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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 (4707)
common sense (20 hours ago)
6:33 on this note prophet muhummed told us Muslims that, keeping good ties of kinship is a means of attaining long life عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ سَرَّهُ أَنْ يُبْسَطَ لَهُ فِي رِزْقِهِ أَوْ يُنْسَأَ لَهُ فِي أَثَرِهِ فَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَهُ 1961 صحيح البخاري كتاب البيوع باب من أحب البسط في الرزق 2557 صحيح مسلم كتاب البر والصلة والآداب باب صلة الرحم وتحريم قطيعتها nas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever is pleased to have his provision expanded and his life span extended, then he should keep good ties of kinship.” Source: saheeh al-bulgaria 1961 & saheeh Muslim 2557 Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (Its authenticity agreed upon according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
bencevagyok (1 day ago)
correlation does not imply causation
Anna H. (2 days ago)
always ppl talk like we all have a happy familiy background, some of us just dont like he said dont invest in toxic realtionships even if you feel obliged bc they are family
TheWW101 (3 days ago)
It's great to have such a lengthy study on men, but data from a mere 10 years for women can hardly be comparable
Maggie Brooks (3 days ago)
Am I the only one who is annoyed that it was only studied on men?
Marilyn Biondi (4 days ago)
All you need is love
NorthWind (5 days ago)
Resuming... Just don't be an asswhole: you might need somebody in order to keep yourself fit for living.
AKS MEDIA (6 days ago)
Awesome your video clips . I have seen  your video clips . I have  subscribe , like  your video clips and you sub me
Lancelot Xavier (6 days ago)
If Americans could have less stress, less work hours and generally better quality of life, we can focus more on relationships. Our politicians have us working so hard in order to pay the taxes so we can police the world and send aid to everyone else we don't have the time to relax.
S A (7 days ago)
WHAT MAKES A GOOD LIFE? (Watch video in English) Hvad giver det lykkelige liv? Det har et hold forskere undersøgt igennem folks hele liv i 75 år (verdens længste undersøgelse) og undersøgelsen pågår stadigvæk. Det er ej rigdom og berømmelse der gør os mest lykkelige, men menneskelige relationer. Jo bedre og flere relationer vi har, jo mindre føles fysisk smerte, hukommelsestab bliver mindre som ældre og vi lever i så fald længere (end folk som har færre og dårligere relationer der dør yngre: læs; ensomhed dræber). CITAT på baggrund af ovenstående: 》'Der er ikke tid, så kort er livet, Til skænderier, undskyldninger, og hjertesorg at bære. Der er kun tid til kærlighed, Og endda til det, kun et øjeblik.'《 (Citat fra video med undertekster på dansk) Mvh. Shais LINK: https://youtu.be/8KkKuTCFvzI
Jennifer D (7 days ago)
I've experienced loneliness a lot in my life and I've tried to tell like my ex how important it is to not be alone or lonely all the time this just proves it but it also tells me I'm 45 and I'm going to be dying quite Young and yeah it's painful to be lonely. Truly a remarkable and most awesome study that they have done Harvard just amazing & what a gift to share to help people know such a important factor .. Harvard itruly is a college that's honorable and most brilliant Ted Talk ever truly my favorite
Cuong Dao (8 days ago)
Good Talk!
DzRad DzRad (8 days ago)
Thanks doctor .. i was always sure that nothing is better than feeling in that warmth .. but simetimes we are leaving the real warmth for the fake one .. life
Sonja Dawn (8 days ago)
Maintaining my mental health is what has made me the happiest I have been in my entire life!
thats what dogs are for.
TATENDA Y GATSI (9 days ago)
Danny Park (9 days ago)
It's so beautiful
MrCharlietoma (9 days ago)
I like ur voice. Very calming and gentle face you have. Im 23, i spend all my time training martial arts and school. I fear that i belong in the group that will loose health and function earlier, i feel lonely but i dont wanna be with the people i know at the given moment, sometimes but the rest of the time im longing for something im not even sure exits.
