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What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | Robert Waldinger

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What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it's fame and money, you're not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you're mistaken. As the director of 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector
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Text Comments (5531)
Beesx (11 hours ago)
Putri Anggia (12 hours ago)
2019, and still great
Mei Lin Yeoell (1 day ago)
pity you did not think to include WOMEN in the study
Ozan Kasap (1 day ago)
A fellow named Epicurus said the same thing more than 2,000 years ago.
Mattski Messy Marvin (2 days ago)
Md Schämnfr (2 days ago)
I get tired when I talk to a lot of close friends.
Matt Bishton (2 days ago)
A true relationship with God, the greatest relationship to achieve these purposes
Matt Bishton (1 day ago)
+faisal omar God will reveal who He is truly is when one seeks for Him, so that they will find Him. To cry out to God with words as God who are you and what's my purpose. God is a big God who came near to us, who reached out to us as the great Saviour from our sins, who if only you call upon Him, and you shall be saved
faisal omar (1 day ago)
A true relationship with GOD can can be achieved by believing ONLY ONE GOD WITH NO ASSOCIATIONS WITH HUMAN BEING FOR EXAMPLE SON OF GOD. find ALLAH
anonym guy (3 days ago)
someone please count how often he says relationships
Priti Bhatt (3 days ago)
My parents led an examplary life. Struggles but steady in their morals. Always helping and caring for others. But life has not turned good for them. People whom they had obliged do not care to even keep in touch or call them. Yes relations keep a person young but it is not one sided wish. People whom you love should love you back. Which normally doesn't happen. Relations are business..have to be profitable. So my deduction is only people who are diplomatic who know how to juggle people's feelings and always believe in 'survival of self' are healthy wealthy and happy.
Muhammad Tufail (3 days ago)
I think we can make our life happy by choosing the goal of our life and strive hard to fulfill that. Allah said to the messenger! Say! my job description, customs, my life and my death are to reform the society means the nourishment of the whole mankind. Such efforts give us happy life.
حليمّة (3 days ago)
Great 🙇🏾‍♀️♥️.
Positive vibes only (3 days ago)
Best life advice: don’t stress about anything! When something comes your way find a way to handle and deal with it! 2nd best life advice: self -care!! I cannot stress this enough. DO YOU!! 3rd best life advice: Enjoy the simple things in life.. live in the present moment.
Lisa Longo (4 days ago)
When will people understand...Money and material things do not bring overall happiness. It is a quick fix but that is it.
Life United as One (5 days ago)
Reasons that I have learned about life, is by how you are willing to choose what you want to do, how, and why. Also, life is always complicated, but by our shared experiences and wisdom, we can help brighten our pain, future, and our afterlife of how we perceive life ourselves.
Ryan Lai (7 days ago)
The good life is built with good relationships
Jay Pee Lituañas (7 days ago)
Its all start in yourself, how confident you are to engage into relationship. Be into the situation that you are comfortable with yourself with or without other people. I mean thats more wise.
Evan K (9 days ago)
TLDW: Strong relationships with family and friends is one of the best ways to have a good life.
Minh Huynh (10 days ago)
one of my secrets to happiness is being delusional: I walk around and when I look at myself in the mirror, I think I am "the man."
ExtantFrodo2 (8 days ago)
yuyu tu (11 days ago)
Ariana Rainbow (11 days ago)
On the words "we studied 2 groups if MEN" you can switch the BS off. The study is FOR MEN ONLY. Okay? Happy 8th of March, women of the world. We still have A LOT to struggle for.
Yara Shreef (12 days ago)
I think that being alone will keep us healthy and happier , no dealing with stupied ,angry,negativity,missunderstanding people and you know what most od the time when i hang out with people i really feel bad,impty and stupied .. i prefer setting home ,meditate ,making money to travel the whole world,eat delecious food, reading and reading and reading why will i feel lonelt while im reading and living happy bymyslef haa?? sorry harfard😐👍
Schuyler Haussmann (12 days ago)
evolutionary trait. since the beginnings of mankind we relied upon each other to survive. bigger communities with good relations meant longer and more quality life and bigger chance for survival of children to adult age. it's hard coded in us
Galaxy motion pictures (12 days ago)
Awesome.... Incredible speech....Just loved it
Zocker TEAC (14 days ago)
Just believe in jesus Read the scriptures 4 the future
Tim Johnston (15 days ago)
I've been on my own for over 50 yrs. and my dr. says I have the health of a 35 yr. old. I'm 67 and can't stand being around ppl.. just more bs to scare ppl.. ppl who are doing great on their own HORSESHIT to this.
