5 Ted Talks
The Surprising Science of Happiness. The Truth About Being Happy Now. By Dan Gilbert.
5 Scientific Facts About Happiness.
- People overestimate the pleasure they’ll gain or lose from future events. Happiness doesn’t hinge on getting what you want.
- A “system” of mainly “nonconscious cognitive processes” enables you to manufacture feelings of contentment even when your wants go unfulfilled.
- Manufactured happiness is of equal quality to “natural happiness,” or the joy of satisfied longings.
- However, freedom of choice hinders your ability to synthesize happiness, a response that works best when you feel “stuck” or “trapped.”
- Honor your preferences, but don’t fret about a perceived difference in outcomes. Trust the ability of your “psychological immune system” to maintain your happiness.
- The Surprising Science of Happiness. Dan Gilbert. TED, 2004. Time: 21:16.
There’s More to Life than Being Happy. How To Be Happy Now. By Emily Esfahani Smith.
The quest for happiness can make you miserable. Instead, pursue meaning by strengthening “four pillars”: “belonging, purpose, transcendence” and “storytelling.”
4 Pillars of Happiness for a Meaningful Life.
- Genuine relationships based on love and acceptance create a sense of belonging. Choose to nurture this feeling in yourself and others. Avoid behaviors that devalue people. For example, say you buy a newspaper every day from the same sidewalk vendor. The daily habit includes a friendly chat. One day, you don’t have correct change, and the vendor offers to let it slide. Yet you insist on obtaining the money, rejecting the kind offer and hurting the vendor’s feelings. Similarly, you devalue people if you check your phone during a conversation or fail to say hello to them. Connecting from a place of love forges bonds that benefit each participant.
- Discovering your purpose doesn’t mean finding a job that pleases you. Instead, seek work or projects that make a difference in the world. The goal isn’t to enrich yourself, but to use your skills and talent to help those in need.
- Connect to something greater than yourself. Some people achieve this through religion; others experience it through art or writing. Through transcendent experiences, people become less self-centered and more generous toward others.
- Clarify your self-concept by crafting the story of who you are and how you came to be distinctly you. As the “author of your story,” you’re empowered to edit your narrative. Consider the example of Emeka, who sustained a football injury that left him paralyzed. Initially, he said that his life was wonderful before the accident and terrible afterward. Over time, however, he developed a new narrative that the injury helped him live more purposefully. His story became one of salvation and growth.
Strengthening the four pillars within families and organizations helps people achieve their best selves – a process that is ongoing, demanding and dynamic.
- There’s More to Life than Being Happy. Emily Esfahani Smith. TED, 2017. Time: 12:18.
The Habits Of Happiness. Steps To Becoming Happy Now. By Matthieu Riccard.
5 Habits of Happiness
Happiness decides the quality of life.
- What you should do… Pursuit happiness by increasing meaning in your life.
This state of well-being remains constant even as sadness and other emotions ebb and flow.
- What you should do… Pursuit happiness instead of pleasure. Unlike pleasure, happiness doesn’t depend on circumstances and won’t fade.
Though health, longevity and other factors can aid happiness, your mind decodes all experience.
- What you should do… Attain happiness inwardly by training your mind.
Negative emotions and impulses are not inherent.
- What you should do… Utilize meditative exercises that can help you transform your thinking and perceptions.
Cognitive science proves that the adult brain can, with practice, strengthen certain “synaptic connections.” This applies to qualities such as human compassion.
- What you should do… Practice compassion for a meaningful life and develop long term sustainable happiness.
- The Habits of Happiness. Matthieu Riccard. TED Talk, 2004. Time: 20:57.
Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful To Be Happy Now. By David Steindl-Rast.
5 Life Lessons How To Live A Grateful Life.
- “It is not happiness that makes you grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes you happy.”
- True gratefulness blossoms when you receive a cherished gift with no strings attached.
- Pursue “grateful living” by pausing to appreciate the beauty and opportunity of each moment. This is the key to happiness.
- While you can’t feel grateful for war, hatred, oppression or other hardships, you can be thankful for the learning and growth opportunities that accompany such adversity.
- A grateful revolution is propagating worldwide, replacing hierarchies with smaller collaborative networks that engender gratitude and make the world a happier place.
- Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful. David Steindl-Rast. TED, 2013. Time: 14:30.
What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study On How To Be Happy Now. By Robert Waldinger.
5 Truths About Living a Happier And Healthier Life
- A 75-year Harvard University research study tracked 724 men throughout their adult lives to determine what contributes most to a happy and healthy life.
- The data have homed in on one clear conclusion: “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”
- While social connections are crucial for a good life, loneliness can be deadly.
- People in loving relationships live longer and are more content than those in high-conflict relationships, and those in supportive, reciprocal relationships tend to experience less memory loss.
- Make time for those you love, and reach out to those who have drifted from you; “all-too-common family feuds take a terrible toll on the people who hold the grudges.”
- What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness. Robert Waldinger. TED, 2015. Time: 12:46.
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