John Helliwell on satisfaction


At one point in his career, John Helliwell says he took on the job of Aristotle’s research assistant, taking the philosopher’s list of propositions of what makes a good life and testing them. In this talk on subjective well-being, he unpacks some fascinating facts about what actually makes us happy – and it’s not about following the money. Further, the life cycle of subjective well-being in industrialized countries is U-shaped, where the curve represents our middle age and least satisfied stage of life. John happily reports that, in the end, we’ll enjoy tomorrow even more than today. He starts and ends on a high note, leading the audience in singing a couple of happy-making ditties.

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