Today’s TED talk is about happiness. It’s with Nancy Etcoff, an evolutionary psychologist. It’s 20 minutes.
She has some interesting points, e.g. that a successful marriage has a 5:1 rate. Of what, you might ask. For every one harsh and unpleasant thing one spouse says to the other, five niceties are needed to make up for it. So in a successful marriage then, we say five nice things to our spouse for each not-so-nice. Good thing to remember!
She mentions words that describe different kinds of happiness and gives us something to think about. Namely that some languages have happiness-words that other languages totally lack!
- Fiero – pride in an achievement
- Schadenfreude – taking pleasure in other people’s misery
- Naches – pride and joy in one’s children
And she muses over the fact that no language she knows of has a word to describe one’s happiness for another person’s happiness.
Finally, she quotes Epictetus:
First say to yourself what you would be. Then do what you have to do.