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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 (5169)
Corey Lawler (5 hours ago)
I personally believe that the biggest key in life is finding your passion. It seems that if you can live daily being happy about what you do, there is no such thing as the "Mondays". If you can live passionately, everything else will fall into place most likely. Financially, but more rewarding, to put yourself in position to help others in need, family, and aquantances. Surround yourself with people that inspire you and are humble. Also, never settle.
gavin Reid (1 day ago)
Pursuit of happiness.........
WOW! I feel 100% better and more motivated after hearing this talk. Well done! And, more importantly, Thank You.
Syed Kamran Ali (1 day ago)
I am lonely and I don't find myself too much tensed and worried, I am quite fine with this condition. I don't want to have a close friendship with people anymore because whenever I try to do this I have always ended up felling cheated or taken for granted. Done with all the people around, I just want to live my life on my own way.
Elizabeth K (1 day ago)
Once again women are rendered irrelevant!
Manda R (1 day ago)
Interesting though!
Manda R (1 day ago)
"Lessons from the longest study on happiness-." Over 70 year study on over 700 men. Men. This may not at all apply to women.
KAY KAY (2 days ago)
https://youtu.be/nzx4nyZKc2U https://youtu.be/pmp3UNjeu0k
Abdurrahman Al Anezi (2 days ago)
Amazing
Alter Glen Babas (2 days ago)
I Have a question. Why is it hard to maintain relationships? Why we should maintain them, anyway?
Alter Glen Babas (2 days ago)
Answer my question, Please??? AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Hesham Qaba (3 days ago)
6:15 best reason
Therese Ward (3 days ago)
One thing I have learned from visiting elderly people in nursing homes - the loneliest ones told stories of broken relationships they refused to mend because - the other person was in the wrong. They were right. Lonely people are right but is it worth it. Glad I saw this. I’ve decided to Listen more- understand more - forgive more and let it go. Forge ahead connecting to my family and friends. Build people up because this world often tears people down. We see so many negative things these days. Let’s counter it with positivity
Hyper Hektor (3 days ago)
this is really interesting information for lonely "strong" femminists,
Nancy Lin (3 days ago)
His message is So True
Van Lin (3 days ago)
*"The words contained in The Manifesting Manual are the most powerful and profound ones you will ever read[ Check Details Here==**do7.info/vkrw** ]. The understanding of the human psyche is beautifully captured throughout, enabling one to fully explore and understand one's own personal mindset.*
Charnele Hyde (3 days ago)
nice
Retirement Day One (3 days ago)
I saw this about a year or so ago and loved it! More than anything, it reminded me that investing in friends and family pays amazing dividends. "...good relationships keep us happier and healthier, period." - Robert Waldinger
Hassan Abdul (4 days ago)
Life without God the creator of this universe is darkness. Not any kind of God except Allah the one and only God of Abraham. 44.000 Americans take their lives each year and about 40.000 others die of Drug overdose. So $ isn’t the only way out.
marcelo Rodríguez (4 days ago)
The study is too limited
Aisha Belekey (4 days ago)
Есть здесь рускоговорящие лайкните
Xa Lee (5 days ago)
A good life is build with a good relationship.
Stephano N Makacha (5 days ago)
The only formula for Good life: Good life must start with and end in GOD This will help one to overcome the fear of fearlessness in the end
Artour Babev (5 days ago)
I thought an old man's presentation is gonna be super-duper boring, never did I know I could be so wrong. Learnt a lot sir!
Jair Machado (6 days ago)
Haha just men. 75 years ago no one thought women were unhappy?? Just goes to show the mentality of the times.
Will. I. Ferrell (6 days ago)
4:25 ..body once told me
Magnolia (6 days ago)
With or without good relationship, we all human being can be happy and live normal life just like we can be happy with or without money.
Ruhullah Yusufzai (6 days ago)
Perfect lesson
Algabron (6 days ago)
Cash is King..
D Ritch247 (7 days ago)
Studied... men.
