Why are we happy? Why aren't we happy? | Dan Gilbert

  Рет қаралды 2,113,595



17 жыл бұрын

www.ted.com Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that well be miserable if we dont get what we want. Our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things dont go as planned.
TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes -- including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com, at

Пікірлер: 658
@sixamsedna 14 жыл бұрын
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything" - Tyler Durden
@river1409 3 жыл бұрын
I know this is technically ten years ago, but i needed this comment and i didn't even know it. Couldn't agree more with this. Thank you for passing this message.
@fritzlauren7991 2 жыл бұрын
nice quote!
@brianb4816 7 жыл бұрын
My main take away is the key component that commitment serves in happiness. "Make your decision, you'll never see the other one ever again." When we have a way out or a way to reverse things (a way out of commitment), we give ourselves an unending dilemma. It makes sense how that can add to or even create cognitive dissonance. We'll question not only that decision but our decision making process in general. Cool talk.
@MegaPianogenius 6 жыл бұрын
yes thats what causes a lot of unhappiness these days in that we have decisions thrown at us all the time what to eat wear buy etc and many are small decisions which will not have a big impact on outr lives the choices are too much
@olivlogs187 6 жыл бұрын
Very well said Sr.
@froggomcfroggin9392 6 жыл бұрын
there's another ted talk touching this issue. It was an economist describing how more choice leads to less satisfaction
@TerpsNtacos 4 жыл бұрын
Lorenzo Bertola agree.... kiss method keeping it simple reigns supreme
@mrkman35 11 жыл бұрын
Happiness = Reality - Expectations
@Adorn71 7 жыл бұрын
Brilliant. I wake up everyday and spend an hour lying there contemplating and visualising everything I could or should do, then end up doing and achieving nothing. Is your next talk on how we can focus our minds on limiting our many choices?!
@hellogoodbyeandallinbetween 5 жыл бұрын
I need this
@malavikas5556 3 жыл бұрын
You just said what I am doing fornthe last few months
@lydiaderhake2532 2 жыл бұрын
It's called mindfulness practice: experiencing 'now' instead of thinking about 'then' or 'when.'
@ishitadahiya9787 Жыл бұрын
@@lydiaderhake2532 mindfulness practice?? Elaborate please
@regieespina5380 2 жыл бұрын
We have to constantly appreciate what we currently have and be cautious of becoming too entitled! Such a great talk. I had to re-watch it a few times not to miss anything!
@haerverk 15 жыл бұрын
I must have show this to hundreds of people by now :D Had this been more widely known and appreciated, we would probably live in a completely different societ. Most relevant TED ever!
@nikhilghatnekar 8 жыл бұрын
''Grass is always Greener on the other side''
@margareeta1369 5 жыл бұрын
But if someone asks... actually you liked this side better all along
@_Stormfather 5 жыл бұрын
Kind of reminds me of the story of the fox with the sour grapes. He couldn't have something and so he decided that in the end he didn't like it after all. We're always taught that that's a bad way to look at things but this is a new perspective on it
@abisweetpark1675 4 жыл бұрын
Grass is greener where its watered
@swa5297 13 жыл бұрын
"Happiness is just an illusion caused by the temporary absence of reality. "
@CharlesMSendegeya 10 жыл бұрын
One of the most important videos I will ever watch on KZbin. Thank you.
@orangepeelpeel 14 жыл бұрын
Great speech, insightful. With just a switch of perspective, we can automatically get what we want--happiness! To summarize the talk in one sentence: "We have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are constantly chasing when we choose experience."
@vrutty 16 жыл бұрын
Brilliant. I find this quite an inspiring talk. This information is valuable stuff when in the pursuit of happiness. Go D. Gilbert! Thank you TED Talks!
@Pooja-zk4np 5 жыл бұрын
This is the best thing I’ve seen in years!! And maybe just what I needed this hour!
@p3destrian 12 жыл бұрын
i love this guy! best i've heard in TEDtalks so far
@PiscesVn 17 жыл бұрын
This is one of the best presentation I've seen. And the information is really helpful
@Muaahaa 11 жыл бұрын
The difference is not in the quality or legitimacy of the happiness, but the process in which it is produced.
