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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...
For artist Jennifer Allison, everyday sounds can be overwhelming, certain clothes feel like rubbing against a cactus, and the number four is always royal blue. Allison suffers from a neurological condition called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), which causes her brain to react to stimuli in illogical and sometimes painful ways. Through her wil...
For months Uma Adwani struggled to make a living in a new city, until she was hired to teach a subject she loathed most: math. Growing up Adwani despised the subject, but as she developed lesson plans for her class, she began to fall in love with its magic, poetry and symmetry. In this talk, Adwani shares the secret wisdom she's found hidden in ...
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.
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.
Laura Trice is a counselor, life coach -- and purveyor of wholesome junk food.
Counselor, coach and baker
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).
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.
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.
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.
Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery.
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
Thanks to the miracle of caffeine, the author delivers a stirring, nonpreachy sermon on gratitude. —Kirkus Reviews About the book About the author
These TED Talks will help you conjure up massive amounts of gratitude.
Curated by TED · 7 talks
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.
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 her book "The Power of Meaning," Emily Esfahani Smith rounds up the latest research -- and the stories of fascinating people she interviewed -- to argue that the search for meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness.
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
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 ...
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.
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.
As a partner in seymourpowell, Richard Seymour designs idea-driven products -- from household goods to trains and motorcycles.
Martin Seligman is the founder of positive psychology, a field of study that examines healthy states, such as happiness, strength of character and optimism.
Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists -- that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is.
Sometimes called the "happiest man in the world," Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author and photographer.
Monk, author, photographer
Everyone wants to be happy. But how, exactly, does one go about it? Here, psychologists, journalists, Buddhist monks and more gives answers that may surprise.
Curated by TED · 14 talks
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...
Neil Pasricha is one of the world's leading authorities on intentional living.
Thinker, writer, speaker, podcaster