The Recipe for Happiness


By Serge Genetet
Published on March 15th, 2018

For thousands of years, happiness has been a constant subject of quest, pursuit, study, description, analysis. Human beings have always looked for happiness. Some have even tried to fight for or buy happiness, confusing it with pleasure or a possession.

It is now proven that happiness, when defined as well-being and fulfilment, has a deep positive impact on longevity and human development. The clues leading to happiness are being unveiled progressively, especially these past 10 years thanks to the progress of psychology and neuroscience.

I would like to share with you in this blog series the key findings of some outstanding explorers of happiness.

  • Tony Hsieh, internet entrepreneur, is a pioneer of happiness at work, which he has put in practice in his company Zappos. He describes in his book “Delivering happiness” the benefits of a company culture based on happiness of employees and customers.
  • Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics, renowned specialist of neuroendocrinology, has published several bestsellers, including “The Hacking of the American Mind” which includes an in-depth analysis of pleasure and happiness and their respective neurotransmitters.
  • Ken Mogi, brain scientist, writer and researcher, published in 2017 the bestseller “The little book of Ikigai”. This book is a beautiful and practical illustration of an ancestral Japanese recipe for happiness called Ikigai, which means literally “reason for being”.
  • Matthieu Ricard, humanitarian, Buddhist monk, doctor in molecular genetics from Pasteur Institute, author of several bestsellers, is dubbed “the happiest man on earth” even though he prefers not to be called like that.
  • Martin Seligman, psychologist, author of many self-help books, is an early promoter of Positive Psychology, which is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living, or the “science of happiness”.

What do all these explorers tell us? Their respective recipes for happiness include three recurring ingredients:

  • Engage with others
  • Give to others
  • Explore.

What does it mean for you? Happiness is there, in you. You just have to make one step, with a desire to give and interact with others.

Today is the perfect time to start your Ikigai journey.