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Why We Are Bad Predictors of Our Happiness

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hey, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about why we're not the best predictors of our own happiness. So in his book, Stumbling On Happiness, the Harvard psychologist, Dan Gilbert starts with the bold assertion that we're the only animals with the ability to predict our future. We're able to imagine scenarios ,good and bad ,that may one day occur. And also imagine how we'll feel when they do occur.

And chances are, you're very familiar with this, seeing what your life could be and what you imagine you'll feel like once you get there. Imagination, though, has some shortcomings. And perhaps of most relevance is that imagination fails to realize that things will often feel different once they actually happen. We have a psychological immune system, emotional immune system that makes bad things feel not so bad as we imagined, and good things often feel not as good as they imagined. Or they have the same intensity of feeling, but it doesn't last as long as we think it will.

So often we spend so much time crafting an idea of the life we want and this feeling of once I get there, it will be like this, often to end up a bit am empty handed. I'm curious if that's ever been your experience, this feeling of once that happens, I'll feel a certain way I'll be a certain way or I'll, I'll just have the happiness that I was looking for. And then you get there and it's different than you imagined, or it doesn't last as long as you imagined. You know, this is a reality that we deal with with as humans, with brains and brains that adapt to circumstances. How do we work with this is the follow-up question.

And for me, I'm still navigating that. To me it's frustrating that I, I can't get to some future moment and have it lead to lasting satisfaction. But it's always a reminder to, to try to lean into this moment as it is right now, to bring full presence to it, full awareness and live it deeply and intimately, knowing that this moment is just as good as any other moment in the future. It might not be exactly as I want, but that future moment that I think I want, it's still going to be me relating to it. And chances are, it's not going to give all of the positive feedback and the wonderfulness and even the bad moments that we think if that happens, it will ruin me, those moments pass as well.

So learning to cultivate an equanimity of mind that allows us to move, move fluidly through all of these moments is a kind of happiness that we can take refuge in. And it's one of the things we start to develop with the meditation practice. So I'll talk to you in our meditation. Thank you for continuing your practice and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.6

Why We Are Bad Predictors of Our Happiness

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about why we're not the best predictors of our own happiness. So in his book, Stumbling On Happiness, the Harvard psychologist, Dan Gilbert starts with the bold assertion that we're the only animals with the ability to predict our future. We're able to imagine scenarios ,good and bad ,that may one day occur. And also imagine how we'll feel when they do occur.

And chances are, you're very familiar with this, seeing what your life could be and what you imagine you'll feel like once you get there. Imagination, though, has some shortcomings. And perhaps of most relevance is that imagination fails to realize that things will often feel different once they actually happen. We have a psychological immune system, emotional immune system that makes bad things feel not so bad as we imagined, and good things often feel not as good as they imagined. Or they have the same intensity of feeling, but it doesn't last as long as we think it will.

So often we spend so much time crafting an idea of the life we want and this feeling of once I get there, it will be like this, often to end up a bit am empty handed. I'm curious if that's ever been your experience, this feeling of once that happens, I'll feel a certain way I'll be a certain way or I'll, I'll just have the happiness that I was looking for. And then you get there and it's different than you imagined, or it doesn't last as long as you imagined. You know, this is a reality that we deal with with as humans, with brains and brains that adapt to circumstances. How do we work with this is the follow-up question.

And for me, I'm still navigating that. To me it's frustrating that I, I can't get to some future moment and have it lead to lasting satisfaction. But it's always a reminder to, to try to lean into this moment as it is right now, to bring full presence to it, full awareness and live it deeply and intimately, knowing that this moment is just as good as any other moment in the future. It might not be exactly as I want, but that future moment that I think I want, it's still going to be me relating to it. And chances are, it's not going to give all of the positive feedback and the wonderfulness and even the bad moments that we think if that happens, it will ruin me, those moments pass as well.

So learning to cultivate an equanimity of mind that allows us to move, move fluidly through all of these moments is a kind of happiness that we can take refuge in. And it's one of the things we start to develop with the meditation practice. So I'll talk to you in our meditation. Thank you for continuing your practice and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.6

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