Pursuit of Happiness : 5 Ted Talks To Change Your Life

We believe that the art and science of happiness can be taught as well as acquired. Hence, we present to you our list of 5 most inspiring TED Talk sessions which thoroughly explain the anatomy of happiness in a shell:



1) The Surprising Science of Happiness- Dan Gilbert

This session of TED Talks is commendable because it explains happiness with scientific reasoning.  Dan Gilbert explains how happiness can be ‘synthesized’, like he puts it ‘we all have a remarkable machine in our head’ which is based on a system of cognitive processes (largely non-conscious) which can be used to change our perspective on how we feel about the world we live in. He cites how people, who have gone through the most difficult, traumatizing experiences shared how they were humbled, how the experience was ‘glorious’ and spoke at length about their inner contentment and happiness.

So what is ‘synthetic happiness’? Unlike ‘natural’ happiness which we feel when we get what we want, synthetic happiness is happiness which we realize when we don’t get what we wanted. Watch this session to understand scientifically how we can condition ourselves to accept that something’s are better than others, but when we let our ‘preferences for the better and best’ drive us too fast and too soon- we are at a risk. Similarly, constantly questioning our choices, getting worried and overthinking about circumstances can all manifest into more unhappiness and longing. Break the vicious cycle, accept happiness is multi-faceted and take charge of your situation rather than blaming it.

The Surprising Science of Happiness- Dan Gilbert

2) The Happy Secret to Better Work- Shawn Anchor

This chapter explains the power of positive psychology: focusing and pursuing the positives rather than the negatives. We should study people who are happy and focus on ‘why’ are they happy. Induce a change in your mindset by writing things you are grateful for, performing random acts of kindness and meditating to control your flow of thoughts. In the professional world: 25% of job performance is based on intelligence while 75% is driven from your ability to perceive stress as a challenge, support of networks and optimism.

It’s worth watching because it challenges the notion that ‘if I get successful I will get happy’. This is flawed because once we get what we want, we engage in pursuing some other goals and this cycle continues. For us- the definition of success is always changing because we are constantly pushing our boundaries. Take a note: 90% of your happiness comes from your thoughts and perceptions of the world around you and only 10% is driven by surroundings! Happiness makes one more successful and resilient.



The Happy Secret to Better Work- Shawn Anchor

3) What makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness- Robert Waldinger

Watch this episode of TED to discover the findings of the longest study on happiness conducted over a span of 75 years on 724 men by Harvard researcher Robert Waldinger! The focus of the study was to uncover what keeps people happy and healthy as they go through life. The biggest learning is: good relationships are a key to happiness and health. 3 lessons to take note of are: One, we can never undermine the importance of social connection because loneliness poisons a person. Two, the ‘quality’ of your close relationships matter (this is not dependent on the number of friends you have or if you are committed in a relationship or not) – conflict affects our health adversely while warm relationships command power of healing and protectiveness. Lastly, good relationships not only protect our bodies, but also brains. People in secure relationships demonstrated sharper memories compared to the ones who weren’t in such relationships. An important point to note is: good and secure relationships does not mean that every day, everything will be perfect- its rather derived from the faith and belief a person has on their partner of relying and counting on them.

What makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness- Robert Waldinger

4) The Price of Happiness- Benjamin Wallace

Can you put a price on happiness? This is the central idea behind Benjamin Wallace’s session on TED Talks to discuss questions like: can money buy happiness? Is the most expensive item, the best? And how our brain connects happiness with money.

During the course of his quest to uncover the relation between money and happiness, he conducted various experiments to sample and test high end items in diverse fields and this chapter captures his views on them. An interesting insight I found was in his experience when he went to taste over 60 of the best wines in the world and in the end he could not tell the difference amongst them!

As humans we do perceive expensive items to be better and purchasing them does trigger an emotion which we call happiness, but how soon does that feeling disappear? How long before a person starts yearning for something new, different or better? Material goods can only give so much happiness. As Mr. Wallace explains, human brain is hard wired in such a way whereby an item may be unusable or impractical, but simply by the virtue of it being high-priced- we may turn a blind eye. Similarly, he tried wearing expensive$180 jeans and did not get any compliments – which brings us on another discovery: our happiness and satisfaction relies on what other people think of us. Watch this session to understand how human brain associates happiness to how other perceive us along with monetary value of material goods and not so much on everyday events.



The Price of Happiness- Benjamin Wallace

5) The Habits of Happiness- Matthieu Ricard

This chapter of TED Talks is based on Buddhist Monk, author and photographer from the Himalayas- Matthieu Ricard explaining the habits to inculcate happiness. All of us have a deep desire for happiness and well-being. Our definitions may be different but the fact that our idea of happiness has an impact on every aspect of our lives cannot be undermined.

The concept is beautifully explained with respect to our quest of searching for happiness but instead of looking outside, to in fact look inwards. Make your happiness and wellbeing independent of outward conditions, but develop strong inner conditions based on how we view the world. Happiness is explained as a state of serenity and fulfillment which is very different from mere pleasurable sensation. Watch this session to understand the art of “Mind Training” which is based on the premise that two opposite mental factors cannot happen at the same time for instance you cannot at the same time feel love and hate towards the same object or person (you cannot want to do them harm and also do them good at the same time). Mind training matters because scientific analysis proves that people who meditate on the idea of compassion are much happier! The way our mind functions truly defines the quality of our life and experiences.

The Habits of Happiness- Matthieu Ricard



Keep sharing this article and join the movement to spread smiles and happiness!

Cheers!!!

