Dan Gilbert in his talk about Synthetic Happiness says whether you win the lottery or become a paraplegic, three months later you will be equally happy. We adapt to our circumstances.
We synthesize our happiness. Given a choice between two paintings where you can’t change your mind, most people come to believe that the one they chose was best, and the other not. Given a choice where we can change our minds, we remain uncertain what the best choice is.
Studies show that material possessions don’t deliver much happiness on their own, because we quickly get used to them. Here are some of the things that bring happiness: spending time with family and friends, a partner you love, good meals, getting enough sleep, moderate exercise, and a healthy sex life.
Ever noticed how the Filipino nannies often seem happier than their wealthy employers?