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Hacking Your Brain for Happiness: James Doty (Full Transcript)

James Doty

Full transcript of neurosurgeon James Doty’s TEDx Talk: Hacking Your Brain for Happiness @ TEDxSacramento conference. This event occurred on February 12, 2016.


Listen to the MP3 Audio: Hacking your brain for happiness by James Doty @ TEDxSacramento


James Doty – Neurosurgeon

For the last quarter-century, as a physician and a neurosurgeon, my goal has been to prevent death.

But, I will tell you that some of the most profound experiences as a human being that I have had is being with people who have truly lived, but are dying.

For the last decade, as a neuroscientist, my goal has been to understand what it is that stops people from living.

I’m not talking about showing up. I’m not talking about mindlessly going to work every day. You know, somebody sent me a definition of life, and it said: “Life is a sexually transmitted disease that ends in death.”

The life I’m talking about, though, is a little bit different. The life I’m talking about, though, is a life of meaning, purpose, connection, and ultimately, contentment and happiness.

What’s interesting, though, is that in the United States – one of, if not, the most affluent countries in the world, where we consume 25% of the world’s resources, where theoretically we have everything, why is it that we have an epidemic of stress, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and depression?

What’s amazing is people come here somehow thinking that it will be better, and oftentimes it is not at all; it is only worse.

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