Dos Centavos de Sabiduría

Jul 22nd, 2009 by adminadam in articles

I was watching this TED video on the difference between natural and synthetic happiness and found this great quote about choice and hindsight and how we are so good at being too hard on ourselves:

“The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another… Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others, but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice, or to corrupt the future tranquility of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.” Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759

The truth is, we really can’t know what to expect, plus as the speaker, Dan Gilbert, mentions we tend to overestimate the impact of future decisions as we are simulating the possible outcomes. A great example Dan gives is the new lotto winner and the new paraplegic, one year after their “events” take place, their happiness levels have in fact equalized and normalized. If you have twenty minutes, you should watch the video.

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