In Stumbling On Happiness, Daniel Gilbert exposes the flaws of the human mind.

Quite disillusioning, this expose of the human mind. His thesis is simple. Humans cannot reliably predict what will make us happy, nor can we accurately recall what made us happy in the past. That leaves us with the present.

The reasons for our failure to find happiness are many, and revolve around the idiocyncracies of the human mind.

One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune or fame.

Willa Cather, "le Lavandou," 1901

Love the picture I found of Gilbert by Dina Rudick. The expression, of course, is great, but I also like the dark background. It contrasts the bright, happy, smiling if Gilbert creates his own light, which you might say was part of his message. I don't usually use non-creative commons images, but in this case I couldn't resist including it here. Such a perfect portrait of the man.

Stumbling on Happiness - by Daniel Gilbert

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misnomerjones — 03 November 2007, 15:00

If you like this book, I highly recommend "On Intelligence". "Stumbling on Happiness" is much the same, but a very simplified version focused on humans seeking happiness. "On Intelligence" is the greater theory of how the brain works that books like "Stumbling on Happiness" base themselves on.

Brent — 03 November 2007, 16:16

Awesome! Thanks so much for the suggestion. I'll definitely pick up a copy.

Craig Ruppenthal — 14 November 2007, 08:50

I believe the quote by Willa Cather should be stumbles upon them by "chance" not "change".

Brent — 14 November 2007, 14:00

Thanks Craig! I've made the correction.