Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Everyone wants to be happy, but exactly how does one go about it?

In the TED Talk, "What makes a good life?", Robert Waldinger goes in depth about what is the best way for a person to maintain a healthy and happy life. He begins by describing a survey taken by millennials that asked them what their most important goals were. Over 80% of them said to get rich and once they got a new group of youths,  50% of those said that they wanted to become famous. The impression we have to being able to get a better life is to work harder in school and at work. Most of the things we ask for in life are almost impossible to get. Although, Waldinger suggests that humans could study the actions of an individual to see what actually keeps people happy and healthy. He takes part in conducting a Harvard study during 1938 of adult development that collected data from about 60 men for 75 years.

Waldinger introduces the clear message from this study, that good relationships keep us happier and healthier. He develops a couple lessons that were learned from this study. One of them is that the social connections people make are very important so that they don't end up isolated because of, for example, reaching out to family members who you haven't talked to in years can help your life. He adds that loneliness can result in people living shorter lives. Waldinger supports this idea by adding that the quality of close relationships matter because high conflict marriages can take a toll on one's physical pain compared to a healthy relationship which wouldn't result in that extra pain and that only the bad relationships would have more magnified emotional pain.

To conclude my analysis of this TED Talk, I'd like to say that what Robert Waldinger is explaining is very insightful to me because I had never thought that my close relationships are what the source of my happiness was. A lot of other people think in a very materialistic way which is why I think the youth said they want money and fame. On the other hand, humans like quick fixes such as something to fix our problems so that they stay fixed. Which is another reason why I agreed with Waldinger's ideas about relationship's being the complicated fix but the long-lasting one as well.

"A goo life is built with good relationships" - Mark Twain.


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