Why are we happy?

“Tis nothing good or bad

But thinking makes it so.”

– William Shakespeare

In the fifth class of the iTunes U course Understanding Happiness, Harvard Professor and author of Stumbing on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert, dissects the question: Why Are We Happy. This TED talk is wonderful!  Daniel Gilbert is entertaining and excellent at explaining how the brain makes us happy.  As the brain evolved, it gained new structure, namely the frontal lobe and specifically the prefrontal cortex, and this new structure enables us to sythesize happiness. That’s right, happiness can be synthesized:  this means we can create  something by artificial means – in other words we make it up!  Fascinating!  In example after example, and experiment after experiment, Gilbert shows us scientifically how we synthesize our happiness.

“Natural Happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted.  Synthetic Happiness is what we make when we don’t get what we wanted. Synthetic Happiness is every bit as real and enduring as Natural Happiness!”

So Shakespeare’s words are more true than ever – thinking makes it so. Oprah implores us to Choose Happiness!  And with this latest research, it’s proven, we can.  I’m not saying it’s always easy, just that it is possible.

Please take the time to watch this informative and entertaining video, I think you’ll be glad you did.


Please let me know what you thought of Daniel Gilbert’s TED talk at iTunes U, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on why you are happy.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.







3 thoughts on “Why are we happy?

    • Thank you Cam. There are 2 more classes in the Understanding Happiness iTunes U course, so there will be 2 more posts. I’m totally enjoying the course; I’m glad you’re enjoying it too. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.


  1. Pingback: Happiness is Good for your Health | This Way Up

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