The crafters of the Declaration of Independence for the United States believed that all men had certain unalienable rights, that of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Happiness is something that may not be unique to humanity, for as far as we can understand empirically, it seems that animals experience similar emotions of happiness and sadness. Nevertheless, humans are unique in that we have built a social construct around happiness and we can synthesize happiness no matter what our present situation.
“I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that I can convert poverty to riches, adversity to prosperity, and I am more invulnerable than Achilles: fortune hath not one place to hit me.” -Sir Thomas Browne (1642)
Dan Gilbert takes an amazing and objective look at the science behind happiness and our “psychological immune system.”