Elana Reinholtz (15 days ago)
Only took until the 1990s to think about having women in the study.. ;)
thien bui (16 days ago)
I'm always alone and feel unhappy. Maybe through my childhood and teen, i undorwent unhappy family and my parents's education, as result, i'm afraid of getting touch with peoples, i just live in my whole own life, i was depress until now. Thanks for this valuable video because of many meaningful messages
K A (16 days ago)
One could argue those who had a healthier attitude in life were flexible and able to keep the relationship happier.
jk1776 (17 days ago)
I am sorry but most of this talk seemed to be common sense to me, but what I disagree with is his implication that everyone has relationships that just need more work or different angles to rejuvenate them. He is forgetting that so many people are yearning to have relationships, whether friends, or lovers and can't find them. As many in the comments point out, who wants shallow acquaintances just to say you have "friends? True friends and family are more rare than you would think, and if they are not found, kept, and nurtured, you lose them very fast. Lastly, it may just be me, but whenever I see "friends" portrayed on TV, it inevitably reverts to some deception, backstabbing, or behind the back insult - is that really friendship these days?
Gulnar A (17 days ago)
похоже что спикер не совершенно осознает что прячется за желанием людей средств: это независимость, это безопасность, это здоровье, это образование, это жажда сделать счастливыми свою семью.... Может быть он сам не достигнул таких высот будто его коллеги, вот он и оправдывает себя семьёй.
Gulnar A (17 days ago)
какие длительные дела лицезрела я: отравление жизни товарищ другу с момента когда существование лишь началась и должна светиться всеми красками и до попросту доживания дней собственных. Нет, это не были мои предки. Мой папа спозаранку погиб и понимаете я задумывалась это был наилучший заворот событий, этак будто он был пьяницей и не понятно что бы было с нами будь он живой. Я говорю о родственниках, знакомых и попросту соседях. Поэтому мой умозаключение: лучше быть одному чем с кем попало. Да, я может быть обесцениваю дела, однако если уж гласить о любви, то это должна быть влюбленность с обоих сторон, а не терпение 1-го относительно другого. Поэтому я считаю что быть в отношениях только бы не быть одиноким - это не панацея
st. azangyal (17 days ago)
my grandfather lived passed 100. hated everybody and was always lonely. he had no relationship with anyone because he hated everyone lol. Smoked and drank a lot till 102. these studies prove nothing. No lessons are ever learned. If anything the message is deliberately distorted. read a book about the longest living people on earth are the people in isolation from society and relating relationships.
st. azangyal (17 days ago)
bullshit. the answer is actually the opposite
Endre Tivadar (17 days ago)
So beautifull 😯
Mohammad Al-Aalem (18 days ago)
الله يرزقنا *** I really love the way he speaks.
Sophie Girek (19 days ago)
The longest study on human happiness... With 700... Men. MEN. Wtf!!! How can you generalize this study and tell us that this and that is what makes people happy when you did your study on MEN! And no one is talking about that very important fact! I'm so upset
scottab140 (19 days ago)
In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?
DannieBee (19 days ago)
Not just because the person is isolated to others means the person is sad or have a bad life. Some ppl tend to be alone because they enjoy being alone or they’re already happy on what they have. So you mean that if the person has 30 dogs and don’t have friends or socialization it means he has a bad life? No ppl have their happiness in their own way. That’s why every single ppl are unique. Also that’s why that study is up until now and not yet finished. Ppl are evolving Lol.
Minh Thanh (20 days ago)
I'm gonna have the better looks on life after watching and hearing his words. Such an important matter that I need to look back and change. Establishing the good relationships is the best way to enjoy my own life. Thank you so much <3
Bone T (20 days ago)
Who did the audio editing? 08:00. Not verify professional
Patrik Šlégr (22 days ago)
What if I have social anxiety? What should I do? I love being alone.
Patrik Šlégr (1 day ago)
English Muffin Thank you for your care. It’s not that simple when you overanalyze every decision you made and every you are about to make. You are always checking yourself, anxiety just won’t let you behave naturally and it’s much harder among people... When I’m alone I feel at least a bit stable and calm.
English Muffin (1 day ago)
Patrik Šlégr no you dont lol. You created that mentality because you experienced bad things and that made you think that you need to stay alone in order to be happy. Please go outside, travel and love yourself.
Great talks and amazing topics. It is hard to get all we want in life but most of the time, life is good to us.
ilove8pool (22 days ago)
You didn't need a 75 year old study to tell you, it's all in the Bible.
david nichols (22 days ago)
On our deathbeds, the only important things to us will be the times when we helped others.
george (23 days ago)
Thank Jehovah the god of the bible that he left this ancient history book that taught me real joy peace and a future that no man or money or thrills of this world can, and believe me i tried most. If you think am talking garb then go test it and see then come back to me , be selfless not selfish and have a opened mind and heart for good.
Por que no puedo descargar nada
mari gold (23 days ago)
To live with a happy self one has to be greatful..
