Robin Williams and Happiness

Robin Williams I’m sure you’ve heard of the apparent suicide of comedy legend and actor, Robin Williams.

I never met him, but I was shocked and saddened by the news yesterday. It genuinely affected me.

Many people have been wondering on social media, “How can someone with all the talent, money, fame,
and accolades in the world be depressed?”

Depression does not discriminate. Even the most positive, upbeat people can suffer (myself included).
It is more than just sadness and fatal if left untreated. If you’re struggling or are concerned about someone, please visit the
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention web site:

There is a lot that is still unknown about depression and I won’t pretend to know the details of Robin’s situation, so let’s talk about something far more understood by science…


There has been a ton of research into human happiness over the last several years. Here are three happiness secrets that all the experts can agree on:

1. Purpose and meaning

Do what you love and love what you do. The people who are the happiest and most fulfilled are pursuing a purpose that is larger than themselves. My purpose is to be an evangelist for human connection in a time when wireless connection is taking over. What is yours?

I recommend “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek and “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl.

2. Human Connection

At the end of our lives we’ll be thinking about the people we love. Relationships is what matters in this life. I believe it is possible to accumulate too much stuff in this world (new research confirms that owning more stuff actually makes us less happy). But it is impossible to accumulate too much human connection.

I recommend “Give and Take” by Adam Grant and “Magic Words” by yours truly!

3. Challenge

The “easy life” would actually drive you crazy. The human brain needs problems to solve and skills to develop. We crave challenges to rise to. Happiness can be found in the sweet spot between being bored and being overwhelmed. I try to inject challenge into my life monthly:

I recommend “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and “The Charge” by Brendon Burchard.

Three simple concepts that I lean on when I’m struggling. I hope they bring you more happiness in your life too.

Don’t overthink it though! Science also tells us that pursuing happiness can actually make us less happy. My advice? Grab life and let happiness be the welcomed side effect. As Robin Williams said in Dead Poets Society, “CARPE DIEM!”

I hope Robin’s death gives him peace and I hope his celebrity gives depression and suicide increased awareness that others may be spared his fate.

With you in MIND
Tim David

P.S. Speaking of “challenge”, here’s a video of me doing 11 different ice challenges for ALS:

NOT your typical ice bucket challenge.

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