Michel 10 (8 days ago)
It is very important to know the meaning of loneliness. YOU can be still be lonely even if you live in cities or surround by many friends... and YOU can still be alone and not lonely somewhere in countryside or rural areas. It's how individual thinks towards life and others around. So the best method is to give less important to "I" and stress more on "WE" the bigger the WE is happier u will be. (We- I don't mean xenophobic or nationalism, instead positive "WE" which covers all beings)
Michel 10 (8 days ago)
Wonderful studies with authentic data. This is what His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama always insisted that we 7 billion humen beings are same; physically, mentally, and emotionally and being a social animal all should think about eachother and help eachother leaving extreme self centeredness away.
Bua Bua (8 days ago)
There isn’t time, so brief is life for bickering, apologies, heartburning, calling to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant so to speak, for that. Mark Twain
donnie91 (8 days ago)
I’m social, talk to everyone I possibly can when Im out running errands, at the gym and even on the Internet. I love meeting and interacting with new people....But I never take it to the next step to meet up/ hang out, decline invitation when asked and love a good one night stand. A personal deep relationship is not my thing. At the end of the day I enjoy being alone, what about those people? I wake up everyday with a smile on my face. Could I be happier? Maybe I can be but I’m too happy to complain. I’m not saying this in inaccurate but people are so different in so many ways. You’re basing this off of around 700 people, in America (arguably the greatest country on earth) out of how many BILLION people of all races and walks of life? So again what about those people who aren’t anti-social and you’d never guess they enjoy being alone but they just do? I’m sure there are thousands of happy people who fit into what I described.
INDO CHICO (9 days ago)
Dear, Jesus said, I love you just like my Father loves me,,,then He continue His message,,you have to love one and another,,,, If research from Harvard said good relationship make you happier and healthier,,,can you imagine what a happiness you get,if you have good relationship with God,,,its undescribable great,,,think seriously about this,,,,
True! Lots of Money and Fame… my level of long term happiness did not change after getting it. There is a short period of happiness, a honeymoon period, that lasted for a N.Y. minute. After that it went back to the same. Breathing properly and cold showers keep my joy levels up also ATX ITAC. For remembering me!!! My first Solo Sound Therapy Album is now availble for purchase online at this link https://waterloorecords.com/UPC/099997054929/Doctor-Liam-Sullivan-Stone_ATX-Intercession-13 You can google "ATX InterCession 13" for more info and music videos from live concert performances! Much Love, Reverend Doctor Liam Sullivan Stone www.youtube.com/LovinglySTonedProd
Dante Monte (9 days ago)
Mmmmm. I don’t believe this. Follow someone who is an introvert and is very Happy and Healthy Alone!!!
Dharminder Puri (9 days ago)
First we need to understand the difference between being lonely and being alone
Potato (10 days ago)
Thanks for teaching me how to live.
AI (10 days ago)
Body, Brain, Mind, Mood, Spirit, Soul, Consciousness ...Where is happiness working on ? And what is the happiness work for ? If we know nothing about it, Happiness is worthless for the destined everlasting death...
Garima Heath (10 days ago)
A Harvard study following 724 men to figure out how men are happy throughout their lives..... what about women ? Doesn’t their happiness matter? Why not include women in this study ? It took 50 more years to ask the wives to join the study.... Good relationships, be socially connected to family friends and community, loneliness kills. You can be lonely in a crowd and you can be lonely in a marriage. Live in the midst of good, warm relationships. Be satisfied in your relationships - translates into good health and happiness in your 80s. Emotional pain magnifies physical pain.
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures was buried and rose again on the third day according to the scriptures 1Corinthians 15:3
levent onaran (12 days ago)
Thank you
donna kuhl (12 days ago)
it took me years to realize that I desired everything money could not buy..and when I followed that desire..money and prosperity followed,,not because that's life..because that's how human nature is..I'm fortunate to have it all..I'm not wealthy..but have enough money to live my dreams with a dream man,,,
donna kuhl (12 days ago)
learned it from Buddhism..not a liver of it but lived the philosophy
elucid8 (12 days ago)
Does this study apply to women? My father just died and my mother is 85. I'm worried about her getting lonely but have also seen that widows tend to overcome the loss and move on.
o--Kane101--o (12 days ago)
I feel like being kind and getting along with strangers is also important. Carrying a constant distrust and a us-vs-them mentality leads to a miserable mind.
Josh Stonko (13 days ago)
There is a random picture of Ben Jealous in this
MarnaJo Laurito (14 days ago)
Why did they only study men?
