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Joy on Demand - Talks at Google

Chade-Meng Tan | 52:46


My friends, thanks for being here, I recognize a few faces, some old friends, some from last week when it was here. I want to start with success. That turns out to be a surprising relationship between happiness and success. I was when I was growing up in Singapore, right here in Singapore. I mean, I'm Asian.

And I was growing up, it was drilled into my thick skull, that the relationship between happiness and success is this, which is when someday when it becomes successful, I'll be happy. Therefore, for now, just suffer. Steady heart, suffer, suffer, suffer someday, when you're successful, then you'll be happy. Yeah. It didn't quite work that way. I tend. So I have a lot of friends who, who I'm sure you all do as well, I have friends who are really successful, but miserable. And I read the literature, constantly, this has been researched for a while. And the studies show that success leads to happiness in only one situation, one and only one situation with this escape from poverty.

So if you're poor, and you go from poor to not poor, so going from poor to middle class, where you don't even worry about food, or clothing or shelter. And so when you go from poor to not put, there's a huge difference in happiness level. If you go from poor sorry, you got to go from not poor to rich. So go from middle class, the rich, some difference, not that much difference. If you go from rich to very rich, even less difference. Why? It turns out, that's a very simple explanation, because we only have one body each, right? Then you say, Listen limit to how much you can consume. You say, a $2 Hamburger versus $100. caveat. Is there a difference? Yeah, some difference? Not that much difference. And dollar caveat. Elden little caveat. Not that much difference, right? So so there's this kind of asymptotic peak. So a lot of my friends, when they grew up, they make sacrifices, they become successful, and then they find that this other peaking, and they keep adding more money, but they're not happier. And in fact, they're miserable. It turns out that the reverse is true, which is that it turns out that happiness leads to success. And that's fascinating. That's even a word for it, though.

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