I’ve been listening lately to Yale University’s Dr. Laurie Santos’ popular HAPPINESS LAB podcast. I highly recommend.
She mentioned a concept by Dr. Dan Gilbert (Author of Stumbling on Happiness, host of three popular TED talks, and Harvard Professor of Psychology) that I followed up on. It is called the “end of history illusion”.
Here is how it goes:
- When they ask 20 year-olds how much they think they will change in the NEXT ten years, most assume very little.
- Yet when they ask 30 year-olds how much they changed over the LAST ten years, it turns out that they actually changed a lot.
- This “mistake” (assuming we are fully formed when we’re not) is found at EVERY AGE.
Furthermore, it is true for virtually ALL types of change: values, personality, likes and dislikes (what your favorite type of activity or vacation will be, who your friends will be, etc). It is not just the minor stuff that changes – MAJOR stuff changes too.
The implications are massive:
We change MUCH MORE, and MUCH MORE FUNDAMENTALLY than we think do, and this continues for our entire lives.
We can – and will! – change. It is up to us to decide how.
We can become happier.
We can become better.