[Download] Stumbling on Happiness By Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness

By: Daniel Gilbert
Narrated by: Daniel Gilbert
Length: 7 hours
Release date: May 2, 2006
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (857 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

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A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we're so lousy at predicting what will make us happy - and what we can do about it.

Most of us spend our lives steering ourselves toward the best of all possible futures, only to find that tomorrow rarely turns out as we had expected. Why? As Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert explains, when people try to imagine what the future will hold, they make some basic and consistent mistakes. Just as memory plays tricks on us when we try to look backward in time, so does imagination play tricks when we try to look forward.

Using cutting-edge research, much of it original, Gilbert shakes, cajoles, persuades, tricks and jokes us into accepting the fact that happiness is not really what or where we thought it was. Among the unexpected questions he poses: Why are conjoined twins no less happy than the general population? When you go out to eat, is it better to order your favourite dish every time, or to try something new? If Ingrid Bergman hadn't gotten on the plane at the end of Casablanca, would she and Bogey have been better off?

Smart, witty, accessible and laugh-out-loud funny, Stumbling on Happiness brilliantly describes all that science has to tell us about the uniquely human ability to envision the future, and how likely we are to enjoy it when we get there.

From the Hardcover edition.
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70 Responses to “[Download] Stumbling on Happiness By Daniel Gilbert”

  1. Amos Corish

    completely useless data about happiness
    A more accurate title for this book would have been Completely Useless Facts, Figures, Studies, and Data about Happiness That won’t help you at all.

  2. Rubin Ogbonnaya

    Falls short at the end
    This is an interesting book on what is going on inside the human brain. I found many intriguing thoughts and examples. Unfortunately, at the end, the author draws a conclusion which I feel sidesteps the focus of the book. He substitutes the best means of predicting one’s future feelings, for how to maximize the positive feelings themselves (admittedly, knowing the most likely state of one’s future feelings does provide some guidance on how to have the most positive feelings – but in a conveluted way).

  3. Bo Reiland

    a nice read, left me wondering
    This was a nice book full of great little tools to figure out your needs, your environment, and your habits… not necessarily in that order. At the end, though, I found myself a bit confused about whether the net result of the book really advanced me any useful way. Still pondering that one.

  4. Deangelo Hardisty

    5+++++ Stars
    One of if not the most entertaining, creative, informative and funny books I have ever read X3. The humor in ths book is very clever. I have given this book to numerous family, friends and coworkers. The people who read it…and understood it…also got it and loved it. I will reread (listen) to this one over and over…I learn something new everytime. (or I remember it…it is full of info)

  5. Anette L.

    really interesting and engrossing
    This was really a very interesting and thought provoking book. The author has a great speaking voice and the content was both engrossing and humorous.

    I highly recommend it.

  6. Haywood Pelote

    Great performance, ok book
    Really enjoyed the performance and reading of the book.
    There are lots of examples of psychological tests and all the weird things our brains do, but there is not as much practical application of the information.
    Still a good learning experience

  7. Abraham G.

    Lots of good information
    This book isn’t a Self-Help book and it doesn’t contain blueprints to make your life happier. However, it does an amazing job of explaining how we make decisions and how those decisions affect our happiness. Every point Gilbert makes is supports by psychological studies that lend credence to his ideas and illustrate the points he is trying to make. I’m recommending this book to all my friends and family and to you, too.

  8. Verona C.

    Great narrator!
    Daniel Gilbert did a great job narrating his own book- he is very engaging. I found the material hard to comprehend and remember in the auditory format. My auditory comprehension may be lacking! But I think I would have better understood the book if I had read it.

  9. Anonymous User

    I wish there was a way to slow down the speed of his narration even if it meant making it a 12hr book
    I wish there was a way to slow down the speed of narration. Even if it would mean 12 hr read

  10. Archana

    There is no way out from unhappiness
    Book does a great job at explaining all the flaws for human mind in a humouros and logical way. it also provides a solution to escape those flaws to be happy but again mentions that we are designed to not follow that advice. Overall great book with ideas similar to Thinking Fast and Slow, The Selfish Gene etc.

