Nat Ware: Why we’re unhappy — the expectation gap

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Why are we getting richer but not happier? Why do lottery winners not have sustained happiness? Why are bronze medalists often happier than silver medalists? “The first step to being happy is to understand why we’re often unhappy,” says economist and entrepreneur Nat Ware. In an entertaining and enlightening talk, Nat shows that we’re bad predictors of happiness, and explains why this is. We make decisions based on actual outcomes, Nat says, but our happiness depends on relative outcomes. We’ve been seduced into a way of life that conspires against our contentment by making it near impossible for reality to live up to our expectations. It is this expectation gap – the gap between our expectations and reality – that Nat argues is a key reason we’re unhappy. Nat challenges us to not relegate happiness to the world of art and the realm of hippies, but to start taking happiness seriously. The answer is not to simply lower our expectations, but rather to change the very way in which we make decisions.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s