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The first American to be ordained a Tibetan Monk by the Dalai Lama, Robert A.F. Thurman is a scholar, author and tireless proponent of peace.
These TED Talks will help you conjure up massive amounts of gratitude.
Curated by TED · 7 talks
Typically financial parameters like return on equity, cash flow or relative market share indicate to investors if a company is fundamentally healthy, but millennial Lena Dumont wants a new measure of a company's long-term prospects. What if companies instead used happiness as an additional indicator of success? By measuring such factors as avera...
Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there's a more fulfilling path? Happiness comes and goes, says writer Emily Esfahani Smith, but having meaning in life -- serving something beyond yourself and developing the best within you -- gives you something to hold onto. Learn more about the difference between being happy and having mean...
The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming -- it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents -- to raise happy children -- is so elusive. In this honest talk, Senior offers some kinder an...
Biophysicist Luca Turin studies the science of smell. He's the author of Perfumes: The Guide, and the subject of Chandler Burr's 2003 book The Emperor of Scent. His next project: developing an artificial nose.
Fun doesn’t stop at adulthood. Reconnect with your sense of wonder and imagination in these playful talks.
Curated by TED · 9 talks
Nic Marks gathers evidence about what makes us happy, and uses it to promote policy that puts the well-being of people and the planet first. He's the founder of the Centre for Well-Being at the UK think tank New Economics Foundation (NEF).
The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you're going, and above all, being grateful.
Laura Trice is a counselor, life coach -- and purveyor of wholesome junk food.
Counselor, coach and baker
Born with a rare genetic disorder called progeria, Sam Berns knew he'd be facing more obstacles in life than most. This didn't stop him from taking charge of his own happiness. In this moving and inspirational talk, Berns lays out the three principles of the personal philosophy that allowed him to do so.
A story, a work of art, a face, a designed object -- how do we tell that something is beautiful? And why does it matter so much to us? Designer Richard Seymour explores our response to beauty and the surprising power of objects that exhibit it.
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo says happiness and success are rooted in a trait most of us disregard: the way we orient toward the past, present and future. He suggests we calibrate our outlook on time as a first step to improving our lives.
In the face of trauma, happiness is resilience: a revolutionary act of thriving despite all odds, rather than wilting or surrendering. Community organizer and activist Miracle Jones offers a heart-to-heart meditation on the role of joy as a form of radical resistance, survival and protection for Black folks in the US and across the world. A warm...
When the dotcom bubble burst, hotelier Chip Conley went in search of a business model based on happiness. In an old friendship with an employee and in the wisdom of a Buddhist king, he learned that success comes from what you count.
Thanks to the miracle of caffeine, the author delivers a stirring, nonpreachy sermon on gratitude. —Kirkus Reviews About the book About the author
Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong -- a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.
Psychologist; happiness expert
Maira Kalman's wise, witty drawings have appeared on numberless New Yorker covers, in a dozen children's books, and throughout the pages of the Elements of Style. Her latest book, The Principles of Uncertainty, is the result of a year-long illustrated blog she kept for the New York Times.
After a decade-long conducting career in his native Israel, Itay Talgam has reinvented himself as a "conductor of people" -- in government, academia, business and education. He is the author of The Ignorant Maestro.
Conductor and leadership expert
Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery.
Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy -- and our own self-awareness.
Sometimes called the "happiest man in the world," Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author and photographer.
Monk, author, photographer
Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness -- sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces.
Martin Seligman is the founder of positive psychology, a field of study that examines healthy states, such as happiness, strength of character and optimism.
From the curator of Understanding Happiness, a brief look at the key facts, the tough questions and the big ideas in his field. Begin this TED Studies subject with a fascinating read that gives context and clarity to the material. An introduction to happiness A few years ago I stumbled upon a question I found both shocking and exhilarating: Supp...
Deepen your comprehension of Understanding Happiness with these carefully crafted educational exercises that let you get the most out of this TED Studies subject. Activity 1 Work with others in your community to put on a Happiness Film Festival. Select films that explore happiness from different angles and create discussion questions that build ...
Neil Pasricha is one of the world's leading authorities on intentional living.
Thinker, writer, speaker, podcaster
Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation's success by its productivity -- instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn't have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You might be sur...
When are humans most happy? To gather data on this question, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be.