  11. Virginia H.

    Great But Misleadingly Titled
    Fascinating read. I still have no idea how to be happy. Then again, who would willingly purchase a book about cognitive biases?

  12. Barry

    We are terrible predictors of what we want
    Having been annoyed for so many years by people who were convinced they knew what they wanted, and thought I should know what I wanted as well, I was delighted to find a book that showed how lousy we are at predicting what will make us happy. I also finally understood why I owned so many things that were of so little interest to me now. An excellent book on some of the most intriguing current research on human psychology as it relates to happiness.

  13. Tanner Bilka

    Stumbling into happiness
    An interesting book that goes into the science behind what we interpret as happiness and several inaccuracies that can lead us into misinterpreting what we’re remembering as happiness and/or what we expect from the future.

    A very comical and entertaining journey that won’t necessarily give you the “ah-ha” that’s what I need to do to stumble into happiness, but instead will give you insight into how our emotions work and how we interpret our emotions aka happiness.

    The author is well spoken, well read, and very knowledgeable as you would expect from a Harvard professor.

  14. Maryalice G.

    Stumbling into Chaos
    Alright, it wasn’t chaos but I was so determined to understand where Daniel Gilbert wanted to take me that I went out and also bought the book as a guide to follow along while listening because the audiobook was a jumble of ideas, maps, models, data and concepts for me. I don’t reccommend buying the hard copy book as well, it’s just that I have a very stubborn streak when it comes to understanding what I invest my time and attention in, and, also, I never give up. The book is not about getting to happiness, but in a way it can take you to a point where you could see that getting to happiness is a wasted and unimportant effort anyway. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make sense, but it’s the kind of book that becomes one piece of the larger puzzle in a quest to understand ourselves. Not a self help book by any means and I enjoyed it but not in the conventional sense of entertainment but more so in an ideas-retraining session. It was work for me and I consider myself a fairly erudite chap.

  15. Cletus Clymore

    A philosophical mess of words
    There’s a lot of really interesting things in this book about human psychology, illusions of the mind, and other tricks in our head but… the author is all over the place, making corny jokes and so many analogies it’s hard to keep track.

    It’s hard to feel a point ever really made. It’s like being on a long bus ride next to a guy who’s babbling for hours without really a conclusion.

    I only made it 4 hours in before I just had to turn it off…and this was in heavy 5 mph LA traffic.

  16. Eddie Billot

    Few good ideas/concepts, but no clear direction
    Relaxing story. Few good ideas/concepts/quotes. Wish they are we’re directed towards proving one point, but it felt that they didn’t. The story felt unorganized, without clear end goal. At one point the author mentioned that he received the same feedback from his friends, which I don’t doubt he did. I’m not a fan of this style. There were few good take aways, thought.

  17. Ronda Jaeschke

    Very intriguing
    An interesting take of definition of happiness … definitely recommend to anyone who has time on their hands ..

  18. Shiloh Boisen

    This is not light reading/listening. Unlike some of the other reviews I found that the author dissected our myths about what we perceive, feel and predict with surgical thoroughness, perhaps too much so. He admits that he is a fan since youth of optical illusions, and the book is a methodical catalog of psychological illusions. The book is complete to a fault.

    A better title might be “What you thought you knew but really don’t”.

    So is it useful/helpful? Yes, if you are not looking for specific advice, but could benefit from warnings about how to not deceive yourself.

    As I was listening I found I wanted to look at a written copy, as I had difficulty keeping the model he was constructing in my head. Might be the kind of audiobook that later on you go back re-read from a library hardcover.

  19. Hugo R.

    Informative, enjoyable, science-based. Loved it!
    Great narrator who enjoyably presented intriguing concepts. Best psychology read on happiness so far, and solidly based on scientific research. This one is a keeper, can’t wait to listen to it again.

