Ron Gutman: The Hidden Power of the Smile (Full Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Ron Gutman, Founder and CEO of HealthTap, on The Hidden Power of the Smile at a CEO Summit event.

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Introducing speaker: It’s my pleasure to introduce the next keynote speaker, Ron Gutman who is the founder and CEO of HealthTap. But besides being a successful serial entrepreneur, he’s going to share with us today one of his TED talks which is on the power of smiling. So with that, Ron Gutman.

Ron Gutman – Founder and CEO, HealthTap

Hi afternoon. I can’t hear! Good afternoon. I was trying for that with the mission of waking you up after lunch and everything. So I’ll try to do that but I’m sure that everyone else talked Steve Jobs, I’ll just say a couple of words. I had the huge honor to be a part of the Stanford Class of 2005 grad school actually. For those of you who have seen the amazing commencement ceremony speech that Steve gave in our graduation, if you didn’t see it, I encourage you to go either on or just on YouTube and watch the talk. It was unbelievable.

And the two things that resonated with me more than anything else is how we ended this talk and he said — anyone knows what he said? Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. So that’s my tribute to Steve.

Today I will talk about an interesting and untapped power that I want to leave you guys with after this talk, that will help you achieve many things that you want to achieve. And I’ll tell you my story.

And my story started when I was a little kid. I always wanted to be a Superman. I wanted to save the world. I wanted to make everyone happy. But I knew that I need superpowers in order to accomplish my dream. In order to find this superpower, I used to look for intergalactic objects from planet Krypton which was a lot of fun but really didn’t yield much result.

When I grew up, I decided, instead, of looking into science-fiction, going to look into a little bit more serious science. And also, another thing that was important for me is go and learn from people. So I said, ‘How can I find the power that I need in order to change the world? How do I find the power that I need in order to transform things in the way that will be meaningful?’ I thought that one of the best ways to doing this was to actually travel, was to actually meet people where they are, and see how they transform things and learn something from them, live with them, get inspired by them and do the things that I wanted to do.

I actually started my journey with a very fascinating study, a UC Berkeley 30-year longitudinal study that looked in the pictures of students in their yearbook. And then these researchers actually followed these students for 30 years throughout their lives. The amazing thing about this study was that by measuring the students’ smiles in the yearbook, the researchers were able to predict how long lasting and fulfilling a subject’s marriage will be, how well she would score on standardized tests of well-being and how inspiring she would be to others. And these are real studies, this is a very serious study. You can find it at UC Berkeley study. I’m happy to share it with you.

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