Zid Morin (10 days ago)
Beautiful speech.
Natalia Aulia (10 days ago)
Albin George (10 days ago)
Maybe,the study has gone somewhere on the way. There is no proof to show that living away from others is bad for a happy, healthy life. In fact, it is the other way around:those that live all alone in their exclusive dimension are said to be much more creative, healthy and happy.
Wonderful & thank you. There is an interesting link of this findings mentioned in the Bhagwad Gita too - adhiṣṭhānaḿ tathā kartā karaṇaḿ ca pṛthag-vidham vividhāś ca pṛthak ceṣṭā daivaḿ caivātra pañcamam Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.14 अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम्। विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टा दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम्।।18.14।। yes that's true and it is possible - subject to these 5 factors ...!!
MB1News (10 days ago)
Start at 6:16 if you want to skip all the info about how the study was conducted and just hear end results.
nathalie j (10 days ago)
Merci, Monsieur Waldinger.
Osman Aboud (11 days ago)
TicallionStallion (11 days ago)
8:02 This guy looks like he's really living the good life.
M Y (11 days ago)
Good relationship is the most important factor to be happy, but there is nothing wrong to pursue wealth and fame as long as it’s not at the cost of relationship.
TheFlipityTwig (5 days ago)
Nope, guess again 😀
J O (11 days ago)
People are idiots. Thats why everyone is miserable
I got excited about the study, until he said it was only done on men☹
Michael Carter (12 days ago)
Loved how pissed that Asian woman looked when he announced the study group was all men. 😆 Bogus.
rashid green (12 days ago)
And here im single
Free (12 days ago)
Always overseeing the big question - why? Why even care about a happy life? There is zero meaning to life in general and if one doesn’t wish to invent meaning to deal with it one is bound to live in misery. People then say: “Well, do this and that, and then you won’t feel like that about life”. But the again. WHY? The quote “ignorance is bliss” applies here because people would rather do something to overcome a depressive state than realize that this is the state of highest possible consciousness. This state, where nothing matters and one wishes to die is the state when one understands the wholeness of everything and the meaninglessness of this little universe with such ambitious people to go through a meaningless cycle to get to the same end.
Serhat Duran (12 days ago)
What if the individual lives in a totalitariabin society, where family values and all social interaction is controlled by a state? Sorry, but your study which took you decades to complete does not comply globally
Elizabeth Tran (12 days ago)
Hmm 724 males. No females in that study
Ueli Drogba (12 days ago)
Anyone who did not know what the outcome, e.g. good relationships are crucial, is either dump, ignorant, uninformed or doesn't reflect about his life...so the added value(lessons learnt) , tends towards zero...
Zen Den (13 days ago)
Well let's assume Waldinger is right, he's still talking from patterns and bell-curves. My point is there are plenty of outliers, like my grandfather that lived well and cheerfully into his 90's and he was not a lovey-dovey relationship type guy, but a stoic and laconic. If not having a deep abiding partnership filled with warm love and support when your 50-ish, means then Heaven help most of us that are already doomed 30 years before our 80's. We'll just have to make the best of it then.
albertraz (13 days ago)
Alankrita Rani (13 days ago)
Best ted talk ever!
dea cottingham (13 days ago)
Disappointing that they only study men's happiness. Did women not comprise half the population when they began 75 years ago?
Chilly Willy (13 days ago)
I had a feeling that bad relationships caused memory loss. My theory was that these people choose to forget quickly as a coping mechanism to stop the prolonged agony of remembering their bitter memories.
Raul Arcangel (13 days ago)
Basically, there are only two issues in the human nature. It boils down into two categories. One, the degree of comfort in life. Two, the degree of happiness in life. How we react to it? How we handle about it? The choice and the decisions is ours to execute by ourselves alone. CONSIDER THIS!!!
Ava meshkin (13 days ago)
javierortiz82 (14 days ago)
Well, I'm doomed.
