What makes us happy? Thirteen happiness experts, including psychologists, researchers, monks, and the inimitable Malcolm Gladwell, try to shed light on this surprisingly difficult question in a series of TED Talks about happiness.
Over and over, the same two themes emerge. First, we’re usually wrong about what will make us happy–or unhappy, for that matter. For example, research has demonstrated that people who win the lottery are no happier about that event one year later than if they’d lost the use of their legs instead. And second, happiness is largely a matter of choice. Which is good news, because it means we can pretty much all be happier if we want to be.
How can we make this happen? Here’s some of what the TED speakers advise:
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