Hari Krishna Sahu (24 days ago)
Excellent ..... #HariKrishnaSahu
muma8207 (25 days ago)
No surprise. So why is there no continuous component of relationship health in public education?
Appleblade (25 days ago)
Harvard discovers it's communism that makes people happy, instead of monetary success and fame. Surprise!
Yo Uniqca (25 days ago)
True! It is not about quantity but quality.
Vo Tuan Anh (25 days ago)
Bài học chỉ vài phút mà khiến ta học hỏi cả cuộc đời. Chúc sức khỏe đến những nhà nghiên cứu.
vijay sahani (25 days ago)
No one is incharge of anyone's happiness except oneself.
Black Orchid (25 days ago)
I love his voice
edward chason (25 days ago)
Why does this surprise anyone? We are by nature tribal beings and our tribe, in a modern context our relationships, are deeply important to us
allisfaith (26 days ago)
6:47 loneliness
Cian Reyes (26 days ago)
"Success and happiness is the progressive realization of a worthy goal" E. Nightingale
xXUrObOrOSXx (27 days ago)
Video starts @ 06:05 you're welcome
Lingayya Velpulla (27 days ago)
Houria Zobiri (27 days ago)
Life is so short and you think only about it we must think for the moment when meet our God must pray and giving needy people
Rasha Abushaban (27 days ago)
As a 34 years old single women..this has made me profoundly sad..
Cy Armstrong (1 month ago)
where can I find this study ?
rita zita (1 month ago)
I have a BIG problem with the fact that this (lame??) study was done on privileged MEN only. Wrong on at least 2 important factors. Doesn't anyone else see this as a major flaw in the so called study?
Stanford Blondes (1 month ago)
Connection, quality relationships, and access to people are through wealth, beauty, and career. So money and fame do affect the aspects required for happiness.
Robo Deadalus (1 month ago)
Ang papanget niyo 9-BMN forever mga gago
FaZe Sobre (1 month ago)
Kantutan tyu
Dana Bennett (1 month ago)
How come no one in this thread asked what the major flaw of this study? He says it's about HUMANS. No, it wasn't. It was about MEN only. Dude. How can you stand up there and preach about happiness for humans when you're only studying MALES? Stupid Stupid Stupid. Invalid research.
Dana Bennett (1 month ago)
" I don't feel that I can engage in such an interaction with you" Good +A O
A O (1 month ago)
It is so funny that you assume I am male. I deliberately did not state my gender to see whether you would do that. I did not say women are not intelligent and I did not say that women ONLY faced baby raising stresses. There are multiple stresses that both women and men faced. For instance women certainly faced discrimination back then. I did not use any means of insults or target you as a person. Yet your argument has a stance of attack. So I wont be continuing my input because I dont deserve to be attacked for my opinion. This is a public forum to openly discuss topics without rudeness. However I don't feel that I can engage in such an interaction with you and sadly so. And yes, I am female.
Dana Bennett (1 month ago)
I am 71 years old and am well aware of the stresses facing both men and women back when this study began 75 years ago. There were other stresses that intelligent, goal-focused, and not baby-focused women faced. Please just view the life histories of women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and all the opposition she faced in the public and private sector to pursue her intellectual, academic and professional goals. I'm not asking anyone to go backwards - that's ridiculous of you to assume that was what I was seeking. I came up during that period, too, and I wanted to pursue a much higher course of study - and had little to no support from anyone to do that. Nor the financial means. I'll tell you more about stresses for women. And not all baby-focused women wanted to stay at home and feel their minds wasting away. Your remarks are solicitous and patronizing. Think like an intelligent woman back in the 1950s and how you might have responded to not being supported, at the least, and being actively ignored and forbidden to move forward with your intellectual pursuits. A O, in other words, grab some empathy and compassion on your way out my door. I AM open-minded. You, sir, are NOT.
A O (1 month ago)
Because back then it was common for males to work and therefore must face a range of stresses that women did not BACK THEN. And please be open minded and listen, just listen rather than just focus on why women arent included in every aspect and hunt for where women arent included. They did ask the wives to join. They cant go backwards and find women participants and study them for 75years but they can make valid amendents without altering the variables which then makes the overall research invalid So I respect that.
K (1 month ago)
How can you be happy when you know your mother father grandfather grandmother and every single family member will die someday.
A O (1 month ago)
I struggle with this thought. And that we ourselves will die...
Pat Gross (1 month ago)
Why not study women?
Javier Garín Vicente (1 month ago)
The lack of personality is the pooresty misery
Vara Sue Tamminga (1 month ago)
stop messing with my computer mafia scum
rajat maheshwari (1 month ago)
Sandhya Mathura (1 month ago)
Why were there only male subjects?
Mike Turk (1 month ago)
Sexist! :)) Discrimination!
