Episode 47

How Ordinary Things Can Create Extraordinary Happiness

With Ingrid Fetell Lee
Episode 47

How Ordinary Things Can Create Extraordinary Happiness

With Ingrid Fetell Lee

Acclaimed Designer. Author. Leading Researcher on the Subject of Joy.

Ingrid is a designer and author whose groundbreaking work reveals the hidden influence of our surroundings on our emotions and wellbeing. As a former design director at IDEO, and author of Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, Ingrid empowers people to find more joy in life and work through design. Her immensely popular TED talk “Where Joy Hides and How to Find it” has been viewed more than 17 million times. Ingrid has over fifteen years of experience in design and branding, having led design programs for Target, Condé Nast, Eileen Fisher, American Express, Pepsico, and the US government, among others; and has been featured in leading media including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, the Today Show, and Fast Company.

  • I regularly watch your podcasts and continue to keep my head in the Intersections space, to really appreciate the offerings, and to consider them an essential part of my life.
  • This episode was mirrored by own experience about how some successfully cope with terrible loss of a loved one: by balancing such with joyful remembrances.

In this episode of Intersections, Prof. Hitendra Wadhwa has a conversation with Ingrid Fetell Lee on the topic “How Ordinary Things Can Create Extraordinary Happiness”.

We are made to believe that joy must be earned, that it is to be experienced only in certain conditions, and that it comes from inner strivings. But what if joy were the very basis of our being, and what if there were simple things in our outer environment that we could tap to infuse our everyday moments with joy? Is joy a very personal pursuit, or are there universal principles across humanity for how we can activate joy? How can we transform our institutions, workplaces and public spaces to maximize the joy we experience from being part of them?


“Joy is the most powerful signal of our thriving, and the capacity to feel it is our birthright as humans.”
Ingrid Fetell Lee

The episode “How to Fulfill Life’s Greatest Desires” offers key insights on:

  • How ordinary things can bring us extraordinary happiness
  • The three levels of joy
  • The ten aesthetics of joy and how they shape our values, behaviors and relationships
  • Why joy is our universal birthright, and
  • How to transform our institutions, workplaces and communities with an outside-in approach to joy

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

How to Fulfill Life’s Greatest Desires
With Rabbi Jevin Eagle, University Chaplain and Executive Director at Boston University Hillel
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