Ryan Black (14 days ago)
This makes me sad because I admit I'm very lonely at 35. I'm dealing with cancer totally on my own. Perhaps I won't live long. That's ok lol.
Jenna Milleson (14 days ago)
a little disappointed this only studied men
Achak Hakan (14 days ago)
What's the difference? The conclusions reached would have been the same generic boring platitudes we've all heard before anyway. Good relationships blah blah blah
ladislaus amand (14 days ago)
thanks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddsCGa11Hx0
Night Owl (14 days ago)
Men? What about women?
Heloise Segnini (14 days ago)
Why only men and not women as well?
cat (15 days ago)
Are you sure that good relationships lead to good health? Maybe good health lead to good relationships?
imene imaya (15 days ago)
Great salutation to all people who participate in this study
buddyboy4x44 (15 days ago)
While not disagreeing with the study, do good relationships result in happiness, or does happiness result in good relationships?
andthenifellinlove (15 days ago)
I love this! Connecting to people in a real way is the best way!
RaynaOfSunshine (15 days ago)
Study results: It is the quality of the relationships we have with other people that will, in the end, make the difference between a good life and a not so good life.
Emmy D (15 days ago)
What a great speaker! He connects with the audience in such a humble and sweet way. Not to mention that this study is a lesson that shows us how important it is to do what humans used to do best, socialize.
Jingle V R (16 days ago)
That's why Filipinos are happy people because we have close family ties.
Steve B (16 days ago)
Unfortunately, I can relate.
Sergiy Michael (16 days ago)
Study on how an average man can become more average and thus happier. Wow such a discovery!
Romy RoLou (16 days ago)
I like that guy
Stewie Griffin (16 days ago)
3:20 why is she angry, and he so happy ?
báu linh (16 days ago)
I don't know why the professor said that students in harvest never ask the questions like that, everyone smiled?
mn hc (17 days ago)
I really like his voice and the way he smiles, it feels so calming to me. Thank you for the lessons!
P (17 days ago)
Life is so up and down émotionally. In this schezophrenic world.
Tony A (17 days ago)
People will follow you when you have money, status and success. It's the poor people and low status that always end up alone. Your number one priority in life should be having financial success and social status. Actually, even people who were famous and rich can end up alone when they lose their wealth and fame, that goes to show you this harsh truth.
SuperGolfgal (17 days ago)
12:35.... is the answer 🤗
Beraud (17 days ago)
I have pretty bad depression because of the lack of meaningful relationships in my life and the lack of stability in the ones I do have. People seem to disappear really quickly when they gain a partner. Which makes me more and more desperate to find a romantic partner myself. I wonder if society wasn’t constantly telling me how important relationships are, if I would still feel this burning need to have one and if I would still be depressed
Vega (17 days ago)
A sudden solar flare frying all electric power grids worldwide would teach us rather quickly that all we got is one each other
MEDSimplified (17 days ago)
This is heartwarming! ❤️❤️❤️
TheElderScrollsKing (17 days ago)
The answer is SADHGURU
Irish Price (17 days ago)
This was depressing af to watch :(
blorn o-007 (17 days ago)
Hello friends, Life is too short already.....just do not give up life. What can we do after we die ??? Not a thing we can do. We can not talk or see anything, ok. Only when WE alive and well then we can do MANY THINGS THAT is for yourselves and your family. I know very well there many bad people out there. So, we must have Common senses and knowledges from getting Rip off, ok friends....want some advices let me know ok.....✌️😇👨‍👩‍👧‍👦
mary shaffer (17 days ago)
Wouldnt having subjects know theyre being subjects of study change their behavior?
Jeevani (17 days ago)
am i the only one who clapped along with the audience?
Güneş Deniz Zeytin (17 days ago)
How simple but how true!
