Themes What Makes Us Happy?

What Makes Us Happy?

It's perhaps the most universal human yearning: to be happy. But this simplest of goals so often eludes us. We're not terribly good, we humans, at knowing what we want.

"The Pursuit of Happiness" was 2004's conference theme, but TED speakers over many years have continued this quest. Daniel Gilbert's astonishing talk shows how we're poor predictors of what will actually make us happy. Stefan Sagmeister shares how great design contributed to his happiest moments, suggesting that the secret may be attention to detail. And Malcolm Gladwell, tongue in cheek, explores what we might learn about the pursuit of happiness through one man's quest to make the perfect pasta sauce.

But suppose we understand happiness. How, then, do we find it? Carl Honore says the key is, simply, to slow down. Pastor Rick Warren appeals for a life of spiritual purpose. And Barry Schwartz thinks a little less choice might do us all a lot of good.

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Play_iconRuth Chang: How to make hard choices

Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices

14:41 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 1,921,751 | Comments: 244

Play_iconDan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self

Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self

06:49 Posted: Jun 2014

Views: 1,302,319 | Comments: 182

Play_iconJennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar

Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar

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Play_iconDavid Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy?

David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy?

05:01 Posted: Apr 2014

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Play_iconAsh Beckham: We're all hiding something. Let's find the courage to open up

Ash Beckham: We're all hiding something. Let's find the courage to open up

09:22 Posted: Feb 2014

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Play_iconYann Dall'Aglio: Love -- you're doing it wrong

Yann Dall'Aglio: Love -- you're doing it wrong

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Play_iconPaul Piff: Does money make you mean?

Paul Piff: Does money make you mean?

16:35 Posted: Dec 2013

Views: 2,138,998 | Comments: 662

Play_iconMatt Killingsworth: Want to be happier? Stay in the moment

Matt Killingsworth: Want to be happier? Stay in the moment

10:16 Posted: Nov 2012

Views: 1,751,069 | Comments: 264

Play_iconBaba Shiv: Sometimes it's good to give up the driver's seat

Baba Shiv: Sometimes it's good to give up the driver's seat

09:47 Posted: Jul 2012

Views: 630,813 | Comments: 83

Play_iconJane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

19:30 Posted: Jul 2012

Views: 4,636,485 | Comments: 487

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