We can't do what we'd really like to do -- namely, travel through time, pay a visit to our future selves, and see how happy those selves areĀ­ -- and so we imagine the future instead of actually going there. Quote from Daniel Gilbert
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No. 43: Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert's self-help book, 'Stumbling on Happiness: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness', has landed at No. 43 on our list of the Top 100 self-help books of all time.

Classic Self-Help BooksA scientific look at what leads to human happiness, Daniel Gilbert’s book is as illuminating as any self-help book. Gilbert, a Harvard psychology professor, posits that the one ability we have above animals is to predict the future. Unfortunately, Gilbert says, our predictions aren’t that great, and they’re entirely unimaginative. Instead, we waste too much time thinking about how we’d like to things to be rather than acting on those desires.

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Other Books by Daniel Gilbert

1) 'Psychology' (2009), by Daniel Gilbert. Designed as a broad introduction to 'Psychology', the book surveys groundbreaking and cutting-edge psychological experiments. Designed to be readable and thought-provoking, the psychology text book is designed specifically for first-year psychology students. Amazon.com: Psychology, a new college textbook By Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness.

Related Self-Help Books on Happiness

1) 'The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want', by Sonja Lyubomirsky. Filled with "happiness strategies," Sonja Lyubomirsky's book, 'The How of Happiness', teaches readers to use mindful activities to increase their happiness. Lyubomirsky starts by helping readers find their "happiness set point", then uses that to craft our own definitions of what happiness is, and what it isn't. Amazon.com: The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, by Sonja Lyubomirsky.



2) 'Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness' by Daniel G. Amen. Straight from a neuroscientist, Daniel Amen’s “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” aims to draw a strong connection between our mental health, our bodies and our feelings of well being. Utilizing brain scans that show everything from nicotine depression to epilepsy, Amen points out how different areas of the brain are prone to dying off or becoming overexcited — conditions that lead to very specific behaviors. His book targets a wide range of maladies, from anxiety to anger, worry and depression, and he offers an equally wide range of holistic answers: guided imagery, biofeedback and deep cycle breathing to name a few. Amazon.com: Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness.



3) 'The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness', by J. Mark G. Williams, John D. Teasdale, Zindel V. Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn. From an all-star team of psychologists and scientists, “The Mindful Way through Depression” stresses a mix of science and “mindfulness” — or “insight meditation.” Mindfulness stresses living in the moment, and the authors use a mixture of narrative and an eight-week program to help you pay attention to the moment. It’s a perfect Western mix of traditional cognitive treatments and Eastern sensibilities that help you avoid the negative judgments that so many of us formulate. Amazon.com: The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness', by J. Mark G. Williams, John D. Teasdale, Zindel V. Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn.



4) 'Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment', by Tal Ben-Shahar. A Harvard prof who regularly teaches 'Positive Psychology', Tal Be-Shahar argues that happiness is a skill that can be learned. Unfortunately, most of us don't put effort into attempting to learn it. As Ben-Shahar writes in 'Happier', the only way we can learn happiness, though, is by understanding what happiness means to us. Then, we must take positive action towards obtaining it, and suspending our nonproductive thoughts. Amazon.com: Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, by Tal Ben-Shahar.

Who is Daniel Gilbert? A short biography at SelfHelp.fm

A social psychologist educated at University of Colorado and Princeton, Daniel Gilbert now servers as Professor of Psychology at Harvard College. He's the author of Stumbling on Happiness as well as a new psychology text book titled 'Psychology'. Gilbert's quite frank when it comes to the subject of happiness, and our often-erroneous beliefs about it. "Psychologists and economists now know that although the very rich are no happier than the merely rich, for the other 99 percent of us, happiness is greatly enhanced by a few quaint assets, like shelter, sustenance and security. Those who think the material is immaterial have probably never stood in a breadline," Gilbert writes on his blog. Read more here.


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