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TED Theme: What Makes Us Happy?

"The Pursuit of Happiness" was 2004's conference theme, but TED speakers over many years have found themselves driven to understand the nature of happiness. Daniel Gilbert's astonishing talk shows how we humans are poor predictors of what will make us happy. Stefan Sagmeister shares how ...

"The Pursuit of Happiness" was 2004's conference theme, but TED speakers over many years have found themselves driven to understand the nature of happiness. Daniel Gilbert's astonishing talk shows how we humans are poor predictors of what will make us happy. Stefan Sagmeister shares how great design contributed to his happiest moments, suggesting that the secret may be attention to detail. And Malcolm Gladwell, tongue in cheek, explores what we might learn about the pursuit of happiness through one man's quest to make the perfect pasta sauce. But suppose we understand happiness. How, then, do we find it? Carl Honore says the key is, simply, to slow down. Pastor Rick Warren appeals for a life of spiritual purpose. And Barry Schwartz thinks a little less choice might do us all a lot of good.

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    Alec Soth + Stacey Baker: This is what enduring love looks like

    Stacey Baker has always been obsessed with how couples meet. ...

    Stacey Baker has always been obsessed with how couples meet. When she asked photographer Alec Soth to help her explore this topic, they found themselves at the world’s largest speed-dating event, held in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day, and at the largest retirement community in Nevada — with Soth taking portraits of pairs in each locale. Between these two extremes, they unwound a beautiful through-line of how a couple goes from meeting to creating a life together. (This talk was part of a TED2015 session curated by Pop-Up Magazine: popupmagazine.com or @popupmag on Twitter.)

    Jul 15, 2015 Read more
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    Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame

    "Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop," says ...

    "Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop," says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant -- and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way.

    Mar 20, 2015 Read more
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    Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices

    Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which ...

    Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up -- or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

    Jun 18, 2014 Read more
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    Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self

    "Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're ...

    "Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.

    Jun 3, 2014 Read more
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