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Pursuit of Happiness : 5 Ted Talks To Change Your Life

We believe that the art and science of happiness can be taught as well as acquired. Hence, we present to you our list of 5 most inspiring TED Talk sessions which thoroughly explain the anatomy of happiness in a shell:



1) The Surprising Science of Happiness- Dan Gilbert

This session of TED Talks is commendable because it explains happiness with scientific reasoning.  Dan Gilbert explains how happiness can be ‘synthesized’, like he puts it ‘we all have a remarkable machine in our head’ which is based on a system of cognitive processes (largely non-conscious) which can be used to change our perspective on how we feel about the world we live in. He cites how people, who have gone through the most difficult, traumatizing experiences shared how they were humbled, how the experience was ‘glorious’ and spoke at length about their inner contentment and happiness.

So what is ‘synthetic happiness’? Unlike ‘natural’ happiness which we feel when we get what we want, synthetic happiness is happiness which we realize when we don’t get what we wanted. Watch this session to understand scientifically how we can condition ourselves to accept that something’s are better than others, but when we let our ‘preferences for the better and best’ drive us too fast and too soon- we are at a risk. Similarly, constantly questioning our choices, getting worried and overthinking about circumstances can all manifest into more unhappiness and longing. Break the vicious cycle, accept happiness is multi-faceted and take charge of your situation rather than blaming it.

The Surprising Science of Happiness- Dan Gilbert

2) The Happy Secret to Better Work- Shawn Anchor

This chapter explains the power of positive psychology: focusing and pursuing the positives rather than the negatives. We should study people who are happy and focus on ‘why’ are they happy. Induce a change in your mindset by writing things you are grateful for, performing random acts of kindness and meditating to control your flow of thoughts. In the professional world: 25% of job performance is based on intelligence while 75% is driven from your ability to perceive stress as a challenge, support of networks and optimism.

It’s worth watching because it challenges the notion that ‘if I get successful I will get happy’. This is flawed because once we get what we want, we engage in pursuing some other goals and this cycle continues. For us- the definition of success is always changing because we are constantly pushing our boundaries. Take a note: 90% of your happiness comes from your thoughts and perceptions of the world around you and only 10% is driven by surroundings! Happiness makes one more successful and resilient.



The Happy Secret to Better Work- Shawn Anchor

3) What makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness- Robert Waldinger

Watch this episode of TED to discover the findings of the longest study on happiness conducted over a span of 75 years on 724 men by Harvard researcher Robert Waldinger! The focus of the study was to uncover what keeps people happy and healthy as they go through life. The biggest learning is: good relationships are a key to happiness and health. 3 lessons to take note of are: One, we can never undermine the importance of social connection because loneliness poisons a person. Two, the ‘quality’ of your close relationships matter (this is not dependent on the number of friends you have or if you are committed in a relationship or not) – conflict affects our health adversely while warm relationships command power of healing and protectiveness. Lastly, good relationships not only protect our bodies, but also brains. People in secure relationships demonstrated sharper memories compared to the ones who weren’t in such relationships. An important point to note is: good and secure relationships does not mean that every day, everything will be perfect- its rather derived from the faith and belief a person has on their partner of relying and counting on them.

What makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness- Robert Waldinger

4) The Price of Happiness- Benjamin Wallace

Can you put a price on happiness? This is the central idea behind Benjamin Wallace’s session on TED Talks to discuss questions like: can money buy happiness? Is the most expensive item, the best? And how our brain connects happiness with money.

During the course of his quest to uncover the relation between money and happiness, he conducted various experiments to sample and test high end items in diverse fields and this chapter captures his views on them. An interesting insight I found was in his experience when he went to taste over 60 of the best wines in the world and in the end he could not tell the difference amongst them!

As humans we do perceive expensive items to be better and purchasing them does trigger an emotion which we call happiness, but how soon does that feeling disappear? How long before a person starts yearning for something new, different or better? Material goods can only give so much happiness. As Mr. Wallace explains, human brain is hard wired in such a way whereby an item may be unusable or impractical, but simply by the virtue of it being high-priced- we may turn a blind eye. Similarly, he tried wearing expensive$180 jeans and did not get any compliments – which brings us on another discovery: our happiness and satisfaction relies on what other people think of us. Watch this session to understand how human brain associates happiness to how other perceive us along with monetary value of material goods and not so much on everyday events.



The Price of Happiness- Benjamin Wallace

5) The Habits of Happiness- Matthieu Ricard

This chapter of TED Talks is based on Buddhist Monk, author and photographer from the Himalayas- Matthieu Ricard explaining the habits to inculcate happiness. All of us have a deep desire for happiness and well-being. Our definitions may be different but the fact that our idea of happiness has an impact on every aspect of our lives cannot be undermined.

The concept is beautifully explained with respect to our quest of searching for happiness but instead of looking outside, to in fact look inwards. Make your happiness and wellbeing independent of outward conditions, but develop strong inner conditions based on how we view the world. Happiness is explained as a state of serenity and fulfillment which is very different from mere pleasurable sensation. Watch this session to understand the art of “Mind Training” which is based on the premise that two opposite mental factors cannot happen at the same time for instance you cannot at the same time feel love and hate towards the same object or person (you cannot want to do them harm and also do them good at the same time). Mind training matters because scientific analysis proves that people who meditate on the idea of compassion are much happier! The way our mind functions truly defines the quality of our life and experiences.

The Habits of Happiness- Matthieu Ricard



Keep sharing this article and join the movement to spread smiles and happiness!

Cheers!!!

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