Judge Seears (1 month ago)
thank you so much, i was so fucking depressed before watching this, its exactly what i needed to hear :)
Steven Wilson (1 month ago)
So my time is limited here, hair on fire, foot on the floor out in a blaze of glory, but I will have lived!!
mingmar dolma (1 month ago)
Thank you Sir!! You open our eyes!!!
DAI GUANG R (1 month ago)
“The #1 relationship in our life is our relationship with God"-Dr.Wayne dyer
Nicholas James (1 month ago)
Life goal?, 'WAS'. You Americans need too stop being so self absorbed... thanks, kapai, nicko
Mr. Hulk (1 month ago)
When I want give up or when I am done with life !!!!😔😔😔 This video help me rethink again and find out there is still hope
Rita Gaston (1 month ago)
Only relationship that matters is a good connection with yourself. Don’t have that, have zero.
Mostafa Adel (1 month ago)
I’m 28 and my social life is terrible. You guys think I’ll make it?
Mostafa Adel (1 month ago)
I’m 28 and my social life is terrible. You guys think I’ll make it?
Mostafa Adel (1 month ago)
I’m 28 and my social life is terrible. You guys think I’ll make it?
Hoang Bui (1 month ago)
Although I like video games, phones, internet because of their advantages but I still wish they were not invented so people nowadays can truly live.
rick cruz (1 month ago)
I have to desagree, being alone or cut unhealthy/toxic poeple including friends, family and coworkers is WAY more positive and healthier than force onself being around people who don't have anything constructive or positive to contribute to your live. Most Poeple are toxic, I rather be around animals.
I BraveHeart (1 month ago)
I'm gonna go live with the Amish. They all about hard work and good relationships.
Sun Yong Kim (1 month ago)
What makes human life most happy and healthy ? Money or fame ? The answer is definite no. Then what is it? According to 75 year long study at Harvard, the answer is Good Relationship with the people around you, be it your wife, friend or colleagues. Certainly good relationship with someone just a click away at you finger tip might be also a valuable key to make your life happier in this modern culture of the cyber world. How can we build up a friendly community globally. This is what I seriously want to hear about from Professor Robert Waldinger.
Betsy Richards (1 month ago)
75 men? Were they also all white?
Malika Sebou (1 month ago)
You are really awesome God bless you. A great and wise and uplifting talk
Orville Brown (1 month ago)
He could have spoken his truth in less than five minutes. I hate when people trespass on my patience by unnecessarily drawing out their presentation. Sometimes they think it makes the message more impressive. Get to the damn point! Nor did he need a 75-year study to arrive at his conclusions. Any psychiatrist, any wise preacher, any really intelligent older person could have told us the same thing. I also found the sanctimonious tone offensive.
yep that’s why I’m saving up to leave this family that I was born into. I want to be with ppl who actually appreciate one another so that I can literally survive and LIVE A GOOD LIFE.
VidiSensiVici (1 month ago)
What keeps us healthy and happy? It is funny that the study is not advocating about working out throughout the journey life to build stamina, strength, strong bodies, and eating properly to be healthy, youthful and happy. The reason being is that as we age, our bodies need lots of training and conditioning just to keep up with walking, running, dancing, being flexible, singing, talking, bending, squatting, swimming, moving, learning to deal with our shortcomings, etc.... On top of that, the element of fun, a relationship with God or a Divine Being which could help tremendously and to keep us energized through time, were not mentioned.
Zisha Stilitz (1 month ago)
I’m 16 years old, and my mum always tells me that if we put enough positive energy out into the world (on the whole contributing to the planet and yourself) good people and opportunities will come your way.
Positive vibes only (3 days ago)
Zisha Stilitz I agree with your mum 💯
KT Smith (27 days ago)
You have a wise mum. Take that advice to heart and you'll avoid regret later in life over your life choices.
Soumya Gangopadhyay (1 month ago)
There is only one person who is always going to be with you, every moment of your life. Its YOU. There is no better relationship than the relationship you have with your self. Love your self, achieve all the goals you want to, earn all the money you want to, travel around the world and be happy. If you want to have someone in your life, have them on your own terms, don't just get into relationship or friendship with anyone just because you are alone. Use your brain and make a smart decision while choosing people to surround yourself.
Soumya Gangopadhyay (1 month ago)
You studied 700 men for such a long time, but not a single woman?
1234ronman (1 month ago)
How can you say being bored all your life with one controlling women.
honestyrocksu (1 month ago)
I couldn't finish it. He spent the first half bragging about this study w/o saying a fucking word about what it found. terrible waste of time so far, if that is an indicator of what is to follow, there are better things to watch
Kanishk TRIVEDI (1 month ago)
Which president he is referring to ?
A CHANGED LIFE (1 month ago)
Literally just became woke now.

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