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Home » You Can Be Happy Without Changing Your Life: Cassie Holmes (Transcript)

You Can Be Happy Without Changing Your Life: Cassie Holmes (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Cassie Holmes’ talk titled “You Can Be Happy Without Changing Your Life” at TEDxManhattanBeach conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Time and Happiness

Time — time is critical because how you spend the hours of your days sum up to the years of your life. I’m a professor of happiness, and I study time, which is kind of ironic because, for my own personal happiness, time proved to be the single biggest barrier. I remember one day earlier in my career when I was an assistant professor at Wharton. I had traveled up to New York to give a talk, and that day, like so many, was just crazy hectic.

My presentation was sandwiched between back-to-back meetings from which I’m rushing to this colleague dinner and then frantically rushing to the train station to catch the very last train that would get me home to my four-month-old and my husband asleep in Philly.

Now, I did make the train that night, but I remember so vividly sinking into my seat, totally exhausted, and resting my forehead against the glass, watching the night lights whiz by. I was like, “I don’t know if I can keep up.” Between the pressures of work, wanting to be a good parent, wanting to be a good partner, a good friend, the never-ending pile of chores, there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done, let alone do any of it well, let alone to enjoy any of it along the way.

The Quest for More Time

And I wanted more time, not just so I could get more done. I wanted more time so that I could slow down and actually experience the hours that I was spending so that my entire life wouldn’t end up passing me by in this blur. I know now that what I was experiencing is time poverty, which is defined as the acute feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it. Even if you haven’t heard this term before, I suspect you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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