Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted, and synthetic happiness is what we make when we don’t get what we wanted. In our society, we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind.

Dan Gilbert

Quotation #15375

About This Quote


Source: "The Surprising Science of Happiness." TED2004. Feb. 2004. Conference Presentation. Additional Information: According to research analyzed by Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, we generally believe that we can only attain true happiness if we get what we want; however, we can be just as happy when we don't get what we want. In the TED Talk this quote is from, Gilbert explains that getting what we want ("natural happiness") doesn't make us as happy as we think it will, or for as long as we think it will, and that even when we don't get what we want, we adapt and find happiness anyway ("synthetic happiness"). Watch the full TED Talk here: Dan Gilbert - The Surprising Science of Happiness