…bit — shows that we are very bad at guessing our reactions to both advantageous and adverse events. Things that seem terrible when they’re looming in the future (“I’m going to be fired!” “My partner is going to dump me!”) are actually not that bad in the rearview mirror (“I got fired and ended up pursuing my dream of being a sculptor!” “My boyfriend was a loser anyway, and I’m glad to be rid of him!”).
Here’s another finding from Lyubomirsky: When people making $30,000 a year are asked what kind of annual salary it would take to make them truly happy, the average answer is $50,000. When you ask the same question of people making $100,000 a year, you’d expect them to say, “I’m double-happy! I make twice the happiness threshold!” Instead, what they actually say, on average, is that if they made $250,000 a year, then they’d be truly happy.