TED Conversations

Nic Marks

Director, Happiness Works

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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!)

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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

Nic

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    Jan 11 2012: I love this topic -- talking w/ a gfriend of mine a long while back, her mother is a psychiatrist who travels to norwegian countries to discuss the high rates of suicide (she most recently went to Finland). In reading, though, the happiest people/countries are the nordic states... what is it that creates such a high rate of suicide there then? Another friend of mine believes is Seasonal Disorder (SAD) since they're in darkness and cold much longer than other countries. What are your thoughts on this?
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      Jan 11 2012: you know i think this is a bit of an urban myth that suicide is higher in nordic countries ... suicide is a rare event - young males are more violent and therefore more successful at killing themselves than young females - who self harm more ... plus how would you commit suicide? in the Uk we have no access to guns so it is harder to actually do it! Nordic countries have more hunting countries so more success at suicide - plus also doctors/vets/farmers have higher suicide rates - as they have access to methods ... PLUS nordic countries have better public recording systems and in Norway I know they investigate every death for possibel suicide whereas in many countries to be kind to the families left behind they just write down accidental death ... so I am not sure ...
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        Jan 11 2012: I must tell you wrong in your assumption Nic.One doesn't speak about it often but suicide rates are high, for instance here in the North of the Netherlands what we call Friesland. Most by young people that see no perspective in life.
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          Jan 11 2012: I am not saying suicide is not a problem at all ... in the UK about 4,500 commit suicide each year - 5x the murder rate ... and 20x the murder rate by strangers - but i am saying that there are environmental factors in that rate - ie young men "succeed" more than your girls (who try more often) ... of course sucide is a BIG problem ...

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