KariM mohamed (14 days ago)
Loneless kills😥 maybe i'm dead now!😂
Nani Tesfaye (14 days ago)
You are absolutely wrong... lonely people are happy!! Lonely people isolate themselves to avoid toxic people.
lwc1029 (14 days ago)
Dr Waldinger failed to mention how many enjoyed good and healthy relationships and how many didn't? Confucius once asked his student to borrow food from a "well-stocked-up" beggar. The beggar agreed on condition the student answered this question correctly, "What's many and what's fewer? What's happy and what's troubling?" "Stars are many, moons are few. ...." Wrong. Student went off empty-handed and his master Confucius told him to return with this reply: "Small men are many, gentlemen fewer. Happy when borrowed, troubling when due." What does one do in an acrimonious or toxic relationship/friendship? Dr Waldinger hinted that divorce may be the better option. Grudges developed not by accident but mostly as a result of losses, suffering and pain. You may put aside those grudges and continue or resume the relationship/friendship but the same losses (financial or otherwise), suffering and pain would most likely recur. As the saying goes, "Once bitten, twice shy." For some, I am sure I'm not the only one, twice or more bitten is more often than not the case. Michel Montaigne found a "once in a few millenials" friend in La Boestie. Amor Towles wrote "A Gentleman in Moscow" based partly on this friendship. Relationships and friendships are to be treasured only because they aren't common.
hey34 (15 days ago)
10:12-10:38 The reason this study though arguably 'common knowledge' is fundamentally important to all people. We weren't made to fight and war with each other but to create healthy long lasting relationships with each other that a mutually beneficial. Unity is our greatest strength especially when interdependence takes into account individual and community.
Diane R (15 days ago)
I've got to get out of here. This video makes me sick, because it's totally false. Just one person's biased opinion. This is not what really happens in the real world. Where do you find these wonderful people? Not here. Not there. They're all a bunch of conning liars trying to convince you otherwise.
Diane R (15 days ago)
There's no such thing as a lack of money. Social programs offer even a minimal amount. Learning to live without is not that difficult. It gets easier over time.
Diane R (15 days ago)
Get rid of the crappy people in your life. Even if you're alone, you'll be a lot happier. Serenity is everything.
Le Hong (15 days ago)
How about woman?
sindhu prasad dubey (16 days ago)
maintaining a balanced improvement of HEALTH WEALTH RELATIONSHIP and PEACE OF MIND is the key to make a good human life. thank you.
Ayzen Sama (16 days ago)
That''s what Jesus said 2000 years ago
Elena Gruber (16 days ago)
Such a humble, gentle and sympathetic man.
Prasen M (16 days ago)
A good lesson in life.
Eve Kiang (16 days ago)
it's so impressive how they managed to only include men in the study.
Trianabfine (17 days ago)
700 men, because men's happiness is so much more interesting than women's.
Raza Khan (18 days ago)
2/2 its however really very challenging to maintain quality rich relationship
Raza Khan (18 days ago)
The quality of relationship in early age are determinants of quality of life in latter stages of life. One of the reasons could be to bring into your subconsious all good and postitivity so that when you finished your active life such attitude guid you through rest of life and your previous behaviour in terms of good relationships payback in the shap of good attitude and behaviour. All materials stands zero, standing out good and quality relations as exponetial
Htx Lexia (18 days ago)
I’m here 6 hours before 2019 and I really want a change.
Lee Lesemann (18 days ago)
Great talk and summary of the cooking recipe for solid grounded lasting happiness, Robert. Just right to watch this today and take this into 2019 as key priority!!
Danielle Queiroz (19 days ago)
Wonderfull message! 💎
God Japan (19 days ago)
5:10
Ruby Lemkim (19 days ago)
Great speech....🤳
Lars Peter Larsen (20 days ago)
It is Satan who does not want you to get to know the true God. jw.org
Santi Sandra (20 days ago)
For me its simple just learn to blessing with all u have.....even my coffee in the morning 👍😁
Diminie pabo (20 days ago)
idk why but the way he talks are very therapeutic, I will never skip class if he were my professor
brest26 (21 days ago)
What about women? The study is just about men. Is this study valid for women? Maybe not...
