agreed to believe what the eye sees, but in return the eye has agreed to look for what the brain wants.

0

In short, we derive support for our preferred conclusions by listening to the words that we put in the mouths of people who have already been preselected for their willingness to say what we want to hear.

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Most of us appear to believe that we are more athletic, intelligent, organized, ethical, logical, interesting, open-minded, and healthy-not to mention more attractive-than the average person.

0

When we have an experience -- hearing a particular sonata, making love with a particular person, watching the sun set from a particular window of a particular room -- on successive occasions, we quickly begin to adapt to it, and the experience yields less pleasure each time. Psychologists call this habituation, economists call it declining marginal utility, and the rest of us call it marriage

0

The truth is, bad things don't affect us as profoundly as we expect them to.

That's true of good things, too. We adapt very quickly to either.

0

Global warming is a deadly threat precisely because it fails to trip the brain's alarm, leaving us soundly asleep in a burning bed.

0

In short, if we adhere to the standard of perfection in all our endeavors, we are left with nothing but mathematics and the White Album.

0

Daniel Levitin has more insights per page than any other neuroscientist I know.

The organized Mind is smart, important, and, as always, exquisitely written.

0

What’s so curious about human beings is that we can look deeply into the future, foresee disaster, and still do nothing in the present to stop it. The majority of people on this planet, they’re overwhelmed with concerns about their immediate well being.

0

No one likes to be criticized, of course, but if the things we successfully strive for do not make our future selves happy, or if the things we unsuccessfully avoid do, then it seems reasonable (if somewhat ungracious) for them to cast a disparaging glance backward and wonder what the hell we were thinking.

0

Impact is rewarding. Mattering makes us happy.

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