Henrik Sahlén (17 days ago)
Wow, that is a beautiful speech!:)
Johanson Petra (18 days ago)
Fat burning foods. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andromo.dev516379.app814073
Indraja Salunkhe (18 days ago)
So so true... 😍😍😍
Estefanía Abadía (18 days ago)
What I learned: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Lesson from social relationships: * Social connections are reallu good for us and the loneliness kills. * Is not just the number of firends you haveand it's not whether or not you are in committed relationship, but it's the quality of your close relationships that matters. * Good relationships don't just protect our bodies, they protect our brains.
Amen I love being alone. And have very few people I want to socialize with . But there are a few I like. Most people are now into the virtual world and not interested in anything more than very quick causal interactions with others. Even older people are in intercourse with their smart phones 24/7 .
Nur Syahidah Mat Said (18 days ago)
is this persuasive speech?
freddy vs jason (18 days ago)
this talk remind me of a tv show '' everybody love raymond ''
xoomvids (18 days ago)
I love people and I see them as an extension of my family and I treat everyone like brother/sister/mom/dad etc. I do not linger in relationships that are not healthy. I move on quickly and I do not look back.
Rawa Raian (18 days ago)
It’s a study based on men, only men.
pike (17 days ago)
Happy Michie Worriah (18 days ago)
Yes mark twain.i want good relationships too.but it's two way
dc 123 (18 days ago)
Bottom line of the study: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. The study does not tell us why some people develop these relationships while others don't. Is it luck? Is it an innate need? Is it due to ambition or a lack of ambition? Is it due to good physical health or a positive outlook on life? What might be more interesting to learn from this study? How about for the people that did not live into their 80's, why did they die? Could it have been prevented. For those that made into their 80s, but are not happy, why aren't they happy? Could they have done something different?
Christie LaBarca (18 days ago)
No women in this study? I guess since it was established so long ago it was unlikely, but I would imagine we can reinstate a new study like this, or even use Facebook or social media data to do.something like this currently. But with current Technology we should be able to do something like this now, to start a new one that will at least help people in the future. Nice to hear the women involved in their life participated though (as I am listening to this video)
GreenXrays (18 days ago)
Starts at 06:10
Aoqi Tang (18 days ago)
I love this vedio so much. The most important thing should not be money or fame.
Mamta Kaushik (19 days ago)
Who else r reading comments while watching this video....
s.p yuan (1 day ago)
Me :)
Mamta Kaushik (19 days ago)
Who else r reading comments while watching this video....
Jonathan Shaklee (19 days ago)
Lol all of these points can be found in the bible
Kane Nolan (19 days ago)
I am 48. 8 years divorced. In the last days of a of a 6 year relationship and no real friends. I am have no hope.
Laye chka (19 days ago)
And why only men?
Francois-Marie Arouet (19 days ago)
Hmmm.... there’s a dilemma here: honor, integrity, justice - The qualities that make me a decent person and the type who my wife, family, and others can depend on no matter what. The same qualities intrinsically require me to take a distance from assholes and people with bad morals acting dispicably. Some of these people are gatekeepers of my community in a sense, or relatives. Therefore I’ve become socially very limited. Becoming social tends to = losing my good qualities.
dr br (20 days ago)
monitored the life of 7 men to study the algorithm of happiness... why only men? what a fucking waste of a potentially remarkable study... seems like it just makes the conclusion of the study less credible right off that bat
pike (16 days ago)
+dr br yes, the 1930s weren't exactly "diverce"
dr br (16 days ago)
+pike oh sorry i may have made a mistake. none the less, the point was about the fact that the study only targeted men.
pike (17 days ago)
700 men
Charity Vanger (20 days ago)
What makes a goof life is having a closer relationship with God
rushabh shah (20 days ago)
Pooja Thakkar (21 days ago)
Does everyone deserve our true feelings and bonds that we wish to build? :|
JC JC (21 days ago)
When he asked "what keeps us healthy and happy" for some reason i thought he was gonna answer with "pot", it doesn't even make sense, i'm too far gone
Zhu Lin (21 days ago)
“Enduring happiness is an abiding sense of purpose, meaning & direction in life.” Wisdom from the Greater Community V1 NewMessage.org

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