챔니 (21 days ago)
0:12 0:18 0:27 0:40 0:52 1:00 1:29
subrina Tar (22 days ago)
I don’t have friends , I have three kids and a husband and if you asked me what makes my life so wonderful I would say my kids. I hope this time in my life when they are small goes slowly because they are so cute adorable
Pickel Sandwich (5 days ago)
Surbrina,, enjoy them while they are little and cute. Because when they become teenagers,, they can be a pain in the butt. Your responsibility for them never ends and you never stop worring about them, no matter how old they get. Most women don't have girls friends once they get married. Because they worry about some other woman coming along and stealing their husband. Most women don't trust other women for this reason.
anita a. (22 days ago)
Thanks, I'm crying now
Maven (22 days ago)
<3
V. J. (22 days ago)
Only men...? Don't even wanna watch it anymore....
Paddy Farry (23 days ago)
More famous Psychology
Frank Moser (23 days ago)
REAL simple ONE word "SUCCESS" and that's the ONLY thing that makes ANY existence a "good" one lol
bellaemmalinda (24 days ago)
Might be a stupid question, but can I have good, quality relationships with my animals? I enjoy their company better than anyone elses
KT Smith (5 days ago)
Your pets, especially dogs, can lead you into quality relationships with other pet lovers. People who love animals are also very capable of easily getting to know other people. I met more great people walking my Golden' Retrievers then I did anywhere else.
susan-jillian smith (7 days ago)
Totally understand that. Nothing to feel bad about. A wonderful dog... is the greatest thing in our life sometimes. I would never discount this.
Gary K (24 days ago)
People are being studied without consent these days.
Goodwin Samson (25 days ago)
After reading comments section, "God I don't wanna live anymore"
Rugareth (26 days ago)
imo to know and understand these things is by keep going with life and time will teach us these lessons.
Knowledge for Health (26 days ago)
Ted-ed is always my favorite community forum. Does anyone like me? Let me see your hands. <3 "It is impossible to exist without passion - Soren Kierkegaard"
Art VanDelay (27 days ago)
The secret to life is 😼
Sott Media (27 days ago)
To be connected, to have good quality relationships you have to, first and foremost, GIVE!
JustFluffyQuilting (27 days ago)
♥️
Bronson & Co. (28 days ago)
"memory is selective and creative so we can't rely on it, so we can't just ask people about their lives" "In this study we asked all these men about their lives"
IMGOING MASTER (28 days ago)
*1.Good relationship with your God because He is the one who gave you happiness and healthy life and anything that the best for you without we know. Be grateful what you have before you lost it.* From me who feel like living this world for 15639284 yrs. Thankyou.
karl el (28 days ago)
Money can buy happiness. See If you have money you can have great relationships(you can make someone feel special with money) (becoz the fact is in this world seldomly ppl make poor friends) Good relationships--> happy mind--> happy ending. I don't like the idea of money itself though.
Middle (28 days ago)
5:51
Mario Paul (29 days ago)
Friday, December 21 2018. See you in a decade. Hope you're doing well!
Bella Rose (29 days ago)
That’s great if you can find decent, unselfish, non narcissistic ppl to have relationships with.
Tony Goodwin (29 days ago)
https://youtu.be/zlw3UjxQejw
NIRMALA N (30 days ago)
Shut up. Enough of your great thesis. You could not prevent the holocaust, now this. When the world blamed the Jews again and again, did you have the sense to see that the Mughals and the British were slaughtering and snatching from Indians at that very moment? What a nerve, they even traded with us saying if we fought the war on their side they would grant us freedom! And we did! WHO IS GOING TO ANSWER THESE BLOODY QUESTIONS? There will be no peace till all these questions are addressed. THE DEAD ARE GONE. SO HAS YOUR EQUATION.IMBALANCE ...
Ashwin Pathak (30 days ago)
It's not about which game you play but it's more about whom you play it with...that's my friends, makes it worth playing :)
Is there a book on this study ?
тупа флекс (1 month ago)
Тупые пендосц
Mou San (1 month ago)
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Sunita Vishwakarma (1 month ago)
Thank god I have a sister I can count on.
Danny Tillotson (1 month ago)
He didn't mention God but I'd say being in close relationship with God is an absolute must and benefits our health and well being too. This is why being part of a good genuine heart warming Bible believing and living Christian community, also known as church, is also very good for everyone involved.

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