  20. Chae W.

    A gift!
    After listening to this book the first time, I was eager to begin again. Now, with a couple of years and with at least half dozen trips through Gilbert’s wit and scientific wisdom, I pause to say “Thanks!” This book is both powerfully useful and a whole lot of pleasure, too.

  21. Dan Kacerski

    Lots of thought-provoking info in this book, though I found the author’s pomposity kind of grating. Still, it’s a cheap way to get a really stimulating undergraduate psychology course.

  22. Tristan Missel

    Exciting and disappointing at the same time
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

  23. Lucrecia Drach

    Interesting material, well narrated, told with humor – a pleasure to listen to. 7 hours went by without me noticing…

  24. Abel Costenive

    Thought provoking
    Would you consider the audio edition of Stumbling on Happiness to be better than the print version?

  25. Alina Kenaan

    read this suck the joy from your life
    What disappointed you about Stumbling on Happiness?

  26. Kelly Biddix

    The main point is about how we fool ourselves with our visions of the future. How this vision leads us to do many things. And then how are visions arent fullfilled in the future and how we end up unsatisfied. Very cool and entertaining audiobook. Does have a lot to do with the human perspective.

  27. Luke G.

    hilarious and insanely smart
    Make sure to be seated while you read this book. if you can keep up, it will blow your mind! I think… I couldn’t keep up.
    I don’t know how this book could be rated at only 4 stars. this was totally a 5 star book for me.

  28. Britt Frantzich

    This book was life changing
    Dan Gilbert’s book is brilliant and hilarious. The most entertaining book I have read that also offers shedloads of insight into our decisions and daily happiness. I would recommend this book to anyone who is agonizing over their life decisions a little too much. Happiness…or at least entertainment is forthcoming.

  29. SoyaKid

    Intriguing – but missing a throughline
    As a backseat psychologist I loved this book. There’s a lot of really intriguing theories and research but at times it felt random. Like watching a bunch of engaging scenes from different movies played back to back – entertaining but I miss a storyline. A throughline that would guide me through and link all of the theories together. It wasn’t until the very end that the author started to do this. I also had to wait until the final chapter to learn how to apply this mass of new information and knowledge to my day to day. I had hoped for more of that too. However, I do reconmend this book for brain/behavior geeks like me.

  30. S

    Okay listen . . .
    This book was an okay listen – but it contained nothing terribly new or profound. At least it is well written and narrated.

  31. Tanyush

    Brilliant humor and story!
    I really loved the humor and how scientifically based the facts were presented. Totally recommended!

  32. Hugo Winick

    study after study
    This book seems to be a collection of scientific studies summarized. Full of factual information, maybe more than needed.

  33. Caroline

    Very interesting
    Where does Stumbling on Happiness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  34. Darryl Campoverde

    I’ve lost 7 hours of my life. Thanks.
    There’s really no value in this book.
    It’s just the pseudo-sciency, void-of-content, should-have-been-a-blog-post kind of book that’s too good for itself, cherrypicking self-serving examples and always avoiding the points in which the author’s “theories” would fall flat on their faces.
    Definitely will not recommend. A waste of time.

  35. Williemae Blust

    Phenomal book! A brilliant, lucid, and humble treatise on the limitations of the mind. Professor Gilbert’s scientific and witty presentation gives me a huge amount of confidence in the veracity of his work. Dr. Gilbert shatters the myth that our brain is a flawless untapped supercomputer that remembers everything and stores everything we experience if only we can access it. Understanding the inherent limitations that Gilbert outlines is the first step to doing a better job finding more happiness in our lives.

    Surprisingly Gilbert gives no prescription for being more happy. Even though he states this clearly at the beginning, my flawed mind was expecting some tips on “how to” be more happy. I respect this academic approach and this is NOT a self-help book.


  36. Miquel Linsin

    How does your thinking affect your happiness?
    Learn about the evolution of the human brain for imagination and broaden the perspective on how the mind interprets happiness.

