I started reading Daniel Gilbert’s @ ” Stumbling on Happiness” yesterday and am excited to spend the weekend devouring the 300 pages. He opens with The Sentence TS ” The human being is the only animal that …” (spoiler alert – I will give his answer at the end of this post). I jokingly said this morning that I would finish TS with “creates PowerPoints.” I was attending a Sustainability Breakfast ( I am not sure what sustainability means – is it perspective?) and the three speakers all expounded on their position with/by filling the visual void with charts, stats, pictures and text. One presentation animated itself and ran in an uncontrollable loop. So maybe PowerPoint isn’t an example of our uniqueness.
There are lots of responses to TS ; speaking, laughing, crying, thinking, falling in love, showing empathy, believe in a higher power. I suppose that a philosopher could prove or disprove any of these. Gilbert conclusively sets aside some myths in Chapter One. The act of completing TS is part of what makes us unique and I encourage readers to take their own stab at reflecting and sharing their perspective.
My real answer (this morning) is ” The human being is the only animal that is capable of committing to higher order habits”. When we are able to consider and anticipate barriers to success and motivation around personal change and then look to a bigger question, we are exhibiting a quest for Higher order habit. Gretchen Rubin, in ” Better Than Before” convinced me that if I choose to “Live a heathier life”, for example, I never need to decide between an apple or a piece of cake or going for a run versus watching TV. I can not think of an example where other co-inhabitants demonstrate higher order rationalization. That is what I believe (today). How do you complete TS?
Make Today Remarkable, by figuring out uniqueness,
PS – Gilbert completes TS with ” The human being is the only animal that thinks about the future.”