@jaronneutronix3231 3 жыл бұрын
I love the way this dude is so amped about everything!
@SerbAtheist 16 жыл бұрын
Best and most informative talk I have EVER seen. It has actually in all seriousness changed my life in the most fundamental non-cliche sense of the word.
@drawald 2 жыл бұрын
Has to be one of the great Ted talks I ever listened to. Message came across very well...
@Corporations8MyBaby 15 жыл бұрын
This explains a lot of my past dissatisfaction - and my satisfaction with things I have not believed I had much choice with.
@Llantha 13 жыл бұрын
Brilliant! Thank you Dr. Gilbert.
@begily 15 жыл бұрын
that is one of the most valueable things a person can know.
@ericjamesraackf 13 жыл бұрын
Very intriguing, it's amazing how much this has changed the way I think about things
@MasterfulResultsCoaching 12 жыл бұрын
Great video! I really respect and like what you are doing! Keep the videos coming!
@akulol 15 жыл бұрын
This is the best of the ted talks ive seen so far. Very interesting!
@LeonGalindoStenutz 11 жыл бұрын
Speaks in sophisticated, complicated language but makes some interesting points. Requires concentration and a desire to digest his words, but worth it. Interesting distinction between synthetic and natural happiness.
@macnet83 11 жыл бұрын
his message is as simples as this: be grateful for what you have in your life in every moment.
@aefaefaaefawfawfawf3784 9 жыл бұрын
amazing delivery, oratory
@Spielzeit85 12 жыл бұрын
My god, this guy describes everything that has happened in my life... Every time I face a fear that is unavoidable, I perform much better than I thought I could. Every time I face a fear that is avoidable, I half-ass my way past it and I am never happy with the outcome. I always wondered why that is, and this video illustrates that same psychological tendencies of humans... I guess I am only human!
@rsgirl10 11 жыл бұрын
I am in love with this man.
@dylanm32 12 жыл бұрын
i guess this explains why i enjoy a song more when i hear it on the radio
@Tiffany797000 11 жыл бұрын
I've often contemplated the ideologies of "happiness" in two most extreem stressful situations, a parent whose child was abducted and not know if he will ever see her in one piece again - and a parent so poverty-stricken, cannot feed his child. Their realities are so narrow, anyone can relate to it. If happiness is trained, like positive thinking, we realize even in these situations, "we deserve to be happy" while the shadow of guilt would engulf us as we say it.
@carlosleonandrade 9 жыл бұрын
magnífica conferencia¡¡¡¡
@mcbrave15 13 жыл бұрын
Amazing... another approach to observe your own mind other than meditation. A constant bservation to ideas, thoughts and the relation to feelings.
@shipitintheremate 10 жыл бұрын
Being ignorantly happy is bliss is what I learnt
@_Stormfather 5 жыл бұрын
Maybe so, but if you're happy, does it matter? I'm not saying it does or doesn't, but it's worth thinking about
@redmire83 13 жыл бұрын
well done. enjoyed this one a lot, thanks.
@Haygirl345 13 жыл бұрын
20:32 ..... so good
@brianploszay7202 5 жыл бұрын
I really enjoyed this.
@marcusdavis5205 9 жыл бұрын
Ok.......i would love to get in on the intellectual dialogue but i gotta ask DID ANYONE ELSE HEAR HIM FART AT 9:30? DUDE DROPPED THE BOMB!!!
@lotusdedart 9 жыл бұрын
Ahaha. XD. He totally did
@EdiFerreiranet 9 жыл бұрын
Marcus Davis hehehe!!!
@mrjigeeshu 8 жыл бұрын
+Marcus Davis 9:29
@danenewville9694 7 жыл бұрын
Marcus Davis yuuup
@sitolongges8020 6 жыл бұрын
HAHAHAHAHAH Thank you for this comment. Yes! I heard it! lmao!
@54spiritedwill54 15 жыл бұрын
What an amazing talk. Very interesting.
@beanstaIkjack 4 жыл бұрын
Moral - we grow from bad experiences, survival and endurance makes us stronger. Bad experiences make us sad but ultimately make us stronger
@Dragos276 13 жыл бұрын
@slaughtz One of the most smartest comments I've seen! Happy new year!
