Psychologist Dan Gilbert challenges the idea that we'll be miserable if we don't get what we want. Our "psychological immune system" lets us feel real, enduring happiness, he says, even when things don’t go as planned. He calls this kind of happiness "synthetic happiness," and he says it's "every bit as real and enduring as the kind of happiness you stumble upon when you get exactly what you were aiming for."Great 20 min video from the TED conference here. Well worth the watch!
If you're more into reading ink on dead trees, get his book: Stumbling on Happiness