Please enjoy this TED talk by Daniel Gilbert. And then I’ll tell you why it is for me a most delicious 18 minutes.
In the years between the second edition of Your Money or Your Life (1998) and the third which was a rewrite (2008), a lot happened in my life. I spent half a decade taking more stabs at large scale social change: Conversation Cafes, Turning Tide Coalition, Simplicity Forum and Let’s Talk America — and I undertook a long research project and as yet unpublished book on Freedom, since so much destruction happens in the name of this core American ideal. My big finding was that limits – which Americans tend to abhor – are the key to freedom. To be the author of the limits in our lives – by accepting or creating them – expands us. Enoughness – knowing when to stop one pleasure to make space for the another – is a training in an exquisite awareness of maximal happiness. Another way to say that limits free. And happiness is the key to making limits work for you. If you are not aware that you are happy, if you don’t know what makes you happy, if you can’t pick an attitude or activity that will turn the brightness knob up, you can never know when you have enough and no matter how much you get, it ultimately tends to dull your satisfaction with life.
This peek into Daniel Gilbert’s research and conclusions wraps these all together.
I’m planning my new tele-course on Happiness for the Fall and will be blogging all summer about aspects of the whole teaching.
Hope you enjoyed this one.