@truecolors911 13 жыл бұрын
this is sooo interesting! amazing...
@PauloPrazeres38 13 жыл бұрын
A Felicidade não está no valor material das "coisas" mas sim no valor que cada um de nós lhe atribui.
@sergeidave 15 жыл бұрын
This is fascinating!
@EazySPM 13 жыл бұрын
@1337DrummerNate Bravo, you're truly a benevolent person. Thanks for teaching me and helping me see in a new light. No matter what's going on around me, your mind can work wonders. It's truly all in your head. I hope I sound sincere because I mean it. You have helped someone out.
@saintmuse 17 жыл бұрын
Excellent presentation.
@Fireclimbing 13 жыл бұрын
Thanks For sharing.
@umaspace 16 жыл бұрын
Thanks for the recommendation; i saw Status Anxiety and it was great.
@AnonHancock 11 жыл бұрын
This is absolutely right. I struggled for years about what occupation I wanted to become. I begged career advisers just to 'tell' me what courses to take in uni. Also world of warcraft, I could never stick with just one character because there was too many different choices, I kept paying for god damn race chances, and faction changes
@OneEyedKeys 12 жыл бұрын
"You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy if you put your mind to it. All you gotta do is put your mind to it. Knuckle down. Buckle down. Do it, do it, do it." - Roger Miller. It's a funny old song, but after all my years I find it rings true. I've met people who are rich, famous, ambassadors, politicians, bums, working men, punks, assholes, slaves, ramblers, addicts, you name it, all with fluctuating levels of happiness not dependent upon their conditions or upbringing.
@pacificglass6173 14 жыл бұрын
Happiness is a state of mind. Dan Gilbert is very smart
@QuintilusCastle 14 жыл бұрын
@maxtrax3258 2 жыл бұрын
I like to watch into the mind of other people. Thanks for sharing yours.
@tickledhorse 11 жыл бұрын
On another note - yes!
@CerberusCheerleader 11 жыл бұрын
1) The gist is this: we hate making mistakes. We always want to make the best choices possible and have the best things happen to us. So we are constantly hunting for the optimum. The point is now that that isn't necessary. Oftentimes choices aren't trivial and we have a spectrum of potentially correct (optimal) choices BUT we don't have to figure out what actually IS the optimum. Rather, it is sufficient to pick one and go with it and our subconsciousness will do the rest.
@Salihaga007 13 жыл бұрын
wow, That is sooo mental ... gotta meditate ...
@jomar5458 5 жыл бұрын
gracias por poner los subtítulos dos diálogos después, gracias
@Stevehtegreatgr 15 жыл бұрын
Indeed, Satre's definition of freedom is very different than what most people understand of freedom. If you pursuit that kind of freedom you may become miserable but you don't have to become a wild beast to be free. Eventually freedom is relative to the unnecessary constraints of your culture, those are the ones you have to live without and try to make the society to be without.
@CerberusCheerleader 11 жыл бұрын
"We can overestimate/underestimate the level of happiness in events" - That's what he's talking about at the beginning, it's impact bias. But he also explains the reason for impact bias which is synthetic happiness. It's not so much about "creating your own happiness" (that would be real happiness) it's more about having your subconsciousness creating it for you. Our mind has certain defense mechanisms to protect itself against "feeling bad" (another example I think is effort justification).
@mrmaciejm 15 жыл бұрын
Great lecture.
@hoplahey 15 жыл бұрын
When we choose an experience. Any experience. Buying a book, going on a vacation, hiking in the mountains, taking an education, starting a family.
@zzrabin Жыл бұрын
Thanks for sharing the insight on the human brain, the evolution and happiness. I was surprised to learn that the happiness level of a 300+ million lottery winner and that of a paraplegic would be almost the same after a year of its occurrence.
@ivanvicevic 8 жыл бұрын
So basically it's as the buddhist teach, to accept the situation
@hunta4lif3 4 жыл бұрын
Yup and appreciate what you can and can't do 👍
@denisewellons-glover3325 3 жыл бұрын
Philippians 4:11 ....for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
@SandraOlufsen 6 жыл бұрын
I will definitely look into his book. Really interesting :)
@randomtrucks 10 жыл бұрын
I love the fact that he mentioned zefrank.
