TED Conversations

Nic Marks

Director, Happiness Works


This conversation is closed.

Can we really become happier? Happier ourselves? Can we create happier places to work? Or even happier societies?

Happiness can often seem elusive ... like love ... the more we chase it the more it seems to slip away from us. Can we really become lastingly happier? Are such efforts worthwhile or futile?

What about organisations and businesses? Can we create happier organisations? Would they be more effective or simply not be competitive?

How about whole societies? Should governments be seeking to help citizens lead happier lives? Or is that somehow sinister?

The new emerging science of happiness and well-being seems to offer some insights but the real world is not the same as controlled experiments.

What do you think? What are your favourite recipes for happiness?

Take part in this Live Conversation this Wednesday, 11th January at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT (my time zone in London!)


Closing Statement from Nic Marks

Well I enjoyed 'hosting' this conversation very much ... we touched on so many topics from the meanings of happiness, the pathways to happiness and a look at the darker side of depression and suicide. We talked of determination, choice, acceptence, contentment and love ... of generosity and poverty ... of consumerism and education ... of passions and curiosity, mediation and exercise ...

It seems to me that a conversation about happiness can get to the core of the human experience ... and in a world facing difficulties of today and tomorrow (a MLK quote!) it could just be that thinking and having conversations about human happiness could be the start of a quiet revolution of our shared world ...

Thanks for talking with me today

Be well


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    Jan 11 2012: Happiness is just a matter of choice... If you decide to be happy, you will find reasons to be happy...
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      Jan 11 2012: Dolly Parton says this! I once wrote an article about why she was 50% right ... basically our environments are also important ... harder to be happy with an abusive partner/parent ... harder to be happy if your friends and family are dying of malaria, HIV/Aids or in conflicts ... more people thrive in benign environments and more sink in deprived ones - but some struggle in objectively very nice circumstances and others do well in spite of adversity ... we are ourselves and our environments ...
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      Jan 11 2012: For myself, this is completely true! When I was homeless and completely unloved, I was still very happy. I wasn't happy about my situation, but I still giggled and found silly things funny. You really do decide.

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