MY OWN VIEWS
Before we continue, however, it is appropriate here to reiterate that the Fourteen Fundamentals are all based solely on scientific research; not on my own opinions or conjecture. In fact, if this book had been based on my own personal philosophy and views, the Fundamentals would be quite different than they have turned-out to be. And in many cases, my own, pre-conceived ideas about happiness were just plain wrong!
More than any of the Fundamentals, “lower your expectations and aspirations” proves the value of the scientific method. Science is more concerned in discovering how things actually are, than how we wish them to be. Let the data reveal what is true! Control over our lives can only come with accurate information based on objective facts, not through conjecture or belief. Science proves its value through the pragmatic test: it works.
Much of the time scientific research confirms our naive preconceptions about the world, as it has in many of the discoveries we have made regarding the nature of human happiness. When it does, it gives our common-sense notions a stronger sense of certitude. It moves ideas from the ephemeral world of intuition to the concrete world of reliable facts. We generally take for granted how wonderfully secure and predictable the world becomes for us when such scientific certainty exists.
But it is in the case of those rare scientific “gems” — cases when the data reveals understandings that defy our common-sense notions — that science really pays-off. Such, may be the case with Fundamental Six when it comes to our common understanding of happiness…