Happiness not included in Happy Meal
And it’s not included when you buy the new Porsche, get a new husband, or a yuppie high paying job. And on the inverse, yeah, you’ll still be alive even if you thought losing your job will crush you and debilitate you to the end of your days.
Daniel Gilbert is after the Holy Grail of what makes people happy. His studies in affective psychology delves with “impact bias,” or how events and things which we think will make us happy or sad are merely based on our expectations of how it will affect us. But sooner or later, the shiny new (husband, job, car, put whatever is your life’s goal here) will lose its sheen faster than you can say “Where’s the happiness in the bubble pack?”
While that is comforting, it still doesn’t erase our uncontrollable urge to want things bigger, faster, and with longer legs. Knowledge that the happiness will soon fade leads us to make even more improbable decisions on what we perceive can make us happier. We’re not always on the money with what we want, but we keep running after that elusive thing that’ll put a permanent smile in our faces. Even when the pursuit of happiness is, well, a futile pursuit. Hm. Maybe we should just try botox surgery.