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Top 5 Ted Talks On The Art Of Being Happy

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Our modern lives are more fast-paced and stressful than ever before. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 is one of the main reasons it was one of the worst years in recent memory. Given the state of everything in the world, it’s only natural that you don’t feel as happy as you usually would before. 

External circumstances can have a significant impact on your mood and mental health. During these testing times, it’s essential to talk about the art of being happy. Taking on challenging circumstances with a smile on your face can help change your perspective entirely. Here are the top five ted talks that discuss the art of being happy!

Shawn Achor is an author and speaker who’s best known for talking about positive psychology. He’s the winner of more than a dozen teaching awards at Harvard University, and his class on positive psychology is the most popular!

In his Ted Talk, Shawn begins with a story from his childhood. The story is about how he was playing with his younger sister on the top bunk as a child, and she fell. Like any older brother would, Shawn panicked as his sister was about to cry and told her that the way she landed means that she’s a unicorn. Instead of crying, she returned to the bunk bed to continue playing, despite suffering from a broken leg. That’s where Shawn first experienced the power of positive psychology. 

Shawn then continues to discuss how employing more positive psychology doesn’t just benefit individuals; it helps organizations and industries achieve better outcomes. The talk provides a valuable insight into how maintaining positive psychology can help lead to more positive outcomes.

The next Ted Talk we recommend is by an American psychiatrist and Professor at Harvard Medical School. He’s most well known for being the Grant Study director, which is the longest study on happiness and has been running since 1938.

His Ted Talk begins with establishing the basis of the study. Its starting point was 75 years ago, and 724 men were a part of the study. These men were divided into two groups, the first group was selected when they were sophomores at Harvard College, and the second group was a group of boys who came from Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. 

Every year, the study conducts interviews with the members, sends them questionnaires, and takes complete medical examinations. It’s also expanded to include the wives and children of the men.

The study teaches us several things! However, the clearest message is those good relationships keep us happy and healthy. Robert continues to explain how maintaining good relationships is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life.

Dan Gilbert is the speaker in the next Ted Talk on our list. He believes that a lot of people are using the wrong map to pursue what makes us happy. His main argument is that our brain systematically misjudges what is going to make us happy!

In this Ted Talk, Dan attempts to break down happiness into its two basic components; happiness that individuals stumble upon and happiness that they find. Dan discusses that natural happiness occurs when individuals get what they want.

In comparison, synthetic happiness occurs when individuals don’t get what they want. Synthetic happiness is by its nature manufactured, and that’s why society views it as inferior. Dan then continues to argue that synthetic happiness isn’t inferior, and everyone has the ability to create their own happiness.

The Ted Talk’s main message is the presence of a “psychological immune system” that works most effectively when we don’t have tons of options!

Very few people’s lives follow the same journey as Matthieu Ricard’s. He’s a former biochemist who converted to Buddhism and is now a monk. He’s also a write, photographer, and translator. 

He discusses his main beliefs in his Ted Talk, ‘The Habits of Happiness. Matthieu believes that individuals can train well-being into the mind. Like with other activities, peace and serenity can become a habit. However, there’s a slight catch. People need to be willing to completely reprogram their thoughts to understand the meaning of true happiness. 

More often than not, people tend to confuse happiness with pleasure, which leaves them always wanting and searching for more happiness. According to the Buddhist view, well-being is a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment. Instead of pursuing outward happiness, individuals should look to pursue what makes them happy from the inside! 

Many people are guilty of being their own worst enemies, and that’s exactly what Mel Robbins discusses in the final Ted Talk on our list. Mel is a criminal lawyer and a life coach who’s held in very high regard! 

Her Ted Talk centers around how people will want change but won’t put in the necessary effort to bring about the change. She argues that getting what you want out of life is simple, but it’s not an easy task. People will keep telling themselves that they’re fine, and they’ll fail to push themselves to achieve what they really want. 

She discusses the importance of activation energy. The force necessary to get people to change and move out of their comfort zone!


While there’s no one secret to learning how to live a happy and fulfilling life, watching these Ted Talks will definitely familiarize you with some important lessons!


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