How to Live a Meaningful Life
Question: How do you lead a meaningful life?Dacher Keltner: I’ve studied these emotions that I write about, and really the focus of my lab and this book, Born To Be Good [the sub-title of this book is, The Science of a Meaningful Life], emotions like compassion and reverence and laughter. We so under-appreciate play and silliness and love and gratitude and modesty.
What became really apparent to me, as I learn to see these emotions in other people scientifically, and then very interestingly, took that knowledge and engaged in an act of self-reflection is that those emotions tell me when I’m leading a meaningful life, when I feel grateful, or when I feel reverential, or respectful towards somebody, or compassionate; and that I feel how they hum in my nervous system and feel all the chemical effects of them, which is you feel a sense of a greater purpose and deep well-being.
And so for me, those emotions are the key. And it’s interesting when people study, in psychological science, really older people, right, who are always important to think about as they near death, there’s this idea of generativity [sic] that becomes the central theme in an old person’s life. And it really is founded on feelings of appreciating what people give them and a sense of kindness and gratitude.
So, those to me are the pathways to the good life.
Recorded on: Jan 30, 2009.
Dacher Keltner on how to sync your emotions.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.
I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.
- Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
- The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
- The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.