Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we'll be miserable if we don't get what we want. Our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don't go as planned.
Most of us think we know what would make us happy and that our only problem is getting it. But research in psychology, behavioral economics, and cognitive neuroscience shows that people are not very good at predicting what will make them happy, how happy it will make them, and how long that happiness will last. One reason for this is that our cultures provide us with both wisdom and myth about the true sources of human happiness. Our mothers were right about some things and wrong about others, and science is beginning to reveal which is which.