I Googled, “Happiest person on the earth” , and this article turned up.
A 69 year old Tibetian monk from France is the happiest person on earth. But what I was really curious about was “how” and “why”.
Let’s start with the why.
Why is Matthieu Ricard so happy?
“To Ricard, the answer comes down to altruism. The reason is because thinking about yourself, and how to make things better for yourself all the time, is exhausting, stressful, and ultimately leads to unhappiness.
“It’s not the moral ground,” Ricard explained. “It’s simply that me, me, me all day long is very stuffy. And it’s quite miserable, because you instrumentalize the whole world as a threat, or as a potential sort of interest [to yourself].”
One of the key reasons I feel, that Ricard is able to find true happiness within himself is that he constantly puts others before himself. This is not to say that he doesn’t take good care of himself, or serve others at the expense of himself. In fact, as a coach, one of the first things that we need to do is to ensure that we can swim well, before we jump into the water to save someone who is drowning.
But Ricard looks beyond himself. He reminds me of the Apostle Paul, whose heart for his fellow Christians is evident in spite of the tremendous persecutions and sufferings that he has to go through. And at the heart of it, I believe that Ricard has found his sense of purpose. Both Apostle Paul and Ricard lives for something beyond themselves, and that has motivated and inspired them to be happy.
Here’s a chance to stop, ponder and reflect upon our purpose. Why do you do what you do?
Next, how did Ricard find happiness?
Having a clear sense of purpose, Ricard is truly compassionate towards other people, and helps them on their way to true happiness. Apostle Paul spends a lot of time ministering to the needs of the people, praying, encouraging and helping them to grow in Christ.
One of the ways they found happiness is in serving others. Offering practical help to people. In our line of work, or business, it is deeply rewarding if we can find meaning in what we do, beyond monetary reward. Monetary reward can be finite. But meaning moves deeper. In my framework of HAPPY, H stands for helpfulness. Being helpful is one of the powerful steps to being happy!
The second way is to meditate. Meditation helped Ricard to be mindful, and this helped him to be happy. Similarly, Apostle Paul spends a lot of time reading the bible and praying. It is scientifically proven that those who pray and meditate find more peace and joy within.