  37. Manuel Schiffmann

    I greatly enjoyed this book. It was a very good match for me at the time, as I listened to it during my car commute to work, while I was deciding on whether to pursue a new career path and what would make me happy. The insights into human behaviour really hit the mark. Every point is well explained, with lots of examples of psychological studies, and yet the book never drags on. The author uses a great depth of vocabulary and wit, and his reading is very well done.

    Warning – this is not a self-help book, more of a entertaining treatise into human thinking processes, and the many ways in which we mistakenly predict what will make us happy.

  38. Everett Matskin

    informative but unnecessarily complex
    this book was informative and had good points however it was very unnecessary complex it could have been written and a much simpler way and it would have made it a pleasure to read however the complex language stop the flow of the book and just made it unnecessarily hard to understand .

  39. Markus Prehoda

    great read … but no solution
    Great read that shows how the brain actually works … but unfortunately does not offer any usable solutions for how to make these natural flaws for for you, not against you.

  40. Tom W.

    Tons of well explained info!
    This has been my favorite service book so far, I learned so much without it being too dry, the author’s reading was exceptional compared to most other audio books.

  41. Amos Peddie

    Excellent intellectual read!
    If you want to understand why it’s so hard to plan for your future read this book! My review won’t do it justice but it is packed full of scientific studies and really interesting facts about the human mind. Read it!!

  42. Nelida Springman

    Real Happiness
    What made the experience of listening to Stumbling on Happiness the most enjoyable?

  43. Lashaunda Jurez

    more stumbling, less happiness
    take home: best way to make a decision is to ask people who are already in the situation you are considering getting yourself into.

  44. Jeanetta Wiggen

    Ought to be in every collection
    Affable, approachable and acerbic, Gilbert offers a keen scientific eye to a most pressing question: why do we so often lay plans to make ourselves happy that go astray? Gilbert softens the weight of the work’s many referenced studies with a keen wit and a charming reading that any listener should find useful and endearing. Highly recommended that you add this most worthwhile book to your library at your earliest opportunity.

  45. Bruno C.

    interesting and well written!
    He spoke a bit fast, but I slowed it down with the service app ?

  46. Florencia Angeron

    Good but not better than most books of this kind
    The book is a likable book and is nicely narrated by the author. If you’ve read multiple other books in this field (and I have, such as Haidt’s Happiness Hypothesis, Kaneman, Gazzinga, et. al) you can probably pass over this book and you won’t miss anything. If this is your first book on this kind of topic, than go ahead and get this one and you will probably really enjoy it.

  47. Susana P.

    Very Good.
    This book explains some very interesting truths about human nature in a very humorous and interesting way. Not a self-help book.

  48. Demarcus Rodriuez

    loved it
    I really enjoyed the comedy. very well-written book. I would listen to it again. five stars.

  49. Bernard Brazen

    One of the best books I’ve read recently. Very informative and very well written. Many of its findings reason quite well and are enlightening. I really enjoyed the author’s style.

  50. Oleta M.

    He won’t tell you how to become happy, but he will help you see how to better perceive your self and others.

  51. Gerald Yarnell

    Well researched and great delivery
    I found this book very interesting and entertaining. The author is extremely intelligent and witty and does a great narration of his book. I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of the other more self-help oriented books on happiness but the research was very interesting and thoughtfully presented. Enjoyable listen.

  52. Alfonzo Tye

    Not what I was expecting
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

  53. Dwayne Bachhuber

    good listen, and interesting learn on psychology.
    writer crams many concepts closely together. can be hard to follow @times -bookmark those times

  54. Eric

    Well written
    Well written. Lots of great anecdotes and insights into how the human brain deceives us all. Don’t expect any great wisdom regarding how to be happy though – the author builds up his well thought out arguments as if working his way to some great crescendo or secret that never unfolds. Perhaps that’s the point.

  55. Enoch W.

    Great Book
    One of the best book i’ve read. Very insightful, it helped me change the way i think.

