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“Perceptions are portraits, not photographs, and their form reveals the artist’s hand every bit as much as it reflects the things portrayed.”
“Imagination’s tendency to fill in and leave out without telling us.”
“Imagination’s tendency to project the present onto the future.”
“Imagination’s failure to recognize that things will look different once they happen—in particular, that bad things will look a whole lot better.”
“The truth is, bad things don’t affect us as profoundly as we expect them to. That’s true of good things, too. We adapt very quickly to either.
“Your mistake was not in imagining things you could not know—that is, after all, what imagination is for. Rather, your mistake was in unthinkingly treating what you imagined as though it were an accurate representation of the facts. You are a very fine person, I’m sure. But you are a very bad wizard.”
“The fact that the least likely experience is often the most likely memory can wreak havoc with our ability to predict future experiences.”
Among life’s cruelest truths is this one: “Wonderful things are especially wonderful the first time they happen, but their wonderfulness wanes with repetition.”
“If we were to experience the world exactly as it is, we’d be too depressed to get out of bed in the morning, but if we were to experience the world exactly as we want it to be, we’d be too deluded to find our slippers. We may see the world through rose-colored glasses, but rose-colored glasses are neither opaque nor clear.”
“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
“Instead of remembering our past experience in order to simulate our future experience, perhaps we should simply ask other people to introspect on their inner states. Perhaps we should give up on remembering and imagining entirely and use other people as surrogates for our future selves.”
“ One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance. “
"A good idea should be like a girl's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."
Despite the third word of the title, this is not an instruction manual that will tell you anything useful about how to be happy. Instead, this is a book that describes what science has to tell us about how and how well the human brain can imagine its own future, and about how and how well it can predict which of those futures it will most enjoy….
Curious about different takes? Check out our Stumbling on Happiness Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.
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