Upon viewing the TED talk “The Science of Happiness” by Dan Gilbert, I was left in awe at the human brain and how it relates to happiness. Happiness is viewed as an unconquerable thing when in reality we have the tools to become happy through our own anatomy and physiology. Human adaptability is an art form, and that art form is lost with the many choices we are forced to make in our lives.
The empirical evidence given by Dan Gilbert is very convincing on the scientific aspects of happiness. It doesn’t have to be sought after through metaphysical measures, but perhaps only through practical measures by understand our own anatomy and physiology. I found myself siding with Gilbert on his ability to draw parallels with happiness and number of choices. It seems our brain(and happiness along with it), can go into lock down if we have too many choices in our life. If happiness is viewed as this magical formula that can only be obtained through supernatural forces, then it may become impossible to achieve. The only negative I viewed from the video was the slightly convoluted message about awareness of happiness. Meaning if we know that our brain is tricking us into thinking that we are happy, then are we really happy? In this case it is the sheer functionality of our brain that can convince us that we are not happy. If this is so then our greatest tool, our brain, is working against our goal of happiness.
The various scenarios that our brain can create is astounding. Dan Gilbert suggests that if we limit those scenarios then our brain does not have the opportunity to trick us. It doesn’t have that ability because it doesn’t have to formulate models on where or what will make us happ7. Streamlining the utility of our brain directly coincides with the choices we have in front of us. If I can cut out potential scenarios (good or bad) from my mind then it won’t matter on the scenario I chose. This is because I chose the scenario itself and didn’t give my brain an inordinate amount of time to muddle through the options. In time, because of this, I will be happy because a choice was made. In a classroom this can be very useful. By cutting down on choice within choices it will allow a student to expand in a specific area. This allows them the opportunity for their brain to function at its highest because there are less distractions. Happiness seems to thrive on knowing that our brain has made a choice.