  56. Lydia Wente

    A delight of mind.
    Gilbert has researched fully into how we interact with our own phenomena and happiness. His examples are pithy and interesting and all serve for his greater points. He quotes Shakespeare, has a snide self-deprecating humor, and references the Beatles often. All of which give his book the feel of a great conversation with the scholar himself. Highly recommend to anyone interested in their own brain and happiness or the brains and happiness of others.

  57. Kasi Arata

    Happiness is listening to this book!
    Daniel Gilbert is a riveting narrator and writer. Humorous, fast-paced and full of descriptive vignettes, I found myself smiling, then laughing out loud as I listened. I liken Mr. Gilbert to Bill Bryson in his ability to tell a story like a raconteur. His voice is easy to listen to, not grating or monotone like some others. This topic is much more enjoyable than I would have imagined, and one I will recommend to others. Reminds of me Freakonomics with its scientific base, but cool stuff we never knew.

  58. Ashley Butchee

    Analytical & Thought Provoking
    This is an excellent audiobook. It has a lot of examples where you are yourself the subject. You will be amazed to see how the human brain and memory actually works. Highly recommended.

  59. Marian Ringwood

    Highly recommended
    Great book and great performance. Psychology research distilled down to a useful and cohesive argument for why we fail to predict our futures and what will make us happy

  60. David

    Entertaining and insightful
    I laughed a lot and learned even more. Moreover, my mood significantly improved during the course of reading the book. The work is a fantastic antidote to depression, despite the author’s refusal to make any claim to that effect. Highly recommended!!!

  61. Stephnie Mollura

    Best psych book since thinking fast and slow
    Stumbling on Happiness is a practical guide to why we agent happy when we get what we want. It has countless pearls of wisdom from research to live by. The best psychology book since Thinking Fast and Slow.

  62. Tressa Eddy

    Not a self help book but fascinating
    This book is not a self-help book nor does it claim to be but the information is fascinating. The author explains why we do certain things and how we mistake or interpret certain events or ideas in our lives. Recommend if you like psychology.

  63. Isaac

    Excellent non-self-help book
    This books is funny and contains great insights into how we predict things and why this process is important. My job includes predicting the cost of projects and there were important insights in this book that are relevant to what I and all of us do every day. I plan to listen to this again because I don’t think I absorbed all the insight in one pass. These concepts are important enough that I want to be able to clearly communicate them to friends. This book is not at all new age or touchy feely, it summarizes a great deal of research in the field.

  64. ben marianovits

    Eye opening journey!
    This book is an amazing eye opening journey into the foundational elements which our brains use to construct our mind, our environment, our past, present, and our future selves.

  65. Gail Hasler

    An interesting and well read audiobook
    Stumbling on Happiness was a great audiobook experience. The author does a great job in conveying a sense of humour and wonderment while navigating important scientific findings regarding the human brain and behaviour. If you are interested in how your brain works (and how it doesn’t) and you like big ideas explained clearly then I recommend this book.

  66. Maki Tolentino

    Provides great perspectives
    The book doesn’t give us a formula on how to be happy, but it shows the tendencies we do on a lot of situations. It provides a good framework on how to dissect your current situation and how to frame or analyze it to feel happy.

  67. Curtis

    Interesting ideas, poorly organized
    Overall, I’m glad I read it. Interesting ideas, thought provoking topics, and nice anecdotal comedy. But it was rather disorganized and didn’t seem to have a consistent path.

  68. Pat C.

    I feel lost most of the time!
    I bought this book realizing the new concept behind it, however I was disappointed with the way that this book was structured and the fact that it was targeting ideas that seem rather important and highly relevant yet I didn’t feel at anytime in the book that the writer was able to put these great ideas into practice and into my mind.

  69. Luis Modert

    A smart, entertaining, and illuminating discussion on what happiness really is. This will open your mind to a different reality. Highly recommended.

  70. Williams N.

    ספר מעורר מחשבה. הרבה מאוד נדע מעבר לחומר ומוגש נפ
    ההקראה של גילברט מעולה. הרבה הומור וחן ההופכות כל הסבר קשה של נושא סבוך למעניין וקליל. ממש מומלץ

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