The Secret to Happiness Isn’t What You Might Think: 5 Things That Will Bring You More Happiness

This video emphasizes the importance of quality relationships in leading a happy life over material possessions. It suggests practicing empathy, thoughtfulness, and generosity, as well as communicating openly and honestly as key factors to improving relationships. It also suggests that staying true to one’s word by letting yes mean yes and no mean no is an important part in creating strong relationships.


  • Robert Waldinger’s TED Talk, “What Makes a Good Life: Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness,” is one of the most popular talks on happiness.
  • According to Waldinger, fame and money do not make people happy; rather, it is the quality of relationships that matters.
  • To improve relationship quality and increase happiness levels five tips are recommended: becoming empathetic; being thoughtful and generous in relationships; letting your yes mean yes and no actually mean no; being open and honest with how you feel about others; practicing vulnerability with those who have earned it.


Now unless you’ve lived under a rock, I know you’ve watched at least one TED Talk at least once in your lifetime. These short 18 minute videos from thought leaders, speakers, and experts in their field give new insights and different ideas and thoughts that are going on around the world. Now I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my mind and myself. So I thought I’d research What is the top TED Talk when it comes to happiness?

Yes, happiness. And one of the most popular TED talks on this topic is from Robert Waldinger. The title of his TED Talk is What Makes a Good Life Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness. Now, when I saw this, I was like, oh man, this is going to be an excellent TED Talk so I can understand what makes me happy and what I can do to make others happy as well.

Cause there’s no point in living life if you’re not going to be happy. Now, according to Robert Waldinger, guess what doesn’t make us happy? Fame and money, no. In fact, we can see this in our everyday occurrences when it comes to celebrity. How many celebrities or athletes do we know that are making millions of dollars but they’re so miserable, they have a terrible life and they’re not happy? We see this all the time. What actually does make people happy is the quality of the relationships that you have with others. That’s the key right there. What kind of relationship you have with your friends, your loved ones, and the people that are around you, is that quality matters. So how do we develop that good relationship with other people?

Here are five things that I recommend to improve that quality, which in turn will make you happy. Number one, become a person of empathy. These strongest relationships are those in which both parties have empathy towards each other. Empathy means that you are consciously and consistently thinking about how other people feel and how they react to how you are being presented. It’s literally putting yourself in their shoes, coming from their perspective, their point of view, and empathizing and relating to that. And if you could put yourself in someone else’s shoe and see how your actions may affect that, that develops into a real serious connection. And that in turn will develop that strong relationship. Number two, be thoughtful and generous in your relationships. And this doesn’t mean you need to buy your friends and family.

Expensive gifts, free trips, new cars. That’s not what it means. It means being generous with your time, having emotional generosity, checking in on people, tell you, when I was in my lowest, the thing that really helped me were friends checking in on me. Hey Samir, how are you doing? Hey Samir, how are things going?

Hey Samir, I know you can do this. There was a period of time before I left into my own practice where it was really hard for me because I was going through some troubling times. I didn’t know if I wanted to do this high. Lot of self-doubt. And it was through me talking to people, them reaching out to me, seeing how you’re doing that really helped me out.

And this is how you develop that generous and thoughtful relationship to build up those bonds to make you and the other person happier. And you can do the same thing as well. Check in on your friends, see how you’re doing. Check in on your wife, see how she’s doing. Show appreciation through words, gifts, thank yous. It actually goes a long way.

Number three, let’s your yes mean yes and no actually mean no. Too many of us sometimes waffle between decisions, especially if we don’t wanna hurt other people’s feelings. But if you do that, if you don’t give them commitment or you are kind of waffling, you’re actually making it harder for both you and for them. And also if you commit to something makes you actually go through with it.

Consistency and commitment is key for the developing that relationship. If you say you’re going to be somewhere, be somewhere. If you say you’re going to do it, do it. Otherwise you lose that trust in that bond from you and that other individual, especially if you don’t go through on your words. Number four, be open and honest. Tell people how you feel.

Tell people if they’re not making you feel good, be open with how you are feeling cuz that can also allow that reciprocation towards you as well. They’ll help break these barriers down to develop that strong relationship. And number five, practice vulnerability. This is literally being vulnerable. Now, I had a really hard time with this. I hate being vulnerable. I knew for me I had to be vulnerable for me to grow as a person, for me to be happier, but also for me to develop those strong relationships with the people who I love. Now, it doesn’t mean you have to be vulnerable to everyone, even strangers. Absolutely. There are certain people in your life who have may have earned that vulnerability. And in those people it is perfectly fine to be vulnerable and for them to be vice versa as well.

When you break down these barriers, when you open yourself up, when you are vulnerable, it shares a P C U that’s special and allows that relationship to flourish and it helps to develop that intimacy and that connection. So these are five tips that I have used in my own personal life to help out with my relationships. And guess what? It has honestly made me happier as well.

So my call to action to you, I want you to implement these five tips to see if it helps out with your relationships, your happiness, or for changes, how you feel. And let me know in the comments how you do.