Response Essay on "The Futile Pursuit of Happiness"

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Is making a decision on a whim or saying down the road that you will be happy with your life possible? According to the article, “The Futile Pursuit of Happiness” by Jon Gertner explains how psychologists Daniel Gilbert and George Lowenstein conduct numerous studies on predicting happiness. Upon reviewing the information presented in this article it is clear that predicting happiness is not possible. Although in the moment of purchasing a new hot item can put a huge smile on your face, knowing that same item will bring you happiness in the future is not likely.
Most people make rash decisions when they are in hot and cold states. When people are in cold states they are calm and collected, and when in a hot state they are in the heat of the moment or their anxiety levels are up. During my teenage years, a girl I knew snuck out of her home in the middle of the night to meet a boy she thought she loved. They ran away to another town called Spring to elope. After a few weeks of marriage, they became unhappy and realized they had made a huge mistake. Another example, in my case whenever I am on my way to Dollywood I am determined to ride the rollercoasters, but when I am halfway up the line I start panicking and exit the line as quick as possible. In the study of hot and cold decision making Gertner states, “Among other things, this line of inquiry has led Lowenstein to collaborate with health experts looking into why people engage in unprotected sex when they would never agree to do so in moment of cool calculation” (21). While in cold states it is apparent that people are able to make better choices they will not regret, whereas in a hot state people tend to make unwise choices that may have undesirable consequences.
People ofte...

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...appy no matter what is going on. People can be truly happy, but they have to work at it every day. If people are unhappy, then they need to change whatever is inside them in order to be happy. Individuals who are in the pursuit of finding happiness, which more than likely is everyone, need to have faith in themselves and a calm voice in their heads. If people keep those two things on their minds, then there is no reason why they cannot predict their happiness, even if it’s in short time frames. Even if predictions of happiness are not always right, at least people get that temporary sensation of feeling something special. A temporary sensation is better than having no sensation of feeling special at all.


Works Cited

Gertner, Jon. The Futile Pursuit of Happiness. New York: The Daily Times, 2003. Print.

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