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.

Email to a friend »

Subscribe to RSS feed ยป

Play_iconSebastian Deterding: What your designs say about you

Sebastian Deterding: What your designs say about you

12:23 Posted: May 2012

Views: 565,519 | Comments: 36

Play_iconMichael Norton: How to buy happiness

Michael Norton: How to buy happiness

10:58 Posted: Apr 2012

Views: 2,550,225 | Comments: 359

Play_iconLaura Carstensen: Older people are happier

Laura Carstensen: Older people are happier

11:38 Posted: Apr 2012

Views: 856,236 | Comments: 118

Play_iconJonathan Haidt: Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence

Jonathan Haidt: Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence

18:16 Posted: Mar 2012

Views: 907,290 | Comments: 473

Play_iconLarry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career

Larry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career

15:15 Posted: Mar 2012

Views: 2,778,383 | Comments: 802

Play_iconShawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

12:20 Posted: Feb 2012

Views: 8,312,825 | Comments: 659

Play_iconAlain de Botton: Atheism 2.0

Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0

19:20 Posted: Jan 2012

Views: 1,463,831 | Comments: 1246

Play_iconJane Fonda: Life's third act

Jane Fonda: Life's third act

11:20 Posted: Jan 2012

Views: 1,899,589 | Comments: 286

Play_iconDaniel Goldstein: The battle between your present and future self

Daniel Goldstein: The battle between your present and future self

15:59 Posted: Dec 2011

Views: 1,398,593 | Comments: 222

Play_iconKathryn Schulz: Don't regret regret

Kathryn Schulz: Don't regret regret

16:51 Posted: Dec 2011

Views: 908,055 | Comments: 179

Comment on this Idea

216 total comments

This comment will be attributed to . Not ? Sign Out.

Characters remaining: 2000

This comment will be attributed to . Not ? Sign Out.

Characters remaining: 2000