@dutchlynn 15 жыл бұрын
hes a genius!! i want to meet him so bad
@wlchase 9 жыл бұрын
Freakin' amazing! Good stuff!
@enargins 14 жыл бұрын
@corbier111 15 жыл бұрын
Very interesting and inspiring!
@Natheist 13 жыл бұрын
i look at it like this: happynes is something you can control. you can train your mind to be happy no matter what is going on in ur life or u can allow your mind to generate happyness or saddness depending on the good or bad things going on with your life. it honestly depends on what you prefer. some people actually like being sad and depressed subconciously simply cause their used to it. happiness and possitive living are alien to them cause they always look at their lives at a pessimistic view
@TheSanovita 12 жыл бұрын
I really appreciate your video
@PeterScobie 13 жыл бұрын
Synthetic happiness vs natural happiness. Fascinating.
@098anne 13 жыл бұрын
Great talk. Know thyself.
@psittacid 13 жыл бұрын
@insidmal If we choose not to be happy, we're not. The point is that it IS a choice. I think that you are right about the "layer on our flight to Dallas" statement. The expectation that life will always be just right robs many of us of happiness. Life is 10, 000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. Only by seeing the inevitability of this can we find happiness in more than half of life.
@psittacid 13 жыл бұрын
@ICETEAPRODUCTIONS1 The level of denial that you present is truly breathtaking. Thank you for broadening my understanding of the strength of denial when apes don't want to admit the truth.
@maven1818 13 жыл бұрын
Insightful. Humorous. Game-changing ideas.
@dummy222 13 жыл бұрын
@exactspace yes i must agree with the over sensationalizing
@brostepisthebest 10 жыл бұрын
"Tis nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so" is true! we know all life has to eventually come to en end so we don't matter, if we all killed our selves or didn't it just doesn't matter! being happy just doesn't matter unless you have emotions and a mind to conclude it does but that is just thinking! someone dumb kids can be bullied and not realize it so they are happy, not because of what is happening but because of what they think about what is happening.
@magua73 16 жыл бұрын
This speech was awesome, although I have to look more into it, it conveys very well what I have been "suspecting", you could say that freedom of choice, the ideal of equality, makes people miserable/anxious. I will encourage another great documentary for you to watch, is called "Status Anxiety"
@Annabel-ew5nx 5 жыл бұрын
I was always wondering how people thought of me, I was new at my school and I did everything for people to like me and wondered if they did, me and my friend were talking one day and she told me that everyone in my class hated me, ironically I didn't care, I was so happy because I was free from worrying about it because people weren't going to like me anyway so I should stop trying happiness really depends on your view on things
@bengo940 10 жыл бұрын
I agree
@Stevehtegreatgr 15 жыл бұрын
Ignorance is a currency all possess, not everyone in the same quantity but still. The fact that deep down we all know we're ignorant is why we pursuit knowledge in the first place, not always as much as we should, but still. There's no real divide between the ignoramuses and the knowledgeable, we're all shades of gray. The problem is not the reassurance that you give yourself, the problem is the intellectual laziness.
@ParrhesiaJoe 14 жыл бұрын
I really liked this lecture. The Adam Smith quote is great. I feel that Aristotle... particularly Nichomachean Ethics(sp?) would help to deepen this discussion. Einstein said, that when we detect disunion or paradox, we should look for a deeper understanding that will uncover the hidden links that make it all make sense. Here, I believe an acute understanding of the nature of happiness(Aristotle) unifies the two types of happiness he talks about.
@DHarma1923 3 жыл бұрын
My only question is, even though it makes you happy, is it satisfying enough? i'm sure i can still be happy if i never became a popular youtuber or celebrity but would i be satisfied knowing i didn't achieve what I could have? I'm not sure if happiness is the only factor, but i loved this tedtalk!
@mille666 17 жыл бұрын
Interesting, a bit slow for tedtalks, but grows on you and at the end its really good! :)
@nonanbfernandez 5 жыл бұрын
I'm so glad I listened to this. Although, I'm not sure how it would work for the non neurotypical
@wannabeaballer41 11 жыл бұрын
Haha thanks man but after one month I learned you can't just wait for someone to get you an answer; sometimes you have to look by yourself. I believe I've got a good understanding from Gilbert's speech. I think the gist is that "We can overestimate/underestimate the level of happiness in events. Creating your own happiness is just as real as Some external force giving you pleasure." I think what you wrote has more to do with "bad decisions" video than the implications of "Synthetic Happiness"
@I_have_solved_AGI 15 жыл бұрын
for the students with no choice of getting the other picture - it implies an ignorance towards what the other option might have brought to them. but still they seem to be happy according tho the results..so it implies ignorant people are happier than people who over-analise their choices( they sometimes over analyse sometimes becasue their do not have comprehensive imformation to make the right decesion)
@AliSafariM 11 жыл бұрын
“A mathematical formula for happiness:Reality divided by Expectations.There were two ways to be happy:improve your reality or lower your expectations.”
@fjdhaan 15 жыл бұрын
it isn't just about "wisdom", it's also about have the cognitive capacity to be able to deal with the amount of choices laid before you. to be a bit coarse, dumb people frequently get frustrated when they feel they have too much they still have to think about and consider. (there also appear to be issues where children are given too much of a say in how to organize their lives.. it can overload them and they can become sort of depressed because of that - that's all still being looked at, though)
@oneki 14 жыл бұрын
The best judge of people's happiness in a non-pretentious environment is the people themselves. I quite the people may pretend they are/are not happy with their choices for reasons like shame or not wanting pity. However, usually with neutral people on trivial things, most of us tend to be truthful about our happiness of choices. This is what the experiment tries to show.Science of feelings aren't& can't be exact but, if the experiment is well set up, u can pretty much get acceptable results.
@thissitesuxmytwat01 12 жыл бұрын
im a very depressed individual. my friends and family tell me that if i get a better paying job it will change my life and ill be a happier person... but ivve always disagreed and said that it won't make me a happier person in the long run. this is similar to that paraplegic and winning the lottery scenario.! i was right!
@CerberusCheerleader 11 жыл бұрын
There are a lot of unconscious things that work even though you are aware of them, e.g. the anchoring effect: the initial price offered for a commodity sets the standard for the rest of the negotiations, so a smart salesperson will show you something expensive first, because you are than more likely to accept higher prices for the rest. That works even though you are aware of it. I could imagine that synthetic happiness is similar in that regard, i.e. it is not hindered by you being aware of it.
@psittacid 13 жыл бұрын
@majik2hanz Thanks for all of your insightful responses. There may always be too many variables to really pin down causes of happiness. One problem, as you say, lies in how we define happiness. Then, how we quantify this elusive quality in a way that is valid is extremely difficult. If you finally have strong results, how can the knowledge be utilized to increase happiness. If so, how do you know it increased happiness, especially when the definition of happiness was hazy in the beginning?
@Zuchtsau 11 жыл бұрын
20:40 "When our ambition is bounded, it leads us to work joyfully. When our ambition is unbounded, it leads us to lie, to cheat, to steal, to hurt others, to sacrifice things of real value. When our fears are bounded, we're prudent, cautious & thoughtful. when our fears are unbounded & overblown we are reckless & we are cowardly"
@hildiehofmann4658 10 жыл бұрын
As St Bernard of Clairveaux (sp) was said to have said 'let your conscience be your guide.' Very wisely said. Also St Augustine of Hippo was said to have said, 'Love ...then do as you please.' Another wise remark.
@vapourmile 13 жыл бұрын
A huge point that many very smart people miss when it comes to questions of happiness, is missing that 'happiness' is not a state, it's a word, it stimulates an abstract of an imagined state, not a real one. Eskimos and the Japanese have a different word for it. Imagine how the behaviour of a civilisation may change if it had no word for it? With no imaginary state to exert themselves in the invocation, they'd probably be much happier! : )
@rwudeath 13 жыл бұрын
I know some people that cannot produce 'synthetic' happiness very well at all. It seems to correspond to low self-esteem and a pessimistic attitude (IE, I choose this, my choices are wrong because I am usually wrong, therefore the thing that I chose does not give me happiness.)
@TesserId Жыл бұрын
"A mall full of Zen monks..." What an image.
@NextStarfish 12 жыл бұрын
Very interesting TED talk - I've made use of this video in a post on choice